It was another freezing day at the county courthouse, standing outside to bid at the trustee sale of properties that have defaulted on their mortgages(foreclosure sales)
12 properties were on the original docket....4 had been removed from the sale for unknown reasons (they could have been cured at the last moment or bankruptcy could have stalled the process)
No one there is gleeful about the opportunity...we all know that people's lives have been damaged by the time a home gets here. There is a general quiet comradery among the regulars, with information sharing and fact clarification...you might expect the atmosphere to be cut throat but it's not.
If you have never been to one of these you need to be prepared for disappointment and non participation. You may have visited the properties and done your analysis, driven to the courthouse only to find that the property is not being offered or the mortgage holder bids $100k-$200k more than the market value of the home....this happens 70-80% of the time since our market is filled with homeowners who bought property at $600k in 2005 which will only fetch $425k today.
This is at the heart of our nationwide housing crisis and the end results are on daily display at courthouses around the country. All the homes that fail to sell today will be offered as bank owned REO properties in about 90 days through a Realtor. Today, the bank buys back four at the amount owed....no humans are dumb enough to pay that much.
The remaining 4 are purchased by the regulars...bids going in $500 increments from the opening price until the end where it finishes up in $100's......the attorney calls; "256,400 going, going.....256,500.... 256,600 .....256,600.....once ...anybody else?
Going twice at 256,600, one more time at 256,600....going, going ...anybody, anybody? sold at $256,600...that's all for today. Those of you who purchased come on over and settle up" . Nothing for us today and the crowd scurries to the warmth of their cars.