The Arizona Republic did a revealing story about Arizona real estate auction shenanigans.

“My experience was horrible,” he said.

Rubenstein said he attended the event with his father, and right away they both began to notice the auctioneer was raising the bid on some homes when no one in the audience appeared to be bidding.

Even though the starting bids on most homes were extremely low, Rubenstein had learned that in order to actually buy a home, the bidder would have to reach a certain, undisclosed price set by the seller, called a “reserve price.”

In the end, he said, there were some bargains to be had, particularly on homes priced below $150,000.

But winning bids on most homes in his price range of around $300,000 were barely below market value, Rubenstein said, once he factored in the 5 percent auctioneer’s fee and what he estimated it would cost to fix damage from previous owners.

“I really didn’t see any reason to bid on a home,” he said. “On the positive side, it taught me the value of a real-estate agent.”

[Emphasis mine]

Well, that is a very happy ending indeed!

Here’s a story I heard about Arizona real estate auction fraud.