I attended today's auction of 19 Brazos Condos in Austin TX. Real estate auction company Kennedy Wilson today auctioned 19 units in under 2 hours. Although all of the units had very low starting bids, the auctioneer explained at the begining of the auction that the units had unpublished reserves and that to win the bid, the highest bid had to meet or exceed the unpublished reserves.
The auction was extremely well attended, with over 200 packed into the Hilton downtown hotel ballroom. It appeared that many of the bidders had pre-registered with the company - streamlining their entrance into the ballroom. Only registered bidders were allowed inside.
The auction itself was well paced. The auctioneer did a great job of explaining how the bidding would work and how he would gradually lower the increments, from $25,000 down to not less than $1,000. The bid assistants also did a great job of maintaining lively interest and tracking the various bidders with loud "yeps" as someone bid a higher increment.
As the bidding proceeded, the auctioneer would announce when the unpublished reserve had been met and that the unit would then be sold to the highest bidder, no longer subject to seller's confirmation. All but one unit was announced sold. There was only one unit that did not meet the reserve and was sold subject to seller's confirmation.
This was a great auction to watch! However, as a real estate auctioneer myself, I can tell you that the critical and most important aspect of the auction is the marketing program. This auction was well marketed - read about it, heard about everywhere - plus it gots tons of tv news and media exposure. Additionally, the auction company and builder were able to maintain a sales office open 7 days a week with models available to walk thru. This auction had great participation for several reasons: (1) well marketed; (2) great product; and (3) minimum bids, even though meaningless, help grab attention; and (4) extremely well executed auction logistics/strategy.
What a great way to buy! Terms and conditions were transparent, the only thing the buyer needed to do was figure out how much he/she wanted to pay maximum, figure out their financing, and then get a $2500 certified check per property they wanted to buy. A 4% buyers premium will be added to each high bid to total the sales price. Buyers have 30 days to close escrow. Final sales prices were between 20-40% less than the last sales price.
What a great way to sell! Auctions present an ideal opportunity for builders, especially condo builders who have financing considerations tied to the number of unsold units remaining.
I've traveled the country attending real estate auctions from some of the best auction companies. This was my first Kennedy-Wilson auction - a California based company that holds real estate auctions across the country. I was impressed with Wilson-Kennedy's auction logistics today. Their auction team and staff appeared top notch and experienced. The auctioneer did a fabulous job! So often, I'm embarrassed by what I find to be old-school auctioneers that engage in non-appreciated humor or just a bit too much 'country' inappropriate for more upscale / commercial property auctions. Registration flowed smoothly, thanks in large part to pre-registration packets available, and the contract signing room also appeared to run smoothly, with Heritage Title assisting with contracts.
Linda Mardi, Auctioneer/Broker/Attorney
Specializing in accelerated marketing of real estate sales thru auction. Sell your property in 30 days - ask us how.