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About Selling My Real Estate at Auction

Why should I sell my Real Estate at Auction?

The correct question should be, why should I sell my property any other way! Contrary to some outdated ideas, an auction is not necessarily a “fire sale”. Many people, especially in our part of the country, have traditionally associated Real Estate Auctions with foreclosures, or distraint sales on the “courthouse steps”. Nothing could be further from a modern well marketed Real Estate Auction. Indeed, in many parts of the country, the Auction Method of selling Real Estate has been the norm for generations. And for good reason:
• You set the date that the property will sell
• We save you months and years of expensive carrying costs – Today’s money is worth more than “next year’s” money
• You get “seller friendly” terms, – and a contract that WILL CLOSE
• You can often determine the minimum price you will accept
• Your property does not get “stale” from sitting on the market
• “Hot” Real Estate markets, and especially unique properties,create an excess of demand over supply – the formula for success at Auction!
• Why set a price and use traditional sales methods when the market can set the price based on supply and demand?
• We create a “buying frenzy”, because interested parties have one shot and one shot only. No “waiting games”.
• We usually sell “as is and where is”, and without contingencies in the contract, so sales should not “fall through” due to inspections or financing problems.
• It is the auctioneer’s job to find two or more parties who want your property, and have an idea of its value. We call this “critical mass”. Once this is achieved, the property will bring what it is worth.

So, exactly how does the Auction Method differ from traditional brokerage?

The traditional method of selling real estate has been around for a long time, and will be here for a long time to come. It certainly has some advantages, but it also has many limitations. As a seller you should investigate and consider both methods of selling before making a final decision. As we mentioned before the best candidates for Auction, are properties in a “hot” market, and properties that are unique and not easily duplicated. Properties in a sprawling subdivision with many like properties on the market are less likely to do well at Auction compared with say water front, large tracts, or historic properties with unique qualities. But even in that sprawling subdivision, the property with the Auction sign will get the most attention! In a hot market where “multiple offers” are common, who would not want to auction their property?. In a slow market where buyers can wait you out, why let them wait? Finally, any property where the seller is motivated to quickly turn his property into cash is the right property to sell at auction. Again, traditional brokers set a price and come down to find the market while auctioneers start the bidding low and allow for competitive bidding to find the market.

What marketing methods do you use to set an Auction apart from other Real Estate sales?

A traditional broker pretty much counts on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to market the property to other Real Estate professionals. Sure, there may be some newspaper ads, and some slick publications found at the restaurants, but those ads are more to advertise the company than the specific property. While the MLS does work well to keep the real estate community informed, buyers now do most of their initial research on the Internet and often tell their agent what they have found. We use lots of signs, along with print ads, Internet ads, e-blasts, TV, Radio,and direct mail lists to keep our list of investors informed about upcoming auctions. Social Media has become the new marketing frontier, and we are in the mix daily with that media. More importantly, we create a “circus atmosphere” surrounding our previews and Auction Events. As the Auction date approaches, the frenzy heightens. A good auctioneer is equal parts businessman and showman. Come to the next event and see why “Experience Sells”.

OK, I'm sold on the Auction Method, but Why You?

I do not expect you to contract for my services without investigating and “shopping around”. You will find more options available every day, as innovative Real Estate Marketing expands. Here are a few reasons why you are likely to pick us, after doing your own research, however.
• We aggressively market your property from day one until sale day, which is usually no more than 45 days in total. You get your money quickly!
• We KNOW our market, and sell only in the markets we KNOW. North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia!
• You are an active partner in the marketing of your property, if you want to be
• We handle the deal for you through closing, because we are both Auctioneer and Real Estate Broker. One stop service.
• We are a small company, and as such, you get personalized service. You may well be the only client we have while we intensely market your property. You are a part of our family for the two months or so that it takes to complete your transaction.
• We have over 39 years of experience in the Real Estate Auction Business, and “Experience Sells”
• Finally, once you consider the results, the cost of our services will delight you.

Single family house with two levels and a short driveway.

Types Of Auctions

Do you only sell by 'Live Auction' where you take bids from the floor?

