Sunday, February 17, 2008

Realtors learning auction-speak to speed sales

This article is a good indication of how the real estate market is changing. I'm still convinced an online auction is the way to go, because they require less effort and the bidders can be located anywhere, but live auctions work as well.

DENVER – The tough housing market has some home sellers going to auctioneering school to develop a fast way to move properties.

Ask Shelly St. John of Denver if she ever expected to be practicing the rapid-fire verbal pacing of an auctioneer and she would have laughed. "Never in a million years," she said. "Never." Friday afternoon, she participated in the Bid Calling Boot Camp at the Colorado Auctioneers Association Convention at the Four Points Sheraton in Denver. She practiced her diction, delivery and crowd-interaction style. St. John is not alone.

According to the National Association of Auctioneers, real estate is the fastest-growing segment of the auction business. Residential property auctions accounted for $16 billion in sales in 2006.

"As the real estate market has changed, traditional agents are coming to the auction people to look for different ways to move properties because the traditional method is becoming very slow," said Walt Partridge, president of the Colorado Auctioneers Association.

Sellers worried about their homes sitting on the market for a year or more are asking auctioneers to move them faster, according to Partridge. He says the average time from listing to closing on a residential property auction is 60 to 90 days. The galloping cadence of the auctioneer doesn't sound like traditional real estate sales.

That's what St. John thought until she decided to give it a try. Now she's sold.

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