Newporter Makes Her Bid to Enter Auction Space


Christi Bettingen of Newport Beach is set to debut her new Auction By Homeowner interactive auction site, and she is ready to demonstrate its effectiveness by auctioning her own Newport Coast home as its first customer.

The website is designed so that homeowners can directly auction their properties via the Internet at dramatically reduced rates and fees, Bettingen says.

When it goes live Nov. 29, she said, sellers will have the option of solely listing their property for auction on the website, or simply contracting additional services as needed from an a la carte menu ranging from discounted marketing services or pre-negotiated advertising placements to promotional templates for mailers, brochures, signage and emails; to various back office services such as, property valuations, qualifying buyers, scheduling showings, and buyer relations, straight through to the execution of a live auction, if desired.

National surveys show that many properties scheduled to go to auction never make it to auction day, as many are sold during the pre-auction period.

Bettingen explains: “Given the pre-auction sales averages, many homeowners do not need the full range of services at the onset and may be more attracted to the do-it-yourself type approach that ABH can provide; which offers the option of a staggered services approach on an as needed basis and savings of as much as 30 percent to 50 percent or more on overall costs.”

Many auction companies require the homeowners to pay all the upfront marketing costs that can range from 5 percent of the selling property costs or $25,000 to $50,000 dependent upon the home.  In other cases, the sellers may be responsible for paying a minimum 5 percent fee even if the property is pre-sold, does not sell, or if the property is sold at auction, and is not covered in the buyer’s premium.

In recent times, the auction method has proved to be a viable alternative and sometimes the only option for encouraging a more rapid sale of a property.

“Auctioning a property can offer many advantages for some folks ready to get on with their lives,” said Coleen Brennan of Prudential CA Realty, Berhshire Hathaway Affiliate. “Most auctions can provide a much larger buying pool of pre-qualified buyers, competition in the market, and trigger an immediate sale, often by buyers who already were interested in the property,” she said.

Industry experts agree, auctions no longer have the negative stigma once associated with selling properties in this manner.

Statistics indicate that sales of residential real estate at auction grew by more than 47 percent from 2003 to 2008, according to the National Auctioneers Association, with a growing demand within the luxury markets. The NAA predicts by 2013, nearly a third of all real estate will be sold at auction.

Bettingen said, “In contrast to the traditional way of selling a home, an auction can also be a good way of eliminating the constant negotiating, not only in terms of the back and forth offers given by buyers, but the tension that often occurs amongst married couples who may disagree on the selling price.”

According to the Bettingen, her house, adjacent to the Irvine property on Pacific Drive in Corona del Mar that once listed for $37 million, had received numerous written offers and was escrowed twice.

“Just two weeks ago, our home was once again in escrow, and fell out when some other desperate sellers, who were apparently facing divorce, had to unload their property, and directly chased after our buyer, offering them a deal they just couldn’t refuse,” she said.

Now, exhausted with the prolonged process of the frequent open houses and market volatility, this desperate housewife is ready to move on and engage in the Auction by Homeowner program.

Previously listed at about $6 million, the 4,200-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath home will go out on Nov. 29 on Auction by Homeowner with a minimum bid of $3.5 million.

“Sometimes out of a seemingly desperate, somewhat ‘darkest hour’ experience, we’re led to new opportunities to create something even greater in our lives, beyond our deepest imaginations,” she reflects.


For auction information and bidding requirements visit