Luxury condo auction sale: Exception or trend?

It took seven minutes for auctioneer Kevin Tink to sell the 4,500-square-foot downtown Edmonton luxury condo owned by Dave Ritchie, co-founder of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

The final sale price of $3,250,000 came after a rigorous round of on-site bidding at last week’s unreserved auction. At unreserved auction, the highest bidder gets the prize. No minimum bid is set.

What else would you expect from the global leader in the unreserved auction business?

“Dave Ritchie is a founder and a believer in the unreserved auction process,” says Tink, who is also senior vice-president, Canada of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

“There’s no better way to achieve true market value than having people decide what to pay for something on the day it is sold. That’s what auction delivers.”

Touchstone On Lake Muskoka auction also online

Touchstone On Lake Muskoka, a five-star fractional ownership resort in Ontario, is also in the process of selling vacation time slots through an online auction.

Touchstone is working to sell 75 fractional ownership positions during the auction, which is being held in three rounds between now and July 22.

Touchstone said it opted for the open, transparent online auction system run by Gordon’s Estate Services to allow potential purchasers to make bids from home without the “pressure” of an in-person auction process.

Gordon’s Estate Services is primarily a real estate brokerage that carries out auctions when required, said Manson Slik, a real estate broker with Gordon’s. It has three auctioneers on staff but opted for an online auction primarily due to the nature of its potential buyer group. (Property Biz Canada, May 23, 2013)

Ritchie’s luxury condo auction stirs up interest

The six-week publicity campaign of the Ritchie luxury condo’s unreserved auction stirred up local and national interest, bringing many auction newcomers to the Nisku, Alta., site. Online viewers also numbered in the thousands (though three separate auctions were happening simultaneously.)

Potential buyers got the rare opportunity to see how their bid stacked up against others. And the bidding was brisk. Seven minutes later, bidding topped out at the final $3,250,000.

Tink says selling by auction benefits both buyers and sellers.

Buyers enjoy a transparent bidding process. Sellers are assured their property will be sold on a specific date. They’re cash sales with no subject tos – as in subject to financing, to selling the buyer’s current property, to inspection, etc.

Is auction selling of real estate a trend in the market?

Tink says though the luxury condo sale was the exception, Ritchie Bros. has been auctioning agricultural properties in Western Canada for about 15 years.

“It’s not uncommon for us to do a complete dispersal of all agricultural property assets for
people who are retiring or changing direction. We do a fair bit of that.”

More common in Western Canada

Unreserved auctions of agricultural properties – land, homes, farming operations – are more common in the Western Canadian marketplace, says Tink. That’s likely due to the West’s deep agricultural roots and familiarity with livestock auctions.

Though selling real estate via auction appears to be a growing practice in the United States, Canadian realtors say auctions are still the exception in the Canadian market.

Pierre Leduc of the Canadian Real Estate Association says auctions of residential property are relatively unheard of.

Matt McWhirter of the Alberta Real Estate Association agrees, saying if real estate auctions do become more common, prospective buyers will have to be properly educated in the process.

“I’ve heard of it in other markets, but it’s rare here,” says Jon Hall, Realtors Association of Edmonton marketing manager. “Auctions build on excitement. It’s fast.

“You see what the other bidders are offering. By contrast, the multiple offer experience is calm.”

The winning bidder of the 20th-floor condo gets all interior furnishings, a private wine cellar, Steinway grand piano and underground three-car garage. The new owner declined to talk with media.

As for Dave Ritchie, he says he plans to sail the world on his new yacht.

Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

Read more

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