“In simple terms, a real estate auction is the firm and time-defined
sale of real property by competitive bid,” Slik says. “How you get there
is not as important as achieving the goal because all three of these
things – auction, sealed bid, and accelerated listing – all deliver the
same result. They all deliver fair price, low to no terms, and a closing
that will suit the seller.”
About 10 years ago, Slik says he and his business partners came to the
realization they were losing potential clients who did not realize the
potential when they suggested selling their homes using auction
“We were getting sick of throwing the fish out of the boat,” he recalls.
Mike Brandly, CAI, AARE, who also teaches AARE, says Slik is now a
well-known advocate for Auctioneers to use his definition of real estate
auction with clients in place of simply using the word auction. Auction
can be perceived negatively by sellers based on a lack of information
and myths suggesting that auctions are only for troubled pieces of real
While avoiding industry lingo that doesn’t convey the seller’s need to
receive a fair price, avoid terms, and control the closing, Auctioneers
must also choose the best method for the selling the client’s property.
Selling property using the traditional auction method is a great
strategy for sellers who wish to move their property on a quick
timeline. Advertising property for auction creates a sense of urgency
and provides multiple bidders competition to buy generally leading to a
higher price when compared to negotiating with a single buyer.
The process of a real estate auction is fairly straightforward. The
Auctioneer and seller decide on an auction date and the type of auction
to be conducted. Auctions ensure a firm sale, defined timeline for sale,
competitive bidding, and broader exposure to buyers.
Slik recommends Auctioneers suggest a sealed bid method of sale to
clients who need to be inclusive of conditional bids. Sealed bid
scenarios are for complicated properties that are potentially
undesirable or valued significantly different by varying parties.
This method is the opposite of an open transparent auction in that
bidders submit competitive sealed bids with the goal of being the
winning bidder. Bidders do not know what each other’s bids are. Benefits
of sealed bids include a firm sale, defined timeline for sale,
competitive bidding, and privacy. The sealed bid process is also
generally easier for sellers and buyers alike to understand.
Accelerated listings are the method for sellers who can answer every
conceivable question a buyer might ask and have their homes ready to go.
These properties have inspections done, are packaged impeccably, and
are priced exactly at their value to sell quickly.
“These properties are end-game priced,” Slik says. “There’s no smoke and mirrors here.”
Slik acknowledges that accelerated listings might not seem like the
ideal method of sale. Many would say a traditional auction is better and
will bring in more money. Still, Slik says it’s all a matter of
satisfying the seller and 60 percent of accelerated listings actually go
on to sell at or above asking price.
“If I have a contract signed and the client chooses this method, then I
still get paid. I’m keeping the fish in the boat because the client is
This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2017 NAA
International Auctioneers Conference and Show. Full audio of the
presentation will be available in the NAA Knowledge Center