It’s just a matter of time before a big player brings the auction format to the residential resale market. These guys are in position – they are auctioning commercial properties, and with their sister company wanting to be the #1 search portal, it would be a natural transition:

When Sotheby’s sells paintings at auction, no one thinks of them as being distressed.

So why does real estate sold at auction get a bad rap?

Ten-X, the world’s largest online commercial real estate exchange, makes a positive case for auctions as the fastest and most accurate way of finding a property’s true value. By combining 21st Century online sales tech with industry-leading data from CoStar, Ten-X cuts through the inefficiencies of the traditional sales process, finding sellers the right buyer in an average of 100 days from marketing to close.

TRD sat down with Ten-X President Steven Jacobs and Vice President Victor Gutierrez to learn how their platform is perfect for sellers feeling stress in the current market, who need to get assets off their books before they become distressed.

Ten-X’s sales platform is built to establish a property’s value from the start and then find the right buyer in a timely fashion with as little back and forth as possible. But what may seem like an obvious way of doing business is actually the reverse of how most real estate deals are done.

“The way traditional sales are done is fundamentally backwards,” says Gutierrez, who describes the inefficiencies of the normal process: “I give you a bit of information, and then you give me the price you’re willing to pay, and then I give you the rest of the information, and then you adjust your price, and now we’ve been going back and forth for months.”

“When you’re selling a property, by the time you get through the first and second round of offers, then the best and final round and pick an investor, it’s taken five or six months,” adds Jacobs. Only then does the due diligence begin, after which, “a majority of the time you get a retrade.”

In the end, months after going to market, the result is a deal for a lower price than the initial offer. “It becomes a negative experience,” says Jacobs.

With Ten-X, this order of operations is turned on its head. “The buyer does the due diligence before making an offer,” explains Jacobs. “As a buyer, by the time you come to the auction, you’ve read the rent roll, you’ve toured the asset, you’ve looked at the financials, you’ve seen the property condition report. You’ve had access to best-in-class CoStar data and documents. All the stuff that you typically have to do post-contract, you’ve already done beforehand.”

This transparency benefits both sellers and buyers. For sellers, they can complete a sale in a fraction of the time as a traditional deal while retaining a similar degree of control over the price thanks to their ability to set a reserve price under which they can choose not to accept an offer. For buyers, not only do they have all the information before making a bid, but the process is transparent and fair, what Jacobs describes as “an even playing field.”

Buyers, like sellers, access the Ten-X platform through a robust digital platform that puts all the information they need to make an informed bid at their fingertips. Ten-X has also brought Stripe technology to the platform, which has streamlined the buying process further by giving bidders the ability to securely link their bank accounts for instantaneous approvals and real-time proof of funds updates.

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