New business launched by an auctioneer and real estate agent based in Chattanooga.

Two years ago, the Mooneyham farm in Bledsoe County near Pikeville, Tennessee, was put up for sale. The seller decided to use an online auction to attract bidders from all over the country. Compass Auctions and Real Estate conducted the sale, which totaled nearly $400,000, surpassing all records for the highest price per acre paid for farmland in Bledsoe County.

Paige Holt, the auctioneer, said that using an online auction is the most open and transparent way of auctioning. She has been conducting auctions for 25 years, and in the previous 15 years, she served as the president of Compass Inc., which she co-owns with her husband Steve. Her new business, NeXstep, is independent of Compass and will cater to the needs of buyers and sellers by holding auctions for the Marshals, FDIC, TVA, and other government agencies that need to sell surplus or confiscated real estate and guns.

Even before COVID-19, Holt said she had reassessed how they approach real estate to work with realtors and individuals. Multiple bidders often place offers on the same property in the recent tightening of the housing market. The auction method offers significant advantages to let sellers, especially real estate trustees, know precisely when their property will be sold, and charges half the amount paid in traditional property sales.

Holt’s plan for NeXstep is to work with other agents and offer brokers to participate, which she believes opens up the world of real estate in her area. Auctions are commonly used in Chattanooga for distressed properties, foreclosed properties, or properties seized by the government. Holt refers to the world’s most luxurious and valuable properties sold at auction by companies such as Sotheby’s and other luxury auction businesses.

For more information, “Why Real Estate is Different?” reach out to Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340.

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