What Are the Different Types of Auctions for Luxury Homes?

June 6, 2023

Luxury homes are often very unique properties that require a tailored marketing approach when being sold. As such, luxury home auctions are an increasingly popular option among homeowners for selling their high-end homes. Due to their ability to generate attention and competition among buyers, the auction process ultimately leads to the highest market sales price. With that said, there are different types of auction formats available for luxury homes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will discuss the various types of auctions for homes.

Absolute Auctions

The absolute auction process is where the property is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the price. There is no reserve or minimum bid amount, which means that the property is guaranteed to sell to the highest bidder at the conclusion of the auction. This type of auction is particularly popular for luxury homes that have no comparables in the market place and the no-reserve auction will draw the maximum buyer participation, which in turn will increase the number of competitive bids.


  • Absolute auctions are attractive to buyers because there is no minimum bid and no reserve which creates maximum participation and more bidder participation because they know the property will be sold
  • The property is guaranteed to sell, which provides certainty for both the seller and the buyer.
  • Absolute auctions can generate a lot of attention and publicity, which can lead to a higher sales price.
  • Selling at an absolute auction generates maximum response from the buyer marketplace.


  • Absolute auctions provide no safety net or guarantee for the seller because they have less control over the final sale price.
  • If the auction marketing is less than stellar, there are fewer bidders and the seller may end up selling the property for less than its market value.

Reserve Auctions

The reserve auction process is where the seller sets a reserve price, and the property will only be sold if the highest bid meets or exceeds the reserve price. This type of auction provides the seller with a safety net knowing that the property will not sell for less than the reserve amount, giving some control over the final sale price.


  • Reserve auctions provide the seller with some control over the final sale price as the seller can set the reserve price, which reduces the risk of selling the property for less than what a seller is willing to accept.
  • The seller is only obligated to sell the property if the high bid meets or exceeds the reserve amount. This protects the seller from selling for less than they want to.


  • Reserve auctions can discourage potential buyers because they know that the property may not sell if the reserve price is not met. The seller may need to be flexible with the reserve price to attract enough bidders so as not to discourage bidders from participating.

Minimum Bid Auctions

The minimum bid auction process is where the seller and the auction company set a predetermined price that is the lowest and most acceptable to the seller. All participating bidders must place the minimum bid amount to initiate the auction. This type of auction is somewhat similar to a reserve auction, however, the minimum bid amount is published and disclosed to all prospective bidders. Another name for this type of auction is a minimum published bid auction.


  • Minimum bid auctions can be attractive to potential bidders because the minimum bid amount is disclosed prior to the sale.
  • The seller has control over the opening bid amount because they can set the minimum bid required.
  • Reduces the risk for the seller as the seller does not have to accept a bid below the minimum pre-determined bid.


  • The seller needs to be flexible with the minimum bid amount to attract enough bidders.
  • A minimum bid auction limits the number of buyers if the minimum price set is too high.
  • A minimum bid auction generates the least amount of excitement or engagement among potential buyers.

luxury penthouse ocean view

Online Auctions

Online auctions take place over the Internet, allowing buyers to bid on the real estate property from anywhere in the world. This online format has become increasingly popular for luxury home auctions because it allows for a wider and global audience of potential buyers.


  • Online auctions can attract a larger pool of potential buyers because they can bid on the property from anywhere in the world.
  • Online auctions can be more convenient for buyers because they do not have the inconvenience of being required to travel to the real estate auction location.
  • Online auctions can generate maximum participation and competition among buyers.


  • Online auctions may not have the same level of excitement and energy as in-person auctions. In some cases, buyers may not be able to see the property in person before bidding, and instead receive a virtual walk-through.resort style pool mansion

Sealed Bid Auctions

The sealed bid auction process is where potential buyers submit their bids in a sealed envelope, and the highest bidder wins. This auction format is typically used for commercial property.


  • The seller has some control over the final sale price because they can review and choose the highest bid.
  • Sealed bid auctions can attract serious buyers.


  • Sealed bid auctions may not generate as much activity as in-person auctions. Potential buyers may be hesitant to submit a bid without seeing the property in person. Sealed bid auctions may not be as transparent as other types of auctions, which can make some buyers feel hesitant.

    arizona luxury home

Open-Cry Auctions

Open-cry auctions, also known as live auctions, are where buyers bid openly against each other in the same room or space, with a live in-person auctioneer facilitating the bidding process. This type of auction is typically used for residential properties because it creates a sense of excitement and competition among buyers.


  • Live open-cry auctions can generate a lot of excitement and energy among potential buyers.
  • The seller can see and hear the bidding process.
  • Open-cry auctions can create a heightened competitive environment among buyers, which can lead to a higher sale price.


  • Open-cry live auctions can be intimidating for some potential buyers.

Overall Benefits of Home Auctions

Home Auctions can offer numerous benefits for luxury homes compared to the traditional methods of selling a high-end property. Here are some of the benefits of luxury home auctions:

1. Generate competition among buyers 

One of the biggest benefits of an auction for a luxury home is the competition it generates among bidders. A process that seldom occurs in the traditional real estate model. Auctions create a sense of urgency for buyers to act resulting in competitive bidding, driving up the sale price so that the seller receives the highest and best possible price for their property.

2. Transparency

Auctions are highly transparent, providing buyers with a clear understanding of the property with the Terms of Auction set before the sale.

3. Offer an accelerated and more efficient sale process

Real estate auctions offer a swifter and more efficient sale process compared to the traditional methods of selling luxury property. Instead of waiting for months or even years to sell their property, sellers can complete a sale within a matter of weeks or even days with an auction. This can be especially beneficial for luxury home sellers who are looking to sell their property quickly through an accelerated marketing method of a luxury home auction.

4. Auctions establish fair market value

Auctions help establish a fair market value for a luxury home, as the final sales price is determined through competitive bidding among multiple buyers, achieving the highest market price on any given day. This is especially beneficial for sellers who are unsure about the value of their property.

5. Attract ready, willing, and able buyers

Auctions attract serious capable buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase. Sellers can be confident that the buyers who participate in the auction are serious and have the capacity to purchase the property per the auction terms and conditions.

luxury property with pool


When it comes to selling luxury houses, auctions are an accelerated, efficient, and effective way to generate awareness, opportunity, excitement, and competition among potential buyers.

It is important for sellers to consider their goals and priorities before selecting the type of auction format that is right for them. By understanding the different types of auctions, sellers can make an informed decision moving forward in achieving their desired outcome.

Should you be considering a luxury property auction for your home, please contact Supreme Auctions with any questions you may have. We are here to assist you and provide consultation to navigate your way through this journey.



buy coreg