Guys in Penguin Suits

English: Josh Wood in tuxedo

Something struck me as funny at a recent auction at the Ontario Convention Center – The bidder assistants were in penguin suits (aka tuxedos).

Is hard to believe in 27+ years that I had not attended one of these auctions.  I wanted to know “Are there good deals being made?”

I was very impressed with the auction set up.  Very professional.  The auctioneer was top notch.   Even the reader of the day’s properties list was quite effective in telling the facts as quickly as possible.

At first I sat in the middle of the room but wait… I could not catch all the action of the bidders which is quite an interesting event.  So I moved back to the packed back rows of the event.

As an aside, I noticed the place was about 75% guys until at the last minute a number of the girls happened in.

Okay, so now the event starts.  The bidder assistants stand in front of their sections of the room and bark a sound when a bidder in their region raises their arm or bidder card.  They have hand signals for pricing and try to keep the bidders engaged.  From time to time they would go talk to the bidders to try to get them to increase their offer.  One had a signal that showed a lot of flair in trying to get bidders to continue – the “come on” hand movement – subtle in action but very effective in getting the raised bid.  The hand signal reminded me of the bad Indian in the “Last of the Mohicans” trying to entice the younger daughter of the British officer Monroe off the rock ledge.  Oops, I digressed.  Anyway just going to this event was worth the price of admission.

The next day I took the brochure and ultimate sale price of all the properties and checked them against the MLS.  Out of the 16 properties that sold – Two were very good purchases but the rest were not very good buys if you wanted to buy – rehab – resell.  About 2 or 3 had been current pending short sales and I think the lenders lost more by proceeding to auction.

Very educational activity.  Have you attended these before?  What have you seen?

Pat Chadwell, Broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists

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