Reality - Auctions work best whenever two or more parties are interested in a property, regardless of if the property is distressed or not. The auction method is actually the most effective in a "hot" market when homes sell quickly and multiple offers are received. It has only recently gained in popularity here in the U.S. In Australia, over 96% of residential properties are sold via the auction method.
Reality - Residential real estate is, and always will be, a very market specific "hands on" asset. The people that bid on your property have inspected it prior to the auction. A "Site unseen" bidder is extremely rare, and most likely had someone inspect the property for them.
Reality - Sellers can set a "Reserve", which is the lowest price they will accept. Bidders do not know what the reserve price is (it's not to be confused with a minimum or starting bid) however, bidders are notified during the bidding process when the reserve has been met and the property will be sold to the highest bidder. An "Absolute" auction is when the property will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price.
Reality - Our system requires that bidders register with a credit card for validation purposes. This eliminates people who are not serious about bidding on your property. We also require that they produce proof of funds to close or mortgage approval when they write their contract with your Realtor (within 48 hours of the close of the auction).
Reality - Bidders will preview the property prior to bidding. There is no need to hire (and pay) an auctioneer to call a "live" auction. By holding your auction online, you enable a larger pool of bidders to participate over a longer period of time.
More bidders = More bids = Highest sales price