Comparing Auctions to Ordinary Selling

In an unpredictable economy, selling real estate can be a frustrating and sometimes intimidating process.

Auction is one of several choices available to sellers and it offers many unique benefits to property owners who wish to maintain control of the selling process. When buyers search for property or homes for sale in Kansas City MO and surrounding areas, they recognize a Cates Auction property as a unique opportunity.

Whether you are just beginning to consider selling or you’ve already tried multiple methods, you are wise to explore the auction option. This website has a number of resources to assist you in this process. The “Auction vs. Ordinary” section will give you a side-by-side comparison of auction and a traditional sales approach. In the “Questions & Answers” section we’ve collected some of the most common questions sellers have asked us over the years and provided the answers for you.

The best way to see if auction is right for you and your property is to talk with us. We’ll consult with you regarding the real estate auction process and provide a recommendation for your property. Complete a Free Property Auction Analysis today so we can explore if auction is right for you!

Special Message for Realtors: If you are a realtor assisting a current or prospective seller, we have several partnership programs available to allow you to offer a professional Cates auction to your clients. We are happy to help you determine if auction is an appropriate strategy for your seller.

 Auction vs. Ordinary

Focuses attention on your property alone.One of many properties being offered for sale.
Seller sets the day of the Auction.Property may remain on market for months or years.
You know when the property will be Sold!Length of time to sell is unknown.
Aggressive Targeted Marketing utilizing Signs, Brochures, Newspapers, Email, Internet, Direct mail, Telephone, MLS & more.Heavy reliance on Multiple Listing Service, minimal advertising.
Seller sets the terms of the Auction.Seller must negotiate all aspects of the sale.
Auction creates a sense of urgency.Price reduction commonly used to create buyer interest and activity.
No limit on upside potential.Upside potential limited by asking price.
Realizes the property’s true market value.Seller risks overpricing and thus, property sitting on the market; or underpricing and selling too cheap.
Eliminates guesswork in determining the asking price of the property. 
Eliminates prolonged negotiations.Negotiations can draw out over a long period.
Buyers compete to own and all offers are presented at the auction.Multiple offers at one time are rare.
Property sold in 30 days thus eliminating expensive carrying costs.Mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, etc. continue until the property is sold.
Property sells contingency free.Normally contingent upon buyer’s financing, inspections, appraisal, etc.
Non-refundable earnest money.Refundable earnest money, buyer can back out easily.


Questions & Answers

Q: Why should I sell my property using the Auction Method?
A: To accelerate the sale of your property by generating additional consumer interest and activity. Advertising a property for auction creates a sense of urgency, bringing all interested parties together in a specified timeframe.

An auction provides multiple bidders competing to buy, generally bringing a higher price than negotiating with a single buyer. Your property is sold in “as is” condition, with a non-contingent contract, non-refundable deposit, and 30-day settlement is required of the buyer. This means a quick and easy transaction for you without the hassle of negotiations, and the uncertainty of an unknown sale date.

Q: What types of property do you sell?
A: We auction all types of real estate. Residential, Commercial, Land are the primary categories. From investment properties to luxury estates, from $50,000 to multiple millions, from fixer-uppers to new construction, from a single acre to thousands of acres, we have successfully sold it all at auction.

Q: How will my property be marketed?
A: A key advantage of auctioning real estate is the benefit of a customized advertising and marketing program. While every campaign is unique to the property, auction marketing typically consists of professional brochures, online advertising, print ads in key publications, targeted direct mail, e-mail marketing, realtor promotions, preview events, property signs, telemarketing, and a full-featured webpage with photo galleries and downloadable documents. Of course, your property will also be featured on Multiple Listing Service (MLS),, and a variety of specially chosen listing sites. We have marketing professionals producing all advertisements and marketing material, with an eye toward highlighting your property’s strongest features. This means that your property is exposed to the widest possible buyer audience, thereby increasing your possibilities of a successful sale at the highest possible price. When multiple properties have for sale signs posted, the property with the CATES AUCTION sign will always garner most of the attention. Our custom marketing ensures that your property stands out when buyers and Realtors are evaluating commercial properties, land, or homes for sale in Kansas City MO and surrounding areas.

Q: I am not in financial trouble, and I am concerned about what people may think if I should auction my property. Can you give me any insight on this?
A: You are not alone in your concerns. Many people initially think of the old, limited perception of auctions as what happens on the courthouse steps. There are great differences in the marketing and the public image of a voluntary, ‘by choice’ auction, such as ours, versus a distress auction. Our sellers have desirable properties and have chosen auction as a means to expedite and control the terms of the sale. Our auctions are positive, enthusiastic events designed to generate competitive bidding to secure the highest possible market price. For more information on the changing view of Real Estate at Auction, see “Media on Auctions”.

Q: I am concerned about the net amount I will realize from the auction and my ability to cover my existing mortgage. What advice do you have to offer on this?
A: We understand your concerns and many of our sellers need to cover an existing mortgage or lien on their properties. The broad exposure of an auction, coupled with the competitive bidding requirement, generates the most accurate valuation of the property. Said simply, it is only worth what the person who wants it the most is willing to pay. That amount is determined on auction day.

The fact that you are selling at auction does not change the market value of your property. If the market value is at a level below your existing mortgage, then that is the price that you have to work with regardless of what selling method you choose.

Q: Who pays the Auctioneer’s commission?
A: The Auctioneer is paid via the buyer’s premium, which is added to the buyer’s final bid. There is no auction commission charged to the seller. Sellers are only required to invest in the advertising and expenses of their auction event. This way you can be sure you receive the maximum advertising exposure possible for your property at the lowest possible cost.

Q: Will we still have to consider contingent contracts?
A: Everything that we sell at auction is sold “as is” and “non-contingent,” with a 30-day projected settlement date. According to the auction terms, a prospective buyer cannot make his or her bid contingent on any outside factors such as financing or inspections.

Q: Where will the auction of my property be held?
A: While we hold most auctions on-site, there are several other options available including, an off-site “gallery style” event, a sealed bid format, and an online-only auction. We will recommend the strategy we believe will be most beneficial for you.

Q: Does “as is” mean that I do not need to disclose any known defects?
A: Though we are selling “as is,” we must abide by applicable state and federal laws. The Broker-Auctioneer will offer full disclosure to all interested parties in accordance with the law. “As is” simply means that you are not offering to make any additional improvements to the property and the buyer is bidding on and buying it in the condition it is in at the time of the auction.

Q: How often is Cates successful in selling property at auction?
A: Rarely does a Cates auction purchase contract fail to proceed to closing. Buyers who are unlikely to close are dissuaded from bidding because of the stringent terms of auction. With no contingencies and a sizable non-refundable deposit on the line, auction buyers are qualified and highly incentivized to complete the transaction. This contrasts with traditional real estate listing contracts, in which buyers typically maintain many options for easily exiting the purchase contract.

Q: Can I attend an auction before agreeing to sell my home through the Auction Method?
A: Certainly. In fact, we encourage your attendance so you can experience a live example of the auction process firsthand. Check out our Upcoming Auctions or give us a call at 816-781-1134. If you come to one of our auctions, be sure to introduce yourself!

Take the Next Step!

Now, see if auction is the right strategy for your property by completing our Free Property Auction Analysis form. We’ll walk through the process with you, answer your questions, and help you determine the best approach to getting your property sold.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!