Realogy, Sotheby’s Move Into Luxury Real Estate Auction Niche

A luxury home with an "infinity pool"

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With luxury online auctions becoming a growing sector in the real estate industry, especially given the niche’s more limited buyer pool, Sotheby’s, a firm focusing on fine art and luxury goods, and Realogy Holdings Corp., a full-service residential real estate services company, announced they are acquiring the luxury real estate auction marketplace Concierge Auctions. Under the agreement, Sotheby’s and Realogy will take a joint 80% ownership stake in the company.

Concierge Auctions reported more than $3.4 billion in competitive bids last year with an average home selling price of $3.5 million. The company announced it broke its fourth world record this year for the highest price of a single-family home sold at auction with the sale of Villa Firenze, listed for sale at $165 million.

Concierge Auctions, founded in 2008, says it wants to help sellers accelerate time frames on sales. It works with real estate agents to auction the properties. The company says it never has auctioned a property without working in partnership with a local real estate broker.

“As demand for luxury real estate auctions increases, we believe Realogy and Sotheby’s can jointly bring powerful data and network scale to Concierge Auctions, a valuable tool for real estate agents helping clients expertly navigate the global high-end property market,” says Ryan Schneider, Realogy’s CEO and president.

Realogy boasts more than 300,000 globally affiliated real estate professionals across its six brands, including Sotheby’s International Realty, Corcoran, and Coldwell Banker. In a press release, Realogy says that the acquisition will allow Concierge Auctions to benefit from increased distribution, lead generation, and enhanced marketing visibility from its brands and affiliated agents. Sotheby’s says that it will provide Concierge Auctions with luxury auction expertise, including innovation in online and live auctions, as well as access to its global network of collectors in fine art and luxury goods.

“I look forward to depending our longstanding and successful partnership with Realogy as we work with Concierge Auctions to develop the luxury real estate auction market further,” says Charles F. Stewart, Sotheby’s CEO.

Concierge Auctions co-founders Chad Roffers and Laura Brady will remain president and CEO, respectively.