On Real Estate: Turning to the real estate auction to move property

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Real estate auctions can allow homeowners better odds at selling property, especially in a soft market where traditional sales are slow. Commonly associated with estate liquidation and foreclosure, real estate auctions can attract more qualified buyers and and come with almost effortless closings.

Streamlined sales

Because homes placed up for auction are almost always sold “as-is,” sellers do not worry about contingencies such as deferred maintenance and seller contributions. Bidders are also commonly required to prove they have cash before placing bids. This allows auction transactions to proceed without financing hangups common in traditional real estate sales.

Mass marketing and bidder competition

Unlike traditional real estate sales, auctions, if marketed properly by a strong professional, can attract droves of potential buyers. Multiple bids in a short period of time often drive prices up much higher than offers associated with traditional sales, which can take weeks or longer to be reviewed by sellers. Sellers choosing an auction are often able to get top dollar for their property in spite of soft spots in their market.

Efficient closings

When a home involving traditional sales and marketing techniques is sold, buyers and sellers are often required to work closely with appraisers, bank underwriters and real estate agents to satisfy lender and other requirements. While many issues are easily solved before closing, others cause closing dates to be rescheduled, and some sales fall apart. When a home sells at auction, buyers and sellers almost always know when to arrive at closing. Closings are also usually efficient, involving only an exchange of funds and the filing of a deed and title policy. Properties sold at auctions usually close no longer than 30 days after bidding ends.

From the Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010 issue

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