Auctioneer &Auctions &memory monday 29 Jun 2015 01:00 pm

Memory Monday – Do Auctions Really Work – Part 3

I remember this auction very well. It will go down as one of my favorites and maybe the hottest day I have worked an auction sale. An amazing crowd came out for this Auction and made it a fantastic day. I wrote about it here in 2011 the week after the auction. All in all, we thought it would be a $40-$45K sale and it totaled over $160,000. Now that was is proof positive that Auctions really do work!!!


I would love to talk to you about having an Auction for you here in Tennessee! They really do work! Book Yours Now!

Auctioneer &Auctions 25 Jun 2015 07:05 am

Why an Auction should never be “Silent!”

Before you begin this read, I know I have some bias in this discussion as an Auctioneer, but I have good reason.

I have been honored to be around long enough to have done several Benefit and Charity Auctions in the Middle Tennessee area. Many of those have been around Gallatin, Hendersonville, and surrounding areas. Each time I come there is usually a “silent auction” going on while I also conduct the Live Auction part. To be fair, I have nothing against a silent auction, but so often I look over at what is being sold and the prices people are paying and think, “I could have gotten them more for that!” Here is why…..

1. Live Auctions cause the bidder to be competitive and make a snap decision in the moment. Silent auctions give them time to reason through whether they want to up the bid or not.

2. Silent Auctions allow you to see who you are bidding against by name and somehow reading that name can cause some to not bid against a friend or family member, where a live auction they often times will in the spirit of having fun and being competitive.

3. People forget to return to the Silent Auction table to check their bids as they are mingling and talking to others at the event. It is really hard to ignore a Live Auctioneer as his chant fills the air.

I recently held a small Impromptu Auction in Gallatin TN at Longhorn Steakhouse which benefited the Station Camp High School Color Guard. We were set to do the “Random Auction” at 9 am when suddenly one of the event coordinators whispered, “maybe we should just do a Silent Auction on these items!” Thankfully the other coordinator simply said no and we proceeded with the Live Auction. What happened was the reason why I believe an Auction should never be silent. We sold 4 items which netted them 30% of their total amount raised. To put that in perspective, they had worked weeks selling tickets to the event and I spent 7.5 minutes selling 4 items which garnished them 30% of their total raised.

In this case, I was able to go over to the coordinator who had a near “freak out” moment and asked, “SO would a Silent Auction have done that for you?” He simply responded, “No” and then later said, “Ray, I will never doubt you again!”

If you are considering an Auction for your next fundraiser, find a great Auctioneer and ask them to assist you in making your event fun, exciting, and drive your donations up as he will be anything but “silent!”

Ray Carman – Auctioneer

Auctioneer &Auctions &estate &Personal Property &Real Estate Auctions 22 Jun 2015 05:33 am

Memory Monday – Do Auctions Really Work Part2

The year is 2009. Real Estate is in one of its toughest markets ever in Gallatin Tennessee. Fresh off the 2008 debacle and people are sitting in their homes, many upside down, fresh off a huge market correction. As a Realtor and Auctioneer, these were the days it would have been easy to simply sit back and throw your hands in the air. Not many were buying and the market was flooded with overpriced inventory. That is when I received a call from Matthew Branham.

Matt had lost his father, James Branham, the previous year and their family had a farm in the heart os Gallatin over on Saint Blaise Road. It was a gorgeous 90 acre farm that had been in their family for a LONG time. Matt lived out of town and was Executor of his father’s estate and we set up to meet.

The farm was even more beautiful once we got off the road and drove across it. It had a lovely large pond stocked with fish, a huge barn full of collectibles, and an older farm house that had been completely rocked from the family’s old rock quarry. Matt had one simple question, “Would it bring one million dollars as it was tax appraised for?” My father and I were there and we both agreed that it would and Matt Booked the auction.

Weeks of preparation went into this sale. Fence rows that had to be cleaned out (which I helped out on myself and got a wonderful case of poison Ivy!) Pastures were cut for hay then constantly mown to keep it looking good. Lots of work on the personal property to market and inventory for the auction. And when the marketing began, what a rush of interest on this place.

As we move forward in the story, do not forget, we are in a very troubled market. People were not spending money. However, if you have something they want, nothing will stand in their way and at Auction, the market price can and will be met.

Auction day arrived and we invited over 400 people onto the grounds. Our 40×80 tent was full and running over. Bidding set in and the price was driving high. I watched best friends bid against each other for the opportunity to own a piece of this land. When it was all said and done, the property had sold for over $1.15 million. It truly was a remarkable day.

If they had tried to obtain that on the private market, without the proper subdividing and marketing an auction provides, it would have sat there for several years awaiting the market to return. Because they chose to auction it, it allowed the family to reach their expectations and settled the Real Estate portion of the estate (as well as personal property) all in one day.

