Mark Pangle, of Pangle Real Estate and Auction Co. Inc., said auctioning property creates a fair buying process for all involved.

STRASBURG — In certain and uncertain economic times, Mark Pangle and his family have had success helping people in Shenandoah County move homes and farms they no longer want or need.

Auctioning property, rather than selling it through a more traditional real estate sale, helps families tie up loose ends and creates a more fair buying process for everyone involved, Pangle said.

Standing in the front yard of a 35-acre plot with a house, barn and farm, Pangle pointed back at the house and explained that the owner didn’t want to hold on to the property through the winter. Rather than paying to keep the home heated and cared for, it will change hands in October when it goes to auction.

“It won’t sit here for maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe we sell it, maybe we don’t,” Pangle said. “We don’t have to worry about condition. Home inspections, nothing. It’s a huge advantage to get this put to bed before winter.”

Tip Pangle, Mark Pangle’s father started Pangle Real Estate and Auction Co. in 1966. Auctioneering is in the family bloodline, Mark Pangle said, as his great-grandfather was an auctioneer in Strasburg in the 1920s.

“We love what we do. And we’re good at it,” Mark Pangle said. “It’s an enjoyable profession. It’s a challenge at times. Every client is different, every property is different. So we have a different boss every auction.“

Tip Pangle said he has seen auctions serve families that were hard-pressed for cash and valued their time more than what they might get for their property. He said he has seen families auction off the property because they needed to go into a nursing home and couldn’t get in on credit or for letting go of a family farm that has no one to inherit it.

“You have people that do auctions for all kinds of reasons,” Tip Pangle said. “We have found them to be a very good method of getting fair market value out of property.”

Not every piece of property will be good to auction off, Mark Pangle said, but older homes and unique pieces of property that are hard to assess are prime auction candidates.

“If it’s a very unique property, it’s hard to set a value. So we let the market set the value,” Mark Pangle said. “We’ve had situations that properties have brought well exceeding what we thought. That’s an interesting way to market a property because the market sets the price.”

On auction day, the market looks like a duel among interested buyers. Each person who shows up and raises a hand to bid enters into a contest of wills and bills with everyone else.

“It’s a very fair business to people. If you want this property and I want this property and we have a chance to come here and bid on it,” Tip Pangle said. “With auctions, you’re in charge of your offer. Your offer is going to go just as far as you stand out there and make your offer go that day.“

Because the sale price can vary based on the market on the day of the auction, Mark Pangle said the fee for sellers is a little less than if they were to list it on the real estate market. The Pangles still collect a fee for selling the property, but they don’t split the commission with a buyer’s broker.

Tip Pangle said some people will pay a broker to come to the auction but he isn’t concerned about who is buying the property for who – what matters, he said, is who buys the property that day.

“The thing with the auction is the man that’s got his hand in the air is going to sign the contract and he’s responsible for the property and the deposit,” Tip Pangle said. “I don’t care who he’s representing. The person that’s doing the bidding, that’s going to be responsible for that bid and that property.”

Auctions take a lot of the hassle out of parting with a piece of property, Mark Pangle said, and are often faster than a real estate listing, freeing up families to move on and put some cash in their pockets. Most properties take between 40 and 45 days to go to auction and then another 30 to 45 days to close after the sale, he added.

As a whole, the auction process often gives sellers an easier, faster experience with fewer hoops to jump through.

“The buyer can get any inspection they want but the seller isn’t responsible for any of them,” Mark Pangle said. “Whereas with a traditional real estate transaction, there’s a lot of inspections. A lot of this, a lot of that. This is straight-forward and clean cut.”

Contact Max Thornberry at