If you want to get the very best price for your property, every professional property person will tell you to stick it in the best marketed auction.
And the best auctioneers charge a higher fee than private treaty sales. Typically more than 2% of the sale value, whereas most estate agents are having their fees squeezed toward 1% in the UK.
It would certainly make sense to expand auctions online, to the greatest distribution platform ever created: the internet. All those foreign buyers wanting to launder/invest their spare cash could bid from anywhere with a cell signal.
But just like most retailers who think going online is easy, they just don't put in the requisite effort. This is an auction based agency, powered by ClickToPurchase: http://www.singerviellesales.com/ctpclient/auction/onlineauctions.aspx
It is plain to see the 'bounce' rate of this site is going to have more success than any other metric.
Even Auction.com and its connections and Google Ventures funding seems to forget real estate is about marketing: http://www.auction.com/North-Carolina/residential-auction-asset/1760889-10934-1208-POTOMAC-COURT-WILMINGTON-NC-28411-E1933
The most prominent message on that page is a trepass warning... oh dear.
There is a real opportunity being missed here. With trust in estate agency practices continuing to be fairly low, an open and transparent transaction (with the speed and certainty auctions bring) would surely be gobbled up by the real estate loving public.
And if you are building an auction, don't do what eBay do: those auctions often end up with zero bids. Your business would never survive the backlash. Just replicate a standard English Auction online.
Where art thou pretty, well-marketed online auction?