I received an interesting phone call from a realtor in California. She had read some articles I had written about using an auction as a first choice method of selling a home, rather than as a last option. Her question to me was this, “Should I become an auctioneer?”
My first tacit thought was, “Go for it!” Yes, auctioning a home is a fast way to sell it, but not all homes will qualify for an auction. But before I get into answering the question, let me discuss briefly what an auctioneer does and does not do.
Some think that an auctioneer shows up on the day of the auction, starts talking fast, sells the house, and he/she is done. Actually, the activities that take place on the auction day, represents about 5% of the total auction process.
The perception of a realtor may be closer, viz., a contract is signed, a sign is posted in the yard, information is listed in the local MLS, and the listing agent hopes and prays that it gets sold. We know that is not always true but that is how the public portrays us.
Now back to the question “should realtors become auctioneers?” My answer is, “It depends.” Most auctioneers are a second, third or even fourth generation of auctioneers. They are in the business become they love it and have been around it since the beginning of time. Most auctioneers are specialist in a particular area such as farm equipment, heavy duty equipment, antiques, cars and trucks, land and yes, real estate, both residential and commercial.
I don’t know what the licensing laws of California are, but here in North Carolina you must go to a state approved school for pre-licensing requirements which may involve ten days to two weeks of your time, then you must past a state administered test.
There are annual renewing requirements, professional associations to join such as your state association and/or the National Association of Auctioneers [NAA] in addition to continuing education requirements [CE] each year. Add all this up plus your NAR and state dues, MLS dues and CE requirements; you can spend several thousand dollars a year on licensing and professional dues requirements.
Then you must become a marketer, that is, know how to market and get bidders to your auction. Who coordinates the marketing process? Who makes up the25 to 100 page proposal to the client? Who’s responsibility is it for placing line and display ads in which newspapers? What income range are you targeting? Who makes up the flyers and ads mats? Who checks on the cost of these things? Who sets up information on dozens of web-sites? Who draws up the Property Information Package (PIP)? Who registers the bidders and records the auction? Who keeps the client informed as to what is going on? And it goes on and on.
Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, unless you have a real love for the auction industry, your best bet would be to partner with a local auctioneer in your area.
For more information about auctioneering, go to my website at http://www.cansellnow.com
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