Robert and Sandra Lee* found themselves in a position that is increasingly common in this slow housing economy.
When Sandra, a commercial real estate appraiser, was offered a new position in Boston in October of 2009, she and Robert immediately listed their home with a local real estate brokerage and began making plans for their move.
Excited by the new opportunity, the couple flew to Boston to find a home to rent, then back to Denver to pack and prepare for the move. It was decided that Robert would remain in Denver till their house could be sold, while Sandra went on ahead to Boston.
Weeks turned into months. Robert and Sandra took turns flying back and forth to visit each other on alternate weekends.
Occasionally someone would come to look at the house. A couple of potential buyers made offers the Lees did not feel were acceptable. Another couple was interested but could not qualify for financing.
Since their house was still not selling, they reduced the price twice, to no avail. The separation was wearing and stressful for both of them, not to mention the expense of paying for a rental and a mortgage every month.
By September 2010, with no sale on the horizon, they decided that they had waited long enough. They decided to call a local real estate auction company and find out what their options were.
“Some of what we learned surprised us,” Sandra recalls. “We had always associated auctions with desperate people and bank owned properties. Chaotic rooms full of people trying to buy property for pennies on the dollar. We never would have even thought to try auction. But we were so tired of waiting and being apart. It turned out there is another kind of real estate auction which we hadn’t known about.
"In this kind of auction, the auction company does this intense marketing campaign – for just your house. Luckily, since we had equity in our home, we were candidates.”
Robert and Sandra signed a contract with the auction company on Sept. 7, 2010, and the auction was scheduled for October 15, 2010. The auction company began their marketing blitz.
“Almost right away, we felt we were on the right track,” remembers Robert. “We were getting calls every other day from the auction company with new leads and questions people had. More people came to see our house at the two Property Previews than in the entire time the house had been on the market.”
The Lee’s house sold in ten minutes at the auction, freeing the couple from their financial burden and allowing them to resume living together again.
Were they happy with what it sold for?
“The high bid came in at about 90% of what we had hoped it would,” says Sandra, “but we had already been ready to discount it substantially when we had it listed.When you consider what we were paying out every month in mortgages, taxes and maintenance fees,” says Robert, “we were far ahead of the game even getting 10% under what we hoped for.”
* Names changed to protect privacy.
For more information on real estate auctions call (877) 612-8494 or go to www.ajkaras.com.