"Do online real estate auctions really work?" is a common question from sellers who are new to using online auctions to market a property. The answer: Yes, they do work! If they didn't work, we would be seeing a decline in online real estate auctions and instead, we are seeing an increase.
Prior to the popularity of the Internet, only live auctions were available. A live real estate auction is successful in drawing attention, but they require coordination, advertising, and auctioneer fees.
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It's not uncommon for a seller to pay thousands of dollars upfront and it doesn't guarantee a property will sell. Live auctions are still successful today and there will always be a place for them.
Today, the Internet is changing the real estate auction industry. An online auction can be just as successful in drawing attention and doesn't require as much cost upfront. The success will still be related to how well it is advertised and whether it's a good deal, but an online auction is an easier alternative and available to more sellers.
Another reason that online real estate auctions are becoming popular is that buyers are more comfortable bidding online. No longer are online auctions just for "as-is", sight unseen properties.
Some sellers are helping encourage bids by giving access to the property, allowing inspection periods, and/or providing inspection reports. Another reason for their popularity is that it's easier to bid than to write up a sales contract. All negotiation is automated and done online.