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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Auctioneers: Talk about the property, not …

We have all probably done it, but it’s a terrible idea. For instance, an auctioneer is selling a real property improved with a home and 42 wooded acres. The auctioneer might say, “Great for hunting, camping …” noting hunters and campers should take note.

This amounts to an expressed warranty that this would be great for hunters and campers, even though hunting is possibly prohibited in the municipality, and camping requires a permit in an arduous process. So, it’s not really great for hunting nor camping.

The title of this article is “Auctioneers: Talk about the property, not …” meaning tell me (the possible buyer) it’s 42 wooded acres with a home, and let me decide what I can (possibly) use it for. Do you really think buyers can’t figure out what they want to (or can) use the property for?

Maybe next put up for auction an ink pen and tell your bidders it could be used to draw lines, circles, squares, rectangles, letters, numbers …? Yes, most all bidders know what an ink pen is, so tell me the size, ink color, age, manufacturer, composition, and let me use it for whatever I want to use it for.

I far too often see, essentially, “Does anyone think artists might use these kinds of ink pens?” when of course, if artists do, they’ll likely find your auction listing, and bid — or if not, they likely won’t. On the other hand, if you note, “Great pen for artists …” then it has to be.

Importantly, when selling any real property, there are protected classes, so this issue becomes ever more important. Here, just talking about the property is legally critical so protected classes aren’t mentioned. 

So, maybe a final reminder is in order? Good for hunting and camping? Great for family outings? Could be used for an Airbnb? Attention gardeners… the backyard could be …? All bad ideas. Tell me all about the property and let all these people decide if they are interested, or not.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and formerly at Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auction Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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