This past weekend, Sunday to be exact, I had the chance to see some of the fate of real estate in the current market. A real estate auction gives you a whole new look at real estate. In more ways than one.
First off, this auction was held at the Westin Buckhead Hotel. No Motel 6 or convention center here. In fact, I quite enjoyed the fresh shrimp, beef wellington and assorted cheeses that were served, along with Starbucks Coffee. (No wine at the auction, but at the "practice auction" on Saturday afternoon, we were treated to wine along with some munchies! Free Valet parking too! Ok, back to the auction....
At auction, were 40 condominiums in the Cosmopolitian At Lindbergh development. Now, this is a nice community, located close to freeways or walking distance to the Lindbergh MARTA transit station. Homes up for auction were also not cracker boxes! The smallest floor plan was 852 sq ft and the largest was 1,739 sq ft. (a 3 bedroom unit).
The outside of the community is on the left, and the lobby entrance on the right. Pretty nice eh?
We attended the practice auction, and did just as we were told...sit in front. (Picture is smaller and does not show well, but my buyers are on the right, in front of the auctioneer!
The room quickly filled, and they added more seats, 3 times in fact. I started to think, ah, we are not going get anything here with all these people. But I had faith.
Then the auction started. Now, my Buyer gave me a last minute surprise by lowering the amount he was willing to spend. WHAT? You came to an auction, and you REDUCED your ability to buy? So why then just 3 weeks ago you had me looking for $180K condos, and now you only want to spend $160K? UGH!
Well, the first choice of my Buyer, was.....First. BAM! SOLD! In less than 2 minutes. Original List Price $299,500. Auction Price ---$187,000!!!! And so the story went. And went. And went. But wait, it actually got worse before it ended. My Buyer ( a first time buyer moving from a studio apartment) has in his mind his place MUST have at least 1,000 sq ft. That's one HUGE condo by Atlanta standards. We had done a complete walk through of the development, and he had marked on his bid list those units he wanted, or at least was interested in. Nope. Not a one did we get. At one point, he was bidding on a floorplan he wanted, and the bid went to $163,000. The auctioneer looked right at him and said, "Just one more bid..." but NOPE, not my Buyer. SOLD! $163,000 to the man in the back of the room.
Then, the real killer came with the Buckhead 1 Bedroom floor plan at 901 sq ft. (HUGE for a 1 bedroom in Atlanta condos....) sold for $127,000! Original List Price was $229,500. At that point, I knew this was a lost cause. Never fear, tho, my Buyer still had some of his choices left on the list. NOT! The auctioneer suddenly announced the auction was ending. BAM. That's it. Party's over!
So, my Buyer left, and I stood there scratching my head (and probably mumbling a few words,) A brand new condo for $127,000 (that's $140 per sq. ft.) and the average for the auction was $165 per sq ft.
We'd had some serious conversations at the development, and at the practice auction about having choices and really looking at all the floor plans just in case. But, I think we lacked the motivation to really take advantage of the opportunity that was in front of him. And in another way, lacked the money after the change in our price point we were willing to pay.
Moral of the story....When you come to the auction, come with your money AND your motivation...and you just might leave with one sweet new home....or then again, maybe not.
If you're looking for great real estate opportunities in Atlanta, especially in Midtown and Buckhead, just let me know! I can find you one, and you WILL go home happy!