Who Controls the Auction? The Seller or the Auctioneer?

Ron's Blog

On several occasions in the past and also in a current one, the seller wants to control the auction. What do I mean by “control” the auction? Basically, to tell the auctioneer when, where and how the auction should be conducted. I realize that is a broad statement so let me try and clarify it.

When we are contacted by a seller to sell their real estate, we first go and look to see what is to be sold. We have a good discussion with the seller with regards to his/her expectations. If we feel we can work with the seller and that the property is marketable, we prepare a proposal for the seller outlining our marketing approach and a dollar range we feel the property will sell for.

In the proposal, we show the cost for the marketing, breaking it out into specific areas such as newspaper ads, signage, on-line services, website propagating, mailings, flyers, other advertising, setup, etc. and then a total marketing figure which the seller pays. Since the seller is paying the marketing fee, we give the seller the right to accept or reject any particular marketing approach in the proposal prior to signing any auction agreement. However, we explain to the seller that what we proposed is what we feel it will take to get the property sold.

As a disclaimer, we state at the end of the proposal that, “we reserve the right to change any marketing strategy in the proposal during our marketing period before auction day.” Just like we can change the “Terms and Conditions” on the auction day, as long as we read the changes BEFORE the auction begins.

If the seller agrees to our marketing plan, we then sign the auction agreement which puts the auctioneer in charge and states that the seller will cooperate throughout the marketing process and with any pre or post auction requirements such closing instructions.

The auction contract states that the auctioneer is an “agent” for the seller and not the buyer. However, being the seller’s agent does not authorize the seller to interfere once marketing has been put into place. There have been times when the seller attempted to be in charge of the marketing process. It just doesn’t work.

All differences in the marketing approach needs to be worked out prior to signing any auction agreement. Granted, these are rare situations but they do pop up once in a while.

Thinking about selling you home, land or farm? Give us a call at 252-257-4822.

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