While we certainly prefer the atmosphere of a “Live Auction”, we also offer on-line only and on-line live/simulcast options to our sellers. Using Internet options gives buyers the opportunity to bid when they cannot be at the Auction, and expands our audience. Read the terms and conditions for each auction to see what options are available, and ask the Auctioneer how your bid can be registered! Some useful terms to know are:
• Proxy Bidding: This is an option which allows a bidder who cannot attend the sale to make a deposit and supply the auctioneer with a minimum and maximum authorized bid prior to the sale. This bidder is then represented at the sale by a member of our staff who bids in proxy for the bidder up to their authorized maximum. On-Line Only Auctions use Proxy Bidding for all participants – all monitored by the on-line bidding platform.
• Phone Bids: This is pretty self explanatory, and requires an up-front deposit. Logistics are important to make sure that the phone bidder can be represented by a staff member, so prior arrangements must be made.
• Simulcast on-line bidding is done via computer during a live Auction. Pre-registration and up-front deposits are required.
• “Last Chance Bidding” (Soft Close): This is a method which is often utilized in an on-line only timed auction when several remote bidders are involved. It allows a specified amount of time (usually 1-5 minutes) between last chance bids after a specified cut off time. This can extend an auction for numerous bids past the “timed” ending.
• We are always thinking of ways to make the Auction process work better for both the buyer and the seller.

Do you only auction Real Estate?

No. While our major focus is on Real Estate, we are also experts in Business and Farm Liquidations, and we accept Auctions of Estates, both real and personal property. We have sold just about everything under the sun at one time or another, from all types of Real Estate to Diesel Locomotives to Dwight Eisenhower’s Desk!

Do you have an Auction House?

We do take consignments of Heavy Equipment, Farm Equipment, Classic Automobiles and Collectibles, but we do not have a facility where we conduct regularly scheduled auctions. We feel that we can do a better job by coming to you, and doing your auction on-site, or by consolidating auctions of Classic Automobiles, Heavy Equipment and the like, at a location that will draw the largest crowd possible for that particular auction.

General Questions

How do I get on your mailing list?

Simple! Just go to our “Contact Us Page, and ask to be added to an e-mail list, where you will always be updated on the upcoming events. Feel free to call us at any time at 843-729-4996 for answers to ANY Auction question.

Is financing available after the sale?

It is very important that you arrange for your own financing before buying at Auction. Most Auctions are “As is and Where is”, and are not contingent on financing, so do your work BEFORE you buy! Your deposit will be forfeited in case of default.

What does 'As is and Where is' mean?

Just what it implies. There are no guarantees or warranties express or implied at most Auction Sales. Sales are final, and the buyer is responsible for inspecting the property before the sale. Read the “Terms and Conditions” of any Auction sale before participating, Download our extensive Property Information Package – and ASK QUESTIONS!

Will I get a Warranty Deed, and Title Insurance at Real Estate Auctions?

Most Real Estate Auctions will close with the delivery of a Warranty Deed to the purchaser, and we oftenwill provide a Title Report at or before the sale. The company who issues the Title Report will usually write Title Insurance for a fee. The Title Insurance Premium is the responsibility of the purchaser. Since our company is a Seller’s Agent when we sell at Auction, we do not represent the buyer in the transaction. The buyer should seek his own legal or professional advice.

What type of payment is required?

You should read the “Terms and Conditions” of the Auction to be sure, though normally certified funds are required in Real Estate transactions, Equipment and Automobile Auctions, Cash is necessary at our Storage Auctions while personal checks are often acceptable at Business Liquidation sales.

How to be a successful bidder

What should I do before I attend an Auction?

Homework! Unlike buying Real Estate through a traditional brokerage, all of your inspections, and financing arrangements should be done BEFORE the sale, not after the contract is signed. Because the terms of the sale are known up-front to all bidders, there is no guesswork in making an “offer”, not knowing what contingencies and concessions are on the table. Everyone is on the same playing field, so the winning bid, not some abstract “feeling” on the buyer’s part (or the listing agent’s part) is the determining factor. Auctions are above all democratic! Determine what the property is worth to you, and bid accordingly. You only have to win by one bid increment!

What are 'Terms and Conditions'?

