Should real estate agents use ‘transparent bidding’?

How the process works and the arguments for and against its use
  • Brokerages and tech firms are experimenting with "transparent bidding," which shows buyers all the offers made on a listing.
  • Supporters say this fetches top dollar for sellers, but skeptics say that's often not true because it takes away one of their strategic advantages.
  • Haus, Faira and Reali are using transparent bidding, while industry juggernauts Ten-X and Opendoor also appear to be experimenting with the technique.

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Like many listings in the Seattle area, Keith Mourer’s property received multiple offers -- 10, to be exact. But this wasn’t a typical bidding war. Prospective homebuyers could see the offers they were competing against in a process known as "transparent bidding." Transparent bidding, explained Transparent bidding creates an online auction-like experience for the public or a restricted group of prospective buyers, while limiting pressure on a seller. Sellers can set an offer deadline, but they can always turn down the highest bid, or in some cases, choose a lower bid with better terms. Supporters say the strategy helps listings fetch top dollar, but critics caution that it removes one of a seller's strategic advantages. "You have a more actively engaged group of buyers who see that competitive situation and adjust their own offers accordingly," said Rick Sharga, chief marketing officer of Ten-X. But, on the other hand, he added, transpar...