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by CareyBot

Editor's note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series. See Part 2: "5 tips when buying at real estate auction."If the for-sale sign in your yard has become covered with cobwebs over the months, perhaps it's time for another approach: auctioning your house. Auctions are becoming an increasingly popular option, auctioneers report -- not only because of what the housing slump has done to traditional marketing efforts, but also because auctions have become a more familiar concept to the public at large. "I think eBay has raised the image of the auction in the mind of the consumer," said Chicago auctioneer Rick Levin. "Over the last decade, almost everybody, anecdotally, knows somebody who has sold something on eBay. So it's not that great a leap any more to sugg...