Here is a common myth or misunderstanding about selling real estate through an online auction.
Myth: Buyers will place a bid at an online auction without ever visiting the property.
Truth: This is extremely unlikely. The success of an online auction depends on buyers having access to inspect the property before placing their bid online. Buyers need to touch a feel a property, imagine living in it before they are willing to place a bid. Access is usually given through scheduled open house “previews”, but can also be done by appointment.
Although it does happen, it's unrealistic for you or your seller to expect that if you use an online auction, someone from another state or country is going to start bidding without ever visiting the property.
An online real estate auction will be successful, when you understand and use online bidding as a way to create urgency and automate negotiation with the local buyers. Buyers who you've attracted through your marketing (MLS, open houses, yard signs, CraigsList, etc.).
And, yes, it does happen that non-local buyers sometimes get involved, but they either have someone locally they are working with or have another means to perform due diligence.