Since 2008 when it was launched as an online auction platform, Auction.com has sold $26 billion worth of property. Auction.com works to help match property owners with prospective buyers in an online marketplace. Auction.com provides buyers with information so they can make a fair assessment while sellers can rest assured knowing they have received a true market value. Typically, it takes 60 days from the time an auction on a property is held until close.
Auction.com is a company that is actively engaged with the online buying and selling of residential and commercial properties vis the Internet. On their website, they provide both residential homes and commercial properties. The online platform is designed to connect buyers and sellers, enabling them to sell many different properties, such as office, retail, multi-family dwellings, homes, and other sites. The company was originally known as Real Estate Disposition Corporation. The company is based in Irvine, California and has additional locations in California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Spain.
Auction.com has over 900 employees. The company's senior management team has an all-encompassing background, boasting experience in real estate, technology, technology, and other skill sets related to commercial and residential realty. Auction.com brings properties to the market, making buyers aware of the properties through some of the best marketing principles available in the online realty sector. Auction.com is one of the leading online real estate marketplaces. It has sold more than $26 billion in various assets. It attracts buyers from more than 100 countries. Its customers include major banks and investors, individual customers, and real estate brokers and agents.
Auction.com was one of the companies in the online real estate industry that we reviewed that also has commercial properties available. Properties we looked at included office spaces, multi-family dwellings, and resort properties that were either on sale or had been foreclosed upon by a bank.
- Customer support
- Listing information
- Lender partnerships
We liked the multiple levels of customer support for Auction.com. One of the most important things that was included was a good live chat paradigm. We were able to get information on how to use the website and find information about auctions. Sometimes, Auction.com will list a property that will be auctioned off "in-the-real-world." We asked about auction location information for a property and were provided with the date, location, and time of a physical auction.
We also liked the Knowledge Base of the website. One of the important things about the knowledge base was that it had screenshots for how to place a bid in an online auction. For "live" auctions, there is information on getting information about the property, the location of the live auction, and other information provided in the live auction tutorial. There are also some good hints and tips for purchasing a property in an online auction. Auction.com provides tips for participating in an auction safely and how to attend a property showing before the property is to sell.
Another thing that we liked about Auction.com was the information that was included in the listings. We liked the following information:
- A complete description of the property.
- Detailed photos of the property (not as extensive as the Realty Store).
- Information about the debt owed on the foreclosure, as well as other information about the foreclosure process and the current manager of the property.
- Information on the auction and how to participate in the auction if it is live.
We also liked the fact that Auction.com reached out to lenders, helping buyers get pre-qualified for financing before an auction. Auction.com has partnerships with the following lenders:
- Bank of America
- Auction.com Finance
On each individual property, there will be a listing about the financing options available through the seller. We also saw that each property listing includes a description about whether or not a property could be financed and through which lender. There are financing options available for owner-occupied homes, second homes and investment properties, and there are multiple fixed rate and adjustable rate terms depending upon the property's financing opportunities.
- Bidding process
- Price accuracy
There were some problems with the bidding process, especially with the online auctions. Some property owners reported that they had issues with closing the final sale. One seller reported that it took them a year to close a sale on an auctioned property. Auction.com also promised that they would provide the seller with a small commission if they took care of the paperwork for the sale, but Auction.com failed to follow through.
Another concern we had with Auction.com was the accuracy of pricing information. In the online real estate industry, many companies get their information from "third-party" sources. With the Terms of Service and other resources available online, we had a hard time gauging what information was accurate and if it came from a third-party source or not. One complaint, on www.complaintboard.com
, listed that their property had been listed as an erroneous foreclosure, which can be damaging to the reputation of the original property owner.
In regards to the website, there are a few opportunities for improvement:
- You cannot access foreclosure property information without creating an account with Auction.com (which is free).
- The search tool does not contain as many search filters as other sites, such as Realty Store and Zillow. With Auction.com, you can sort search results with the following filters: best match, auction end time, price, bid price, and square footage. We'd like to see home type, number of bedrooms/baths, and other criteria into the filtering of search results.
The Bottom Line
We have hesitations against recommending Auction.com as an online real estate website. Here are our concerns:
- Some erroneous listing of properties as being "foreclosed," when in fact the homeowner returned a property to a financing agency voluntarily.
- The lack of search filtering to reflect the type of property (specifically, in regards to residential property listings).
- Properties that had already been auctioned still being listed on the website. We feel that as soon as an auction has happened, it should be pulled from Auction.com's listings.
We did like the following features of Auction.com:
- Live Chat help, which is a rarity in the industry.
- Detailed photos of listings, whether or not the property was residential or commercial.
- Probably the best knowledge base resource in the industry. There are screenshots and step by step directions for how to place a bid for a property.
Individuals looking for a property may not directly benefit from using Auction.com, but there are definitely benefits to using the website for purchasing properties at Auction.com if you are a real estate investor or are looking for a "flipping" opportunity to sell a foreclosed property.
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