Every Auction should have printed “Terms and Conditions”, which will rule the sale. Read and be familiar with them, since no two Auctions are necessarily the same. They will include the form and timing of payment, including any deposits due, as well as the closing time-frames for Real Estate (usually 30 days). They will state any representations or guarantees, and terms for removal or possession of the property being sold. Read them thoroughly, and ask questions so that you may bid with confidence.

What is the Property Information Package, and how do I obtain one?

The Property Information Package (PIP) or Auction Information package is available on our web page for each Auction, and can be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat format. It will typically include the “Terms and Conditions”, Sample Purchase Contracts, Plats, “Tax Department” public records information, Broker Participation Terms and Registration Forms, Absentee Bid Forms and other useful “due diligence” information. If you do not have computer access, we can mail or fax a “PIP” to you, or you can pick the package up at an open house or property inspection opportunity. This is important information that will prepare you for the Auction.

Are there 'Bidding Strategies' which will make me a more successful bidder?

You Bet! Putting some thought into what you want, and how you can be the winning bidder is certainly time well spent. Every Auction is different, and much depends on how the property is being offered. If, for instance, the property is being offered by “multiple methods”, as is common in sub-divided property, a little thought and preparation can really enhance your outcome. The Auctioneer’s job is to maximize the price for the seller, but sharing general information and tips about bidding strategy is just good business for any Auctioneer. Making you more comfortable with the Auction process brings you back for more. My trade depends on happy buyers as well as satisfied sellers. That being said, I do often offer my services as a buyer’s agent at Auctions other than my own. We NEVER practice dual agency. Call any time for more discussion about specific situations.

What should I do on Sale Day?

Get there early! 30 minutes before the sale is a good rule of thumb, so you can take one last look, and ask any lingering questions. Remember, if it is a Real Estate Auction, it can be over in a few minutes, so be on time – we will be. Make sure you have any required deposit or letter of credit as required in the “Terms and Conditions” of sale. Be sure you have proper ID so you can register to bid. Be prepared to have fun!

Auction Terms

What is the difference in an 'Absolute Auction' and a 'Reserve Auction'?

An Absolute Auction is one where everything will be sold to the highest bidder regardless of price. This means if someone bids, the Auctioneer MUST sell the property. A reserve auction is one in which the seller reserves the right to confirm the sale. A reserve price is usually specified by the seller before the sale, but can be lowered if the seller determines that the bidding on sale day represents the market price. (It usually does). We will often announce the reserve price as a starting bid (Disclosed Reserve) and specify that the property WILL sell to the highest bidder above the reserve. This method makes it almost as attractive to investors as an Absolute Auction. An “Undisclosed Reserve” Auction leaves the reserve price a “mystery”, but is an effective method under certain circumstances. Unless an Auction is specifically advertised as “Absolute”, expect it to be an auction with reserve.

What is a 'Buyer's Premium'?

This is a charge to the buyer at the sale that is added to his purchase price. It will range from 1% to as much as 10%. For example, a 10% buyer’s premium would add $10,000 to the cost of a property which had a high bid of $100,000. (A total closing price of $110,000). This “premium” or “add on” is paid by the buyer, and can be used by the seller to defray all or a portion of the Auctioneer/Broker’s commission. The use of buyer’s premiums is a highly debated subject among auctioneers, but sometimes is necessary to compete in a given market. As a bidder, you need to consider the buyer’s premium, and include it into the price you are willing to pay for the property at auction. Check the “Terms and Conditions” of any Auction for a buyer’s premium as you prepare for the sale.

"I was skeptical at first about selling at Auction, but a friend whom Mike had helped in North Carolina told me about his method, and his work ethic. I could not be more pleased with the result. His team met and exceeded my goals."

-Wendell M. Kiawah Island SC

"Thanks Mike , I will sign and return tomorrow evening. You are a credit to our industry. It is a true pleasure doing business with you!
Thxs Scot"
-Scot Jeffers, Columbia SC

"Upon completing the closing of our new home,

I would like to thank you and your staff for your efforts to see that we were able to have access to the house and perform all and our lender to accommodate our pre-closing needs. Thanks."
-John & Marie G., N. Charleston SC

Your auction marketing was effective in producing interested bidders for the property, and your efforts produced a final sales price of 92% of the previous listing price....I was so happy with the result, that I referred my neighbor to you to sell his own ocean-front home! 

Laura H., Figure Eight Island, NC

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