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  Auctioning is as old as private property. For thousands of years, auctioneers all over the world have brought buyers together to compete with each other by progressively increasing their bids until market value is determined and a sale is made. Most scholars agree that the Greek historian, Herodotus, wrote the earliest recorded account of auctions around 500 B.C. He described Babylonian wedding auctions where women were sold for the purpose of marriage. These auctions were descending in nature; the offers for brides started high and went down until a bidder accepted the maiden. Less comely women had to pay a dowry to be accepted and thus the price could be negative.

Auctions were used extensively during the Roman Empire. This is where our company's name, Auctio, originated. In Ancient Rome the term auctio signified generally "an increasing, an enhancement," and hence the name was applied to a public sale of goods, at which persons bid against one another. The term auctio hereditaria, referred to the public sale of goods by auction by the owner or his agent, or a sale of goods of a deceased person for the purpose of dividing the money among those entitled to it. The auction process became more refined as time progressed with four key figures: the dominus, on whose behalf the property was sold (consignor); the argentarius, or magister auctionis (organizer and financial backer); the praecox (promoter and auctioneer) and the emptor (highest and final bidder). The auctions were held in the "atrium auctionarium".

In fact, the largest property auction in history occurred in the year 193 A.D. In that year, the Praetorian Guard killed the Emperor Pertinax and put the entire Roman Empire on the auction block for sale to the highest bidder. The Empire was purchased by Didius Julianus. The story came about that once the Emperor Pertinax was murdered no one could be found to be the next emperor. As it was the military who the "crowned" the emperor, the senate merely rubber stamping their decision, the two rivals for the crown, Flavius Sulpicianus, and Didius Julianus, went to the Praetorian guards camp. They were both prevented from entering the camp, so they began to make promises to the soldiers from outside the wall. Soon the scene became that of an auction, with Flavius Sulpicianus and Didius Julianus outbidding each other in the size of their donatives to the troops. The Roman Empire was for sale to the highest bidder. When Flavius Sulpicianus reached the figure of 20,000 sesterces per soldier, Didius Julianus upped the bid by a whopping 5,000 sesterces, displaying his outstretched hand to indicate the amount. (The typical yearly wage was around 500 sesterces a year) The empire was sold; Didius Julianus was allowed into the camp and proclaimed emperor.

Imagine buying an Empire roughly the size of the United States, by public auction! After the fall of the Roman Empire, history does not reveal a great deal about auctions until the European Middle Ages. King Henry VII of England instituted some of the earliest auction laws, including auction licenses, in the 15th century. Soon after the colonization of North America, the accepted manner of selling furs, clapboard and other necessities was at auction. Soon though, the settlers were selling their land, crops and other precious items under the auctioneer's banner.

The sale at public auction of real estate in North America has a rich history and has been successfully used for three centuries. Today, auctions are a part of our way of life, a positive step based on informed business decisions and an exciting event where bidders can compete equally and act in their own interest. Real Estate sold at auctions amounts to billions of dollars and includes all kinds of properties touching on every type of residence, business and trade.

The Auctio real estate auction is definitely a win-win proposition for everyone involved. The seller disposes of properties quickly and efficiently, thereby saving long-term carrying costs such as interest, real estate taxes and maintenance. For the buyer this can mean a smart investment, since properties are usually purchased at fair market value through competitive bidding. Because the auction sale is conducted in an open forum, both motivated buyers and motivated sellers have the assurance of watching the property's true market value emerge as the bidding process progresses. For both buyer and seller, fair market values for the property prevail. Our auction services are about efficiency, transparency, achieving true value, and results. Our clients appreciate the "time value of money" and are focused on achieving a sale of their property, while not wasting their or anyone else's time. For them, market value is defined as the competitive result of open, public bidding, where everyone is assured of the right to participate and a result based on actual vs. hypothetical values.