Auctions Gauge Real-Time Value

Once again, we recently witnessed the extreme power of the auction method of marketing. Our team was commissioned to sell the Ben Hill Griffin estate in Frostproof — a beautiful home on Reedy Lake.


Within days of placing our sign on the property, we were receiving pre-auction offers.  

The party’s agreed-upon price was negotiated, and the real estate was sold and closed before the auction date. This meant our team had to move the personal property to our air-conditioned facility at the Rocking H Ranch in Lakeland. 


Our mailing list is compiled from contacts stretching over 61 years and delivers buyers from across the nation. Our first arrival at the event flew in from Connecticut for the sale.

We were pleased to see the large turnout paying respects to a pillar of our Florida community. The prices reflected the interest and the quality of the contents of the estate. Gators memorabilia and signed Norman Rockwell pieces were a big draw, along with many fine paintings, diamonds, gold, silver, fine furniture, and oriental rugs. 


My point is this: There is no other medium that will bring the buyers together like an auction. This is proven by the fact that 90% of the world record prices on everything from real estate to collectibles have been set at auction. 


We have experienced hundreds of examples of how the auction method brings the market to bear. Many times, it’s not just the value of the product being sold, but the providence, historical value, and yes, even the community appreciation of the previous owner. That includes aspects of value that I’ll call life value, reputation, even the generosity of the owner.  The industry calls this providence of the property, meaning that a pocket watch belonging to me would bring only $100, but if it had belonged to George Washington it would bring thousands of dollars. 


When we go into a different state or community and advertise a property, we can tell within a few days of the advertising campaign rollout what kind of reputation the seller has. Sale day attendance and value will tell the story quickly. These values can only be obtained at auction, forget about all of the comparisons and potential income and replacement cost, which are the three processes that establish real estate price by the industry. The auction will tell you the real-time value every time. 


Still not convinced? Here is an example: A handmade ashtray with Mr. Griffin’s name on it brought $100. Does that explain what I’m saying? See you at our next local sale in Wauchula. You can register on our website at


Marty Higgenbotham, founder and president of Higgenbotham Auctioneers International, Ltd., has conducted approximately 12,000 auctions, selling everything from cemetery lots to shopping centers and everything in between. He graduated from Reisch Auction College in 1959. Since then, he has sold in 49 states and five foreign countries. Clients include Wal-Mart, Albertson, Sinclair, AutoZone, HUD, and the states of Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Florida, to name a few. He lives with his wife in Lakeland.

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