Online with Auctions by ATG

The online auctioning of commercial real estate is a fast-growing arena, and Auctions by ATG, which conducts both live and online auctions, is seeing the trend first hand.

The online auctioning of commercial real estate is a fast-growing arena, and Auctions by ATG, which conducts both live and online auctions, is seeing the trend first hand. And it’s not just the traditional assets that are going up for grabs.

“We haven’t experienced a surge in any one specific asset class, but we are auctioning more commercial properties in general,” Mary Fran Gill, operations manager for Auctions by ATG, told Commercial Property Executive.

The online property auction certainly has its appeal. First off, it’s simple. “Buyers with busy schedules can easily bid with a click of the mouse versus having to show up at the property or an auction house to bid,” Gill said.

And that convenience of simply sitting in front of a laptop screen, or even strolling around with mobile device in hand, provides another advantage not attainable via live auctions: the ability to mask one’s identity.

“Not everyone is comfortable bidding against other buyers, so it allows them the anonymity and comfort of bidding from their office or remote locations,” she added.

Auctions by ATG, a subsidiary of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund Inc., just closed bidding for an auction of 16 properties yesterday.  The group of assets spanned four Midwestern states and included, to name just a few, two bank-owned office condominiums totaling more than 10,000 square feet; a 16-unit multi-family complex; a freestanding restaurant/bar; and a handful of office/retail buildings.

Office. Retail. Multi-family. Online auctions embrace veritably all of the traditional property types, and then some. Auctions by ATG’s recent offering also included a functioning 18-hole golf course occupying 176 acres and presenting a redevelopment opportunity. And a less common asset type was on the block as well. Participants had the chance to bid on two indoor parking spaces at the Royalton Tower residential condominium building in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.

Another advantage of online auctions is expediency. “They offer a quick and efficient, as-is sale that allows sellers to quickly sell an asset and allows buyers to get an asset at an attractive price,” Gill added.

But perhaps the most important benefit is one that is not very well known. Online auctions can be a party to which everyone is invited.

“People generally have the misconception that only banks, investors, and experienced real estate professionals can auction their properties or buy a property at auction,” Gill concluded. “While our auctions draw many experienced investors, we also see individual investors who are new to the process and can quickly put their investment strategy to work.”