WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Most realtors, buyers, sellers and pretty much everyone can agree it's a white hot market. What they can also agree on is that it's a pretty whack time to buy or sell a home as well.
"Buyers are knocking on sellers' doors and begging them to accept their offer," Holly Meyer Lucas, team leader of Meyer Lucas at Compass, told WPTV. "There's all kinds of whacky stuff happening right now. Is an auction whacky? No, I don't think it is."
Meyer Lucas was at a charity event with a live auction over the weekend and it got her thinking.
"I'm always looking for better ways for our buyers' offers to get accepted in this hot market, and also for our sellers to have full transparency on what the multiple offers actually are," she said.
In comes her idea for a roundtable Zoom bidding war, similiar to a poker game.
"Basically, a roundtable call for what buyers are willing to pay for this house given a set framework of terms," she explained.
Meyer Lucas said it would create transparency in a multiple offer market.
"Literally just auctioning off, bidding up the price to a threshold where everyone feels like they got a fair shake, a fair shot," she said.
Meyer Lucas said she envisions each potential buyer would be in their particular agent's office, so while the bidding war is taking place, they could have side conversations to adjust the offer.
"The way I see this is buyers can participate. They can be on the phone, but they'll be muted," she said. "The buyers' agents can ask questions. So we'll open it up for questions, where the buyers' agents can ask the questions like, 'How old is the roof? Are there impact windows?' So that we get all the answers out in the open."
Meyer Lucas said she doesn't like how some buyers are subjecting themselves to risky contracts just to win a house.
"Buyers were doing whacky things, because lenders were allowing it, and I think now we're towing the line in real estate with allowing buyers to purchase homes without inspection, waving contingencies," Meyer Lucas said. "That framework is built into our contract to protect the consumer."
Meyer Lucas likes using a sports analogy to describe this -- an open playing field.
"Nothing is worse than when you're a buyer and you get outbid and you ask your agent, 'Well, what was the winning bid?' And they don't know," she said.
Tommy Segedin, a buyer, is intrigued by the idea.
"I manage money and I see when people chase a stock," he said. "I didn't want to get into that chase on a house."
Segedin decided to buy a town home for his family and wait it out for a dream home. He said the bidding call may work for some.
"In a way, it's good, because, I know, for someone like me, if it's getting out of hand, I am not going to even bother with it," he said. "So it's one less buyer in that auction, so it creates more of, like, all right, this is like the market for this house."
Meyer Lucas said it's game on once she finds a seller willing to play ball.
"Yeah, we absolutely are going to do this," she said. "There is nothing in real estate law that says that you can't. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work and if it's a total fail, it's a total fail. Whether or not other agents will play ball is a great question. The few that I've talked to have said for sure, they will participate. There are going to be some old school agents who might push back."