When "Absolute Auction" Doesn't Live Up To Its Meaning

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Shimmering Sands Realty

Well we've all seen the banners and billboards that are just a sign of the times.  "Absolute Auction" notices draped across balconies, ads in the Sunday paper, etc. touting the coming big event that will be open to the buying public and sold at any cost.  But then reality sets in on bidding day. It's another sales gimmick with lots of fine print, and "absolute" is left to the interpretation of the attorneys and the seller.  The seller never had any intention of selling anything "absolute", and you or your customer closed the office and drove all night to attend the "sale".  After a few bids or sales, the out of town auctioneer is prodded by the seller to ask for higher bids or the auction will be stopped.  The sale is abruptly halted and everyone is escorted out by on-sight security personnel. The next day the property is re-listed in traditional fashion, and the marketing gurus go back to work.

Auctions do serve a purpose when handled correctly, and can help move properties. But when the intent is not sincere and the ads run all over the market area, it feeds the notion that all sellers are desperate and that the market still has a long way to go until we find the theoretical bottom.  Buyers who had no interest in the particular properties being auctioned saw the ads, and now have that stigma in their minds as they think of the market in question.  This exercise in futility serves no one except those who want to see the buyers sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next foot to fall. 

All of this said, real estate professionals must continue to network and market our listings in every ethical way that we can.  Are we really doing everything that we can to make sure that every possible real estate professional is exposed to our customer's listing?  Are we taking the time to really evaluate the realistic market price, and educating sellers about true market conditions and counseling them on unrealistic expectations.  Real deals are available in every market, and there is no need to further tarnish the market with gimmicks that leave a bad taste in the public's mouth.  If properties are correctly priced and marketed properly, they will sell even in today's market.  It's time look at every dollar that we are spending marketing, evaluate the success of our methods, and look for new opportunities to serve our customers.  It's time to get involved again in your community, local groups both professional and social, and never pass up the chance to network with fellow professionals all over the country and the world.  No physical distance is too far as this market is globalizing right before our eyes.  If we don't change today, the market will leave us behind tomorrow.  But never forget that we are never better than our public image, and slight-of-hand marketing will have a negative impact on us all.


Thanks for letting me vent, and have a great day of selling and networking!


Comments (1)

Jeff Payne
The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Panama City Real Estate

Hey Jackie,

I can't believe that they thought they would get more than what they got yesterday.  It is alot of grandstanding and smoke and mirrors.  Now the sale comps are going to be what the properties sold for yesterday so what are they really worth. The true value is what someone will pay for it.

It will be interesting to hear what others have to say about absolute auctions

Jun 27, 2008 06:42 AM