Well, tonight was my first time attending a real estate auction and my head is still spinning. As we pulled up to the small auction in Lake Arrowhead, which was being held at one of the homes on the auction block, there were cars lining the street. My anticipation grew as I noticed all of the people milling about the property. We climbed the stairs to the property, anxious to be witness to the action inside. From there, it was a complete whirlwind.
I am not convinced, that for the first few minutes we were there, the auctioneer was actually speaking English. The living room of the home held about 25 people, with another dozen or so milling about on the deck. It was really a strange assortment of attendees, everyone from young families to local Realtor lookie-loos (like me!) to obvious representatives for investors. There was the lightening quick Auctioneer, along with two men in suits who were keeping an eye out for bidders. One of them kept talking into a mouthpiece to someone. Who was on the other end of that speaker, I do not know, but whomever it was said things from time to time that caused the man to yell out in acceptance of bids. I presume he was either talking with a very VIP investor or that he was connected to someone at the auction company who was downloading online bids. I watched intently as the auctioneer said lots of numbers and solicