Once considered a last resort for desperate sellers or for banks unloading foreclosed properties, home auctions are increasingly being used to sell penthouse apartments, waterfront mansions and grand country estates—many of them languishing in an uncertain market after significant price cuts
As the housing slump drags on, the carrying costs of waiting out the market have become onerous, even for the wealthiest. A seller who put a home on the market in 2009 hoping that a turnaround was on the horizon may now be realizing that it could take several years or more for the market to rebound..."Eventually, even the people who have unlimited means will throw in the towel at some point," said George Graham, the CEO of Concierge Auctions...The challenge for these [auction] companies is to aggressively market expensive-to-build, sometimes one-of-a-kind homes that will likely sell for steeply discounted prices without making it feel like a fire sale
By Candace Jackson, November 18, 2011 WSJ

Link to article

$13.9M "Vision House – LEED Green Certified Jan 2011 Fails at AuctionThe Aspen "Vision House" (photo and article link below) was sold at auction late Jan 2011 but the deal fell apart in the spring. It is now listed for sale at $7.5MM. Contact broker Tim Estin for more details, 970-309-6163. (Link is valid for 30 days until 12/17/11.)

01/02/2011 Aspen Times

Link to Jan 15, 11 Aspen real estate article on $13.95MM spec home auction – Less than six months after it was put on the market, a McLain Flats spec home is being sold at auction.The choice to put the 6,750-square-foot “Vision House Aspen” up for auction reflects a small but growing auction trend in the Roaring Fork Valley. The listing broker said that while there has been interest in the Vision House — which is the valley’s first LEED gold-certified residence — auctioning the property was a clear choice to speed up the process in a sluggish market.“There’s no real urgency in the real estate market right now,” said the broker who had recommended that the owners go the auction route.The live, on-site auction takes place on Jan. 28 and there is no minimum bid [even though seller maintains the right of refusal to not accept a bid price]. The house, which sits on 2.2 acres in the W/J subdivision, was originally listed for $13,975,000.
By Catherine Lutz, Jan. 15, 2011 Aspen Daily News