Australian-headquartered real estate group Harcourts has found much success in the United States in recent months with the introduction of the their new auction platform.
The group which has over 30 offices in the USA began trialling the Australian auction process throughout Southern California late 2014 and to their surprise with overwhelming response.
This was a far cry from the current US mindset that homes sold at auction are default listings and sold under a distressed sale.
Harcourts Director of Auctions Ben Brady said he found the auction method of sale becoming a real possibility in the US.
“After a few days of research, I was shocked that a seller was only offered one way to sell property, via the traditional priced method. There was also a real lack of transparency in the transaction created by multiple offer situations as well as individual buyer and seller representation.”
“We saw auction as a huge opportunity to change the real estate culture and provide Harcourts with a point of difference in the United States.”
Despite being in a different market, the auction platform has tried to stay as true as possible to the way real estate auctions are conducted in Australia and New Zealand.
“I think the US market was ready for a change and everyone has been very open to discussing the advantages of auction.
To date, Harcourts auction team have sold in excess of 500 properties using the auction process throughout, Nevada, Oregon, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, with the platform soon being introduced in Hawaii.
The average auction sales price in Southern California is a little over USD$1.3 million, with most listings coastal properties.
Approximately 93 percent of listings are owner-occupier with very few investment properties being listed at this time.
The group currently has a total clearance rate of 92.5 percent with 58.4 percent selling prior to auction.
Brady expects this percentage to shift considerably higher under the hammer as buyers and sellers become more educated and aware of the transparent Harcourts Auctions process in the US.