Understanding the Cost of Selling Commercial Real Estate at Auction

CRER Broker

Written by: Ashley Dillard, CCIM | CRER Senior Director | Auction Specialist

Understanding the Expenses of Selling at Auction for Commercial Real Estate

Selling a property at auction can be an attractive option for commercial real estate owners, offering a streamlined and transparent process that often leads to competitive bidding and favorable outcomes.


With that being said, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the expenses associated with selling at auction.

In this article, we will explore the various costs involved in selling a commercial property at auction, enabling sellers to make informed decisions and effectively budget for a successful auction experience.


Auctioneer’s Commission: One of the primary expenses when selling at auction is the auctioneer’s commission. The auctioneer’s commission is a percentage of the final sale price and covers the services provided by the auctioneer, including marketing the property, organizing the auction event, and facilitating the bidding process. The commission rate may vary, so it is crucial to discuss this with the auctioneer or brokerage upfront to understand the exact cost involved.

Marketing and Advertising Costs: To attract a wide range of potential buyers to the auction, effective marketing and advertising are essential. Sellers are generally responsible for covering the costs associated with marketing the property, such as professional photography, listing fees, brochures, online promotion, signage, and advertising campaigns. It is advisable to work with the auctioneer or brokerage to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with your budget and targets the appropriate audience.

Legal and Administrative Fees: Sellers should also consider legal and administrative fees when budgeting for an auction. These costs may include hiring an attorney to review contracts, prepare legal documentation, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. Additionally, administrative fees may be incurred for services such as title searches, property surveys, and other administrative tasks associated with the auction process. It is essential to discuss these potential expenses with your legal and administrative advisors in advance.

Property Preparation and Staging: Preparing the property for auction and presenting it in the best possible light is crucial to attracting potential buyers. Sellers may need to invest in property improvements, repairs, or staging to enhance its appeal and maximize its value. These expenses can vary depending on the property’s condition and the desired level of presentation, so it is important to assess and budget for these costs accordingly.

Additional Costs: While the aforementioned expenses are the most common, sellers should also consider other potential costs that may arise during the auction process. These can include appraisal fees, property inspections, insurance, and any outstanding property taxes or liens that need to be settled before the auction. Sellers should consult with their auctioneer or brokerage to identify any additional costs specific to their situation.


Selling a commercial property at auction offers numerous advantages, but it is essential for sellers to have a comprehensive understanding of the expenses involved. By being aware of the various costs, sellers can budget effectively and make informed decisions throughout the auction process.

Working closely with a reputable brokerage, such as CRER, can provide valuable guidance and support in navigating these expenses. Contact CRER today to leverage our expertise and ensure a successful auction experience, while effectively managing the expenses associated with selling your commercial property.

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CRER (Chicago Real Estate Resources Inc.) is a full-service, commercial real estate firm devoted to providing exceptional service for your every real estate need. Whether it is commercial and investment property sales, leasing, tenant representation, property management or receivership services; we are here to assist you around the clock.
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