An auction in conjunction with a short sale solves three of the biggest problems agents deal with on short sales:
1. Quickly getting one or more buyers on contract - Having a set date for receiving all offers sets an urgent deadline and gets one or more buyers on contract within 30 days. I once had 18 contracts come in within 48 hours and each buyer was represented by a different buyer agent. When the bank saw that stack of offers with similar dollar amounts, it was hard to argue that we didn't achieve market value.
2. Having a backup buyer already in hand - In an auction situation with more than one bidder, you can immediately get the high bidder on contract as well as a backup bidder. This eliminates the need to start over when a buyer bails on the deal.
3. Buyers don't walk due to impatience - The auction contract generally requires a much higher deposit than a conventional sale and the deposit is non-refundable. Once the bank approves the short sale (however long it takes), the buyer must close or they risk losing their deposit.
Most of our auction properties come from listing agents who feel they need a power tool to help get the job done. A relationship with a professional auctioneer can be your "secret sauce" in taking on more short sales.
You can find a professional auctioneer in your area who is a member of the National Auctioneer Association. Click on "Find an Auctioneer" at the top of this website: http://www.auctioneers.org