So do Auctions really work? Absolutely, and I believe the Branham family would agree!

Ray Carman – Auctioneer

Auctioneer &Auctions &Buying &Consulting &estate &Personal Property &Real Estate Auctions &Selling 17 Jun 2015 08:25 am

Inside the Auction…..Getting the Most for what you have!

So many times people are able to pick up a bargain at an Auction. After all, that is why most people come to the sale. They have seen something that they want and have taken time out of their life to come and have the chance to buy that item.

Being in this business for 20 years, and around it for 34, you see a lot of things sold over time. From Real Estate to furniture, to glassware, to “whatever is in that building!” I have been honored to see it all. I have seen many bargains in my time as well, but I have also seen items and land bring far more than what anyone imagined. The question becomes, Why? Why did that item do so well on the auction block? Why do items (cars, Real Estate, glassware, antiques, and many more) break sales records consistently at Auction? The answer is simple……..Competition!!!

I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who had been trying to buy a tractor at auction for some time. He said, “Ray, I go to auctions and these things are bringing more than what you can buy a new one for most of the time!” And he is right. If an Auctioneer does a proper job of marketing what he is selling, whether it is land, tractors, equipment, farm items, antiques, or simple household items,  they can bring much more than what any imagines because people become competitive. I have seen simple walking canes go for $400 simply because two people wanted that particular cane. I watched a simple penny bank go for hundreds of dollars (not because of the money inside) but because two gentleman got into a bidding war. Recently I sold an antique radio appraised for $250 for over $600 because two bidders were determined to have that item.

Can you buy a bargain at an auction? Certainly! Can you also find yourself in a bidding war and pay too much? Absolutely! That is the beauty of an auction! You get to set the price and the value is what you are willing to pay. The key in how this all works is did the Auctioneer do his job in promoting the items he is offering, and did he set the stage for a good old fashion bidding war with his hard work?

Auctions are a blast to be a part of from being the Auctioneer, to being the seller, to sitting in the crowd and buying those treasures your heart desires. I have personally been in each seat and have enjoyed them all. Maybe that is why I love doing auctions so much.

If you have considered an auction for your Real Estate, Home, Estate Sale, Charity Event, or any other venue, I would enjoy speaking to you about how an Auction can Get you the Most for what you have!

Ray Carman – Auctoineer

Uncategorized 15 Jun 2015 08:23 am

Memory Monday – Do Auctions Really Work?

I often am asked this very question. Do Auctions Work? So many people have a perception of what an auction is and how they are done. These perceptions come from many places, mainly the media and how they are portrayed on TV. Very little is actually known about how the auction is done and what is really all going on. I so often run into a seller who is concerned about having an auction because they are afraid of “giving their stuff away.” Over the next few weeks I would like to do a quick tour of some properties I have had the privilege to sell at Auction and how those sales turned out!

I thought it would be fun to do videos on them! Here is the first one:

See you next week for another Memory Monday!!!

Auctioneer &Auctions &Selling 12 Jun 2015 01:45 pm

COMPASS Charity Auction June 8, 2015

Here is an auction I did this past week for COMPASS, which is a great local charity in Sumner County for the School Systems. Butch Jones, University of Tennessee Head Football Coach, was the keynote speaker. He signed a football for us to auction off which exceeded everyones expectations. Very grateful I was invited to do this event and proof an entertaining Live Auction really works.









Auctioneer &Auctions &Selling 10 Jun 2015 05:36 am

Inside the Auction: The Tie Bid

If you have ever been to an auction, you have probably seen the infamous “tie bid.” This is when the auctioneer is wrapping up his sale and he says “Sold” and calls out the winning bidders number. Suddenly, there is a “what!” from the other side of the crowd and a wingman turns to the auctioneer and says, “I had this person in at that price!”

Oh the joy of the tie bid. Now there are two people who think they have just won the item and both equally want the item. As the Auctioneer, this is always just a slight bit uncomfortable no matter how many times you have been in the situation (hopefully not much). However, there is a simple solution.

Prior to the auction it should be announced if ever a situation comes up where there is a tie bid, the Auctioneer has the right to settle any disputes or ties bids. What this usually means, is that the Auctioneer will accept the bidder he had, but then will open up the item between only his bidder and the one who thought they were in. The auctioneer will conduct a simple and clear auction between these two individuals only in order to settle the dispute.

This has been a tried and proven method for many years in the auction business and even though one of those two individuals will go home without the item, typically they will each go home knowing they had full opportunity to win the bid due to the Auctioneer settling the dispute as only he can!

Now go enjoy an auction and Keep Those Hands In the Air!!!!

