The Richmond auction market is getting a new competitor through a big name in local residential real estate.
Williams & Williams, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based auctioneer, has struck a deal with Long & Foster that will allow the real estate brokerage to offer auction services as an option for clients looking to sell a property.
The deal has been in the works since May, said Pandra Richie of Long & Foster.
The auction service was rolled out in Richmond last week, and Williams & Williams has already started working with Long & Foster agents to identify listed properties that could be auctioned instead of sold in a traditional sale.
“It’s a very viable tool for certain sellers, and by certain sellers, we mean someone that needs a time-definite sale,” Richie said.
The company’s first auctions are not likely to take place in Richmond until mid- to late-March, she said.
Williams & Williams will enter the Richmond market competing against auctioneers like Motleys Asset Disposition Group and Tranzon.
Richie did not disclose the terms of the deal, but she said Long & Foster is the largest real estate company with which Williams & Williams has formed this type of arrangement.
Fontana Fitzwilson, an executive vice president with Williams & Williams, said the auctioneer has brokers with licenses in all 50 states and is already fairly familiar with the Virginia market.
“We bring the market value of a property, and we do that through an aggressive marketing campaign, so we’ll go not only to the local market, but regionally, nationally and even internationally in some cases,” Fitzwilson said.
Richie said the auction option could appeal to sellers who have put their homes on the market and have not received the offer they want, or to those who just want to sell their properties quickly.
Auctions take place 40 to 45 days after talks with the auctioneer begin, and that timeframe includes a 30-day marketing campaign.
Long & Foster agents’ compensation will remain the same regardless of whether a seller chooses a traditional sale route or an auction, Richie said.
Headquartered in Northern Virginia, Long & Foster is one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country. It has offices from New Jersey to North Carolina. Its first Richmond offices opened in 1998, and it now has 20 offices and 750 salespeople throughout the Central Virginia region.