Sunday, February 8, 2009
We attended the real estate auction yesterday. We did not come home with a vacation home - but here are some lessons learned. My first observation was that more than half the people there were casual observers. My second observation was that the auction company put together a nice lunch and the wine table was "loaded" and so was the cooler full of beer - a way to dull people's inhibitions and cause reckless bidding? My third observation is people do not do their research. Sure hope they don't have buyer's remorse. Although some people got a good price - some people paid more than what the units are selling for through a real estate agent. Some possible "tricks'? The auction was listed as an absolute auction for 30 units. There were 72 units for sale. The first 30 sold were "absolute". The auction was done in groups - most expensive to least. The auctioneer suggested a starting price and someone "took" it - and went from there. It wasn't until about the third group that even though the auctioneer called out a number - someone would start lower. The first group of 5 sold. The second group, when the price got to be a bargain, the auctioneer moved to the third group. In the third group, a bargain price was reached. Then the auctioneer alluded he would move to cheapest group - and a crowd rushed him - offering to take a unit at the bargain price. The auctioneer took about 10, then said someone offered $30K more for one in the same group and that would be the lowest price they would take. A noticeably annoyed bidder voiced his opinion several times - he was about 3 rows in front of he. Almost immediately, 2 plain clothes cops? (they had a badge on their belt loop and a pistol - both visible) accosted the bidder and he immediately calmed down. Above is a picture from one of the "furnished" units - that wasn't (meaning you had to pay extra if you wanted the furniture too) - and there was a 10% buyer's premium. The other thing that concerned me - looking through a stack of papers the night before, the maintenance fees were high and they were in the negative for this year. "As is, where is" started to scare me. No information about assessments were noted - another scary thought. Although we were pre-approved and could have "bought" one - we were happy for the experience, will keep our eyes open, but were very happy to have "passed" on these units.