Everyone is looking for an answer to the housing downturn, especially sellers. Enter the 5-days-to-sale concept, which debuted a couple of years ago and is seeing lots of interest these days. Basically, it’s a house auction. On day one, usually a Wednesday, the seller places ads, fliers, and promotions throughout the community announcing an auction where the highest bidder takes the property following a two-day open house. The seller has to be brave enough to start with a low opening price, low enough to get people really pumped up. Each attendee at the open house signs in and enters a bid. People can come back again and again to check on their bids and see where they stand. The key to the concept is to generate a bidding frenzy. Once the open house closes on Sunday, the seller starts calling all bidders to see if they are interested in entering a high bid. The calls continue until there is one bidder left. That’s the new owner of your property.
There are strategies and advisories when it comes to selling your home this way. First, it’s important to have pre-qualified buyers. There must be a way for prospective buyers to demonstrate their approval. Second, there has to be interest generated by the open house. Some folks make a real party out of it, with food, entertainment, art, and whatever else reflects the unique character of the neighborhood and community. Finally, and most important of all, the starting price has to be low and sellers must be prepared to settle for the final offer.
Essentially, house auctions wind up netting what a home is really worth on the market, not an inflated price that comes from the mind of the realtor, owner, or stager. House auctions are a great way to avoid carrying costs, fees for agents or realtors, and advertising bills. Auctions are quick and efficient. So, if you’re ready to move your property and want an active hand in it, consider running your own auction. If you prefer a hands-off approach, consider an auction through your realtor. It’s a pretty hot concept for a rather cool market.