One day, Veronica and I went to a home and garden show. I had no intention of buying anything, but she wanted new furniture. I made it very clear that I did not want to buy new furniture for our new house. I thought the furniture we had would work just fine. But Veronica – being the savvy saleswoman she is – took me to where they were holding a furniture auction. Before I knew it, I was caught up in the frenzy. I raised my hand to bid and I was hooked. At the end, I walked out with thousands of dollars of furniture that I had had no intention of buying.The items up for bid at half their retail price. However, I let my competitive spirit get the best of me and I got caught up in the buying frenzy. After several winning bids, I walked out feeling like I had gotten some great deals. But I still paid more than I had expected, because I never planned to buy anything in the first place. Then I had a money-making moment. I realized I could start selling my houses at auction.
At first, nobody showed up at my house auctions. I realized starting bids at full price didn’t work. I kept tweaking it. I found that when I started bids at half price – just like at the furniture auction – I got lots of bids. Instead of having a speaking auction, I also turned it into a silent auction. Instead of two-hour bidding window, I have it the full weekend. This helped push the prices higher. People who got the houses were thrilled because they had beaten out so many people to buy it. Now my houses up for auction sold in a weekend. This helped move inventory and turn equity into profits much more quickly. I also found new ways to market my houses. I posted banners and signed and handed out fliers throughout the neighborhood. People in the neighborhoods where we sold houses were usually very supportive. Many were happy that we could take a beat-up house – often an eyesore – and turn it into something beautiful. They were grateful because their house values went up, too.
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