Auctioneer &Auctions &estate &Personal Property &Real Estate Auctions 08 Jun 2015 05:04 am

Memory Monday – Who won the Game?

You know as an Auctioneer, most of your Saturdays are full with doing an auction. This of course is a really good thing if you enjoy your profession and you like to make the necessary money to feed your family. However, when I was younger, it did come with a sacrifice.

What young man, in his teens, in the south, is not extremely interested in football and other sports?  We simply are just by the nature of being a male and because sports are a big thing here in Tennessee. (Go VOLS). However, working each and every Saturday at an auction left very little opportunity to actually watch a game. This is of course prior to the days or DVR and recording of something to watch later. No, if you wanted to see the game 25 years ago, you simply had to watch it when it was being played. But as a young man working at his father’s and grandfather’s auctions, this simply was not a choice.

I remember one day in particular, because my father was a fan as well, we would often allow someone to sneak off for a moment and listen to the radio to catch the score or ask during the auction if anyone knew the score. On this one day in 1991, it was my opportunity to run and listen in. We were doing an auction in the edge of Trousdale County and UT was playing Notre Dame that day. And oh what a sad day it was. Notre Dame was running all over UT and the last score I heard was Notre Dame 31 and UT 7. It was early in the game, but the score seemed so bad that I simply went to work and informed everyone that UT was getting beat big time and with no hope.

The sale went long and it was late when we arrived back at my grandparents to have our regular dinner that Me-Ma cooked for us on Saturdays. When I walked in the door, my cousin Michael asked me if I had heard about UT’s big win. Of course I knew that had lost and simply told him not to pull my leg. His response was one of surprise that I did not know that UT had pulled off a huge comeback!  This is what happened:

Never had I been so glad to know I was wrong, but that day was one of many ups and downs wondering “Who won the game!”

Auctioneer &Auctions &Personal Property &Real Estate Auctions &Selling 03 Jun 2015 08:00 am

The Balance of a Great Auction/Auctioneer

Over my years as an Auctioneer in Tennessee, and working at them since childhood, has given a lot of perspective on a great Auction. I have been mainly exposed to my family’s way of doing auctions, but also have been privileged to attend and even work at other auctions over the years. Each one is unique, which makes the life of an Auctioneer so exciting.

However, there is a balance that an Auctioneer must pursue. When hired to do an auction, the seller wants the Auctioneer to obtain the highest possible price for what he has asked the Auctioneer to sell. Then there are the buyers, who want the auctioneer to sell things quickly so they can get what they want and get on with their lives. So as we would say there is slight conflict of interest between the buyer and seller.

So the Auctioneer is in essence a mediator between the two, looking for the right balance. However, there is something the buyers should think about. The Auctioneer was hired by the seller and is working on the sellers behalf. He duty is to the seller to do his absolute best for him in obtaining all he can for his sellers benefit. This may mean he has to maybe be a little slower than what the buyer would like to get to the word “Sold!”

But this is the Auctioneer’s job. A great Auctioneer knows how to interpret a bidder who is on the edge of bidding again or not, therefore developing a sense of when the correct time to drop the hammer has arrived.  But this is a developed skill and guess what, even the best Auctioneer will still miss it at some point. If he is not careful though, the fear of the missed bid will cause him to be paranoid and therefore draw out the auction way longer than necessary.

So the Great Auction has to have a balance. If an Auctioneer has to choose to lean a little one way or the other, it is ALWAYS best to lean toward the benefit of the seller, in essence his employer, in order to get the most he can. A buyer would also be wise to understand and appreciate this in an Auctioneer because one day he may want to hire an auction company, and he should want one who knows how to get the most for what is being sold.

Have a great weekend of Auctions!!!!

Priority One Real Estate and Auction LLC for all your Middle Tennessee Auction needs!

Auctioneer &Auctions &Real Estate Auctions 01 Jun 2015 09:00 am

Memory Monday – The Ugly One is Winning!

Man, for years I had the honor and privilege to work with Prentice “Hoss” West! He was an amazing friend and co-worker and always kept you on your feet. Hoss would do so many things to keep the crowd entertained and keep us on our toes. Hoss passed away last year but he left a huge impression on so many people and a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. I could do a whole year of memories from him, but this is by far his most well known.

Hoss liked to kid around. So one day he came running into the tent and hollered “Call the Police!” My dad was auctioneering and he asked Hoss, “Why should we call the police Hoss?”

Hoss replied, “Because two women are fighting over me!”

Now Hoss was in his late 60’s so it was stage that two women might be fighting over him and even stranger that Hoss would want the police called. So Dad asked, “Hoss, why should that be a reason to call the police?”

Hoss answered, “Because the Ugly one is winning!”

Hope you enjoy your week! Miss you Hoss West!

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