“We all have kind of an ego,” Winter said of Auctioneers, realtors and
brokers. “We’re salespeople, and we’re excited about our sale. When we
book a contract, it gives you a kind of euphoria.”
Winter said that ego is the biggest challenge Auctioneers and realtors face in working together.
“We might think the broker is a bad guy because they don’t want to give
us any business,” Winter said. “They’ve got the same feeling in their
gut and their heart that we do when they list that house. Why would they
want to give that up, right?”
Auctioneers, Winter said, have to be careful not to step on that passion
as they approach realtors about collaborating. However, the only way to
“cross that bridge” is by educating realtors and brokers, establish a
relationship with them, and convey, tactfully, information about the
auction process, because in some cases, it’s the best method.
Winter said during the Great Recession he read in a real estate
association publication something to the effect that “the auction way is
going to be the way to go” for selling real estate. However, despite
the fact that he would like to see more realtors working with
Auctioneers, not every property is going to be a good match for the
“Not every seller can sell at auction,” he said.
Working with Realtors: Finding allies
Realtors can be a big asset for Auctioneers, Winter said, because they
have “file cabinets” full of properties, and information about past and
current buyers and sellers. The task is to establish a relationship with
these realtors and let them know Auctioneers aren’t “monsters [or] huge
evil people” who are going to take their business away.
“A zero-percent commission is how much money?” Winter asked rhetorically
about situations where a realtor could still make a commission by
turning over a listing to an Auctioneer. “We have similar goals out
there. If we list an auction property, what’s our goal? Sell it/close it
… we have to come alongside our fellow realtors and work with them and
hope they work with us.”
One of the barriers to the auction process is that realtors and brokers
work around an MLS listing price. The topic of reserve prices came up
during Winter’s presentation with one participant asking if a reserve
should ever be revealed.
Winter said revealing the reserve can be a problem. A buyer, he said,
might think the reserve is too high and not show up, missing out on a
chance to make the purchase should the seller agree to let it go for
less than the reserve. Conversely, the buyer might think the reserve is
too low and believe there is something wrong with the property.
“The challenge for the auction industry is that it’s price basedd,” he
said of MLS listings, which is the norm for real estate agents. He also
said that a potential buyer who asks “what will you take for that piece
of real estate,” should be met with an answer of, “all I can get.”
“Don’t say any price,” Winter recommended when questioned about reserves.
This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2017 NAA
International Auctioneers Conference and Show. Want even more tips
regarding this topic? NAA members can access the full audio of this
presentation and many others in the NAA Knowledge Center