eBay for Billionaires! Real Estate Auctions Enter 21st Century

Investors and brokers tired of having to use that archaic form of technology known as the telephone (not to mention that antiquated medium called email) will now be able to bid on that $200 million loan they’ve been coveting with little to no human interaction at all!

That’s right, commercial real estate auctions have entered the 21st century.

Howard Michaels, chairman of The Carlton Group, has just announced the long-awaited arrival of carltonauctions.com, which will allow clients to bid online for real estate assets put on the block by newly risk-averse institutions.

Among the assets now up for sealed bid on the Web site: a $100 million sale of residential real estate assets; a $30 million sale of performing land development loans; $259 million of commercial loan and REO assets; and a $91 million sub-performing and non-performing commercial and land development loan sale.

Mr. Michaels knows a thing or two about sealed bid auctions, which he’s been performing since the 1990s. And while he may be venturing into the 21st century, he’s aware of the utility of older technologies, too. Mr. Michaels also plans to bring back oral outcry auctions (the kind with the fast-talking auctioneer and the gavel). The Observer asked Mr. Michaels in mid-March what circumstances would necessitate the oral auction.

His response: “Someone’s got a bunch of condos and they need them to move. … I think the conventional sales market right now is very slow, to be kind. [laughs] So if you pay a lot of money in interest, if you have a loan that’s coming due, if you have pressure to create proceeds and you can’t wait a year for the market to turn around; you might as well do an auction. And who better to do an auction with than a local company?” eBay for Billionaires! Real Estate Auctions Enter 21st Century