A Chicago Auction House for the Luxury Buyer and Seller

Led by Diana Peterson, AuctionWorks is at the top of the luxury auction trend, where buyers bid live online for high-end, multimillion dollar properties in some of Chicago’s prime neighborhoods.

Diana Peterson has a matter-of-fact tone and unflinching opinion about why last year’s high-octane rollout for the auction of Michael Jordan’s $29 million, 56,000-square-foot Highland Park manse fizzled like a bad sitcom pilot. Remember? How did the presumed Auction of the Year shape shift into the Property That Couldn’t Go Away?

They priced it wrong, says the 46-year-old president of Chicago-based AuctionWorks, an outfit she launched last December, in partnership with Sperry Van Ness, to specialize in luxury scale residential auctions.  She was literally plucked from her gig at ATG, where she rose to executive vice president and established a very successful auction division, when Sperry Van Ness offered her a chance at 51 percent ownership of her own company under their corporate flag. “That was a very exciting opportunity for me. Sperry Van Ness has a national platform,” she says about closing the deal.
The young company handles commercial and residential, but the majority of their residential property is luxury. “Luxury properties tend to be hard to value and they have some unique aspects to them, much like a piece of art. So they tend to do very well at auction,” says Peterson.  Yes, even in Chicago.