Industry News

Real estate auctions fight uphill image battle

Non-distressed home-selling concept spreads through franchise

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Steve Smoot wanted to sell his house quickly, but he didn't want to hire a real estate agent, or sell it on his own. Instead, he opted for an auction, a method Smoot knew well through his cattle-business background. Auctions are still uncommon in the residential real estate field. "It's an ideal situation for somebody (who) really wants to move something quickly," said Smoot, who sold his aunt's Bakersfield, Calif., house after she died a few years ago. Just 30 days after deciding to use an auction, Smoot finalized a deal, and had a check in hand and no regrets about his choice. As the president of Pacific Auction Exchange, Jim Pennington hopes the auction concept catches on in the Western U.S. as it has in other parts of the country. His company – PAX for short – no longer conducts auctions on its own, but instead sells franchises to people interested in starting an auction company. Long viewed as the domain of only distressed properties, general real estate auctions fac...