In a competitive buying environment, it been proven many times that selling by auction is the best way to achieve true market value for something.
Think about the high-end auction houses like Sotherby's who have been thriving since 1744. They have the auction marketing strategy and process down to a science and are good at it. Whenever an owner of an expensive piece of art wants to sell it, they usually turn to Sotherby's to help them get true market value. It sure beats putting an ad in the paper.
Within the last 10 years, more and more auctions have moved to the Internet. You've probably heard about unique items on Ebay that attracted thousands of bidders and resulted in a very successful sale.
My point is this, the auction method of selling has proven as a very successful way to bring true market value for any item when the marketing is done right. It brings buyers together within a time boundary which creates competition.
Today's real estate market needs this badly and we are seeing more auctions as a result. However, even though the Internet has opened this process to real estate agents, most are slow to adapt. It could be lack of understanding, resistance to change, or maybe a combination of both. It reminds me of time not too long ago when many real estate agents said "Why do I need a website?"
As we all know, change is constant and technology has sped up change. Those who understand and embrace change have a huge advantage on those that don't.
I'll be the first to admit, an online auction is not a good fit for every property. It's not the end-all solution. However, it's a powerful option in the right situations and if you're not familiar with how you can be using them, it's time to start learning.