How a $40M duo is leading a luxury auction brokerage branch

  • Steve Games, chairman of Pacific Sotheby's International Realty, has high hopes about his new auction division.
  • PSIR, the auction division and Concierge Auctions are compensated by a negotiated fee from the buyer in combination with a seller's incentive.
  • The marketing and timing aspect of auction sales mean that luxury buyers are more inclined to move quickly.

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The grand, revered auction rooms of Christie's and Sotheby's in London, Paris and New York -- which sell millions of dollars of fine art, antiques and jewelry every year -- are testament to the fact that the wealthy like the auction process. They want to see who they are bidding against, for their purchase process to be transparent and sometimes public -- though some bidders might be phoning in -- and when they make the winning bid, they want to feel smart and triumphant. They like to win. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the wealthy are receptive to buying and selling by auction when it comes to property -- often a second, third or fourth home. A two-woman auction team Australian-born Anna Houssels and Brittany Hahn, two real estate professionals who lead the new luxury auction division at Pacific Sotheby's International Realty (PSIR) in San Diego, are making the most of this, closing five large sales in the last six months ranging from a $2.5 million home to lux...