We thought auction.com might be on to something, after spending $1.7 million just for their name.
They had some flashy advertising, and made it sound like auctioning houses on-line would become the norm. They are owned by REDC, the hotel-ballroom auction outfit, so who better to blaze the trail?
Apparently they are off to a slow start.
The last week of January was designated as the big kickoff for their San Diego on-line auctions, once they had completed two weekends of open houses. But since then, they’ve been peppering the bulk emails, announcing the “second chance”, which must mean the first chance wasn’t quite what they had hoped.
How did it go?
Here are their listing stats for San Diego County since September 1st:
I love the idea of house auctions, and think the on-line format has great potential. But the listings I saw were over-priced by at least 10%, so it’s no surprise that they didn’t sell any – their one pending is from last year.
Judging by the number of cancellations and expireds, the customers must not have thought much of the results – but they need to focus on their price as the culprit.
I was involved in one of their online auctions last year. After `winning` one auction I was informed that my winning bid (above the reserve) only gave me the `right` to make an offer to the seller. Why would I need to go through this mess and pay Auction.com an additional $5,000 to make an offer I could have made with my agent? Maybe in-person auctions are different, but it`s pretty clear to me why they aren`t moving properties.
To boot, 95pct of the auctions have reserves, usually way too high, guaranteeing that you will end up sending in a deposit. No guarantee of actually closing or getting into contract, mind you, just the opportunity to send 3500 bucks in so they can skim the interest for 4 to 6 weeks. What a deal.
Darn. bubbleauction.com is taken.