The Problem for Sellers in a “Seller’s Market” – And What to Do About it!

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve recently been involved in a conversation about the “hot” real estate seller’s market and how quickly homes are selling.  Amazing feats of Realtor heroism and houses getting snapped up in the blink of the proverbial eye. Your aunt’s neighbor only had a sign in the yard a week. Your co-worker’s agent brought an offer the first day. Your friends got an offer before they had a chance to interview Realtors. So, what’s the problem?

And even if you are living under the aforementioned rock, Realtors would jump at the chance to list your rock for sale and would likely promise to get it sold fast. In fact, they say, they have buyers looking for rocks just like yours. So, what’s the problem?

Is all that true? Are houses really selling that fast? Are rock buyers really lined up waiting for the next rock to come on the market? Well, sort of, yes. So, what’s the problem?

This lovely home in Overland Park, KS, sold to the highest bidder at auction!

Sure, properties like this Overland Park, KS, home can sell quickly, but these sellers chose auction to get all buyers to engage and compete to own.

The reality is that in most major markets there is some degree of a shortage of certain types of homes, resulting in a true seller’s market. So, when such a home becomes available, there likely are eager buyers who’ve been waiting. A fast sale results and the story takes on a life of its own.

So, here’s the problem: Expecting, or worse yet assuming a fast sale can be a fatal mistake when getting top dollar is the goal, even in a seller’s market. Why? Because anytime we expect or assume something will be easy we tend to put in less effort. Sure, we could get lucky, but that’s an awfully big risk to take on the most valuable asset most of us will ever own.

If your house is going to sell fast anyway, why bring in the best professional help? Why invest in marketing? Why not just take that first offer and run to the bank?

Because two things are required for the best possible sales price:

  1. Marketing. You want ALL potential buyers at the table, not just those that happened to be looking your way on a particular day.
  2. Competition. You want to sell to the party who will pay more than anyone else for your home, not just the one who moved the fastest.

Solution: A professional real estate auction! “Hold on,” you say. “Why would I resort to an auction in a strong real estate market?” Well that’s easy. First, re-read the above paragraph. Second, let this sink in: the hotter the demand, the more critical the elements of marketing and competition. How can you possibly know you’re getting the best price without exposing your property to ALL buyers and without forcing those buyers to compete with each other? A seller’s market is precisely the time you should utilize auction.

Auction bidders competed and paid higher than the previous offers.

This property sold for nearly $50,000 MORE at auction than the highest previous offer!

Inexperienced sellers often assume an auction is a last resort for an owner who can’t seem to get a sale. Sure, auction can solve that unfortunate problem. But at the very core of the auction strategy is that the bigger the buyer pool and the more desirable the property, the more important it is to engage all qualified buyers and ensure you sell to the one who will pay the most. It’s the same rationale owners of exotic cars and fine art use. That’s exactly what enlightened Realtors and savvy home owners want!

Said differently, the hotter the market, the better the auction!

Professional realty firms like Cates Real Estate Auction Company can do a free auction property analysis and provide consultation for sellers and their Realtors who wish to explore the benefits of the approach. In this seller’s market, strategy is more important than ever. Then again, if top dollar isn’t your goal, go ahead and put your sign out and just sell to that first offer.

Greg Duncan, Vice President, Cates Auction & Realty Co., Inc.




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We are Kansas City's oldest and most experienced real estate auction company specializing in accelerated real estate sales in Missouri and Kansas, including Overland Park, Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, Kansas City, Lee's Summit, Olathe, Blue Springs, Independence, Liberty, Kearney, Parkville, Smithville, Gladstone, Clay County, Platte County, Jackson County, Johnson County, Wyandotte County, Leavenworth County, Cass County, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Ozark, Sunrise Beach, Osage Beach, Four Seasons, Shawnee Bend, Miller County, Camden County, and around the Midwest. Kansas City auctioneers with regional expertise!