Tips For New Consignors # 1 The Auctioneer

What should you look for when finding an Auctioneer?

 

Actually, when anyone is hiring an auctioneer, the criterion is fairly uniform. Here are our ten most important things to consider when hiring an auctioneer:

  1. Empathy
  2. Market knowledge
  3. Personal compatibility
  4. Education/Specialties
  5. Reputation
  6. Experience
  7. References
  8. Properly licensed
  9. Properly bonded & insured
  10. Membership

Let’s look at these in more detail:

Empathy
Empathy may well be the #1 auctioneer trait to evaluate. Does the auctioneer you are talking with seem interested in your situation and circumstances? Until an auctioneer knows about your story — why are you looking to have an auction and/or why are you hiring an auctioneer — no auctioneer can prescribe what services you require. Secondly, does that auctioneer genuinely appear concerned for your welfare — more-so than his own? Does the auctioneer suggest the best day for your auction per his schedule, or yours? Does the auctioneer suggest ways to save you expense, or just ways to enhance his profit? In other words, does the auctioneer seem “loyal” to you, or himself?

Market knowledge
Market knowledge is essential. Is the auctioneer knowledgeable about the property you wish to sell? Does he know how and where to advertise your auction? Does the auctioneer know how prospective buyers are looking for property such as yours? The more your auctioneer knows about your property and knows how to attract ready, willing and able bidders to your auction, the more your property will demand, and the smoother the entire auction will be.

Personal compatibility
Feeling comfortable with your auctioneer is paramount. If you are not comfortable with an auctioneer you interview, your instincts are probably right, and you should hire someone else. Your choice of auctioneer must be someone you can talk with — as well as listens to you. You will be sharing details about your own financial and/or personal life; you have to trust your auctioneer to give you sound advice based upon your situation. Said another way … do you seem to “click” and share some common perspective? You’ll be spending time with your auctioneer, so getting along is important.

Education/Specialties
Simply put, does your choice of auctioneer have a sufficient education about the property you wish to sell at auction? Even better, is your auctioneer a specialist in the type of property you wish to sell? Potential buyers will have questions — and if those questions are answered accurately and in an intelligent manner, the more confidence they will have in the auction, and the more likely they will be to participate. Too, auctioneers must be educated enough to properly describe, promote and sell your property. Lastly, does your choice of auctioneer have an education commensurate with the likely bidder pool? Bidders’ education and specialties will be better served with an auctioneer with similar achievement.

Reputation
Bidders participate in auctions to the degree they can trust the auctioneer. From the simplest notion of trust — that when the auctioneer says, “I have $500 here” he really does — to fair, equitable, honest terms and conditions with a lack of small print and adhesionary tactics … bidders respond with more, higher bids when they have faith and confidence in the auctioneer. And sellers need to be able to trust their auctioneer as well, from assurances the auction will be conducted as promised — to payment will be made per the agreed method and timeline. To the extent your auctioneer has a good reputation; the better your odds are of a successful auction.

Experience
It is reasonable to assume that an auctioneer with ten years experience selling cars probably can service your car auction needs better than an auctioneer with only two years experience. The more auctions an auctioneer completes — the more expertise is acquired and the more likely an “unusual” situation is less unusual to a more experienced auctioneer. The fewer times your auctioneer thinks, “I’ve never had that happen before …” the more likely your auction will go according to plan.

References
Don’t hire any auctioneer without at least being provided references … and better yet, contact at least three of those references to inquire about their experiences. There may be no better measure than a prior client’s opinion of an auctioneer — and while the willingness to provide some references is certainly encouraging, their opinions and evaluation can help you decide if this auctioneer is likely to meet your needs. Imagine the difference between, “I was completely satisfied, and I’d hire her again without reservation,” to “I really wasn’t happy with him. There were several things he had promised to do that he didn’t.”

Properly licensed
It is absolutely imperative that the auctioneer you hire is properly licensed in the jurisdiction of your auction. While about one-half of the states in the United States license auctioneers more or less statewide, the other half have little or no licensing requirements. Nevertheless, an auctioneer who acts without the required licenses is, by default, being dishonest with you and the public at large. Further, an auctioneer lacking a license in a jurisdiction where one is required suggests even more concerning issues — “Why isn’t he licensed?” or “Was he licensed, but isn’t anymore?” Insist your auctioneer holds all required licenses.

Properly bonded & insured
Even the best of auctioneers can have things happen which are out of their control — the money is stolen, someone trips over an extension cord, or the caterer’s food causes an illness. Bonding provides sellers a form of guarantee in cases where the proceeds of your auction are not provided to you per your agreement; a bond pays you those monies. Similarly, insurance helps to pay for expenses related to lawsuits and/or other claims against you and/or your auctioneer. It is reasonable to expect your auctioneer to provide both some type of bonding and insurance.

Membership
Sellers should inquire if their auctioneer is a member of their state auctioneer association, and the National Auctioneers Association. With all that’s going on in the auction industry, there is little other way for any auctioneer to stay, “up-to-date,” than being a member. Too, meeting with, networking with, and learning from other members allows auctioneers to offer the most current and profitable services to their clients. By hiring a member auctioneer, sellers can leverage powerful alliances which can only make their auction a bigger success.

More and more sellers are choosing the auction method of marketing to sell their real and personal property. As such, more and more sellers are hiring auctioneers. By using this guide, sellers can help themselves maximize their auction experience by choosing a credible and capable auctioneer.

 



What Our Clients Say

Bill Manera, Bankruptcy Trustee

Over the past several months I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Tom Jordan of Carolina Auction &...
2017-04-19T10:44:26-04:00
Over the past several months I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Tom Jordan of Carolina Auction & Realty, Inc. out of Raleigh. Mr. Jordan was our primary point person in North Carolina on a Chapter 7 Arizona bankruptcy case. The case, known as “Kenactiv Innovations, Inc.” (Case No. of 2:13-bk-19096-GBN), consisted of 21+ acres of real estate, warehouses, and manufacturing equipment located in Snow Hill, North Carolina. You can imagine the difficulties that we would have encountered trying to handle this case from Arizona. So having a local, trusted professional with bankruptcy experience was critical to the successful outcome of the case.   Tom categorized the assets, gave a professional opinion as to their fair market value, and cataloged the personal property for auction along with the Real Estate. He also brought two well-qualified bidders to the table, which helped bring in $360,000.00 more for the land and buildings than the court was initially expecting.   This was a contentious case from start to finish. Tom’s genial demeanor and professional approach helped smooth a lot of ruffled feathers to resolve the case quickly and efficiently. He was able to work with the different parties and kept everyone informed and on the same page throughout the proceedings. He did a great job for us and I was very pleased with the outcome.   I would highly recommend Tom Jordan of Carolina Auction & Realty anytime you need an experienced and professional Auctioneer, Real Estate Broker or Appraiser. He can be reached at 919-832-8005. Feel free to call or email me if you’d like to further discuss my experience with Tom.   Sincerely,     Bill Manera, Bankruptcy Trustee 5110 N. 44th Street Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-795-2796 smanera@swmanera.com

David Gore

Everything was done professionally, exceptionally, and with care...
2013-11-14T13:30:23-05:00
Everything was done professionally, exceptionally, and with care...

Richard Canfield

The results exceeded my expectations...
2013-11-14T13:00:13-05:00
The results exceeded my expectations...

Charles Molesworth – Big Sky Bread Company

We are truly grateful to you for taking charge and providing us with excellent service...
2013-11-14T12:30:50-05:00
We are truly grateful to you for taking charge and providing us with excellent service...

Frank Chamberland – VI Manufacturing Inc.

If we ever need to have an auction again, we’ll call you without hesitation...
2013-11-14T12:00:24-05:00
If we ever need to have an auction again, we’ll call you without hesitation...

Tovi Martin

My father was delighted with the entire operation and the personal attention given to him was wonderful...
2013-11-14T11:30:12-05:00
My father was delighted with the entire operation and the personal attention given to him was wonderful...

Rachel Starr – American Heart Association

We were delighted with the outcome!
2013-11-14T11:00:42-05:00
We were delighted with the outcome!

Suzanne Forbes – Saint Raphael Catholic School

We raised more than double what we raised last year!
2013-11-14T10:30:05-05:00
We raised more than double what we raised last year!

Boy Scouts of America

Tom has become part of our fundraising lore, and his wisdom echoes through our work!
2013-11-14T10:00:31-05:00
Tom has become part of our fundraising lore, and his wisdom echoes through our work!

Kathy Knudsen – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

We increased the funds raised by two fold from last year...
2013-11-14T09:30:03-05:00
We increased the funds raised by two fold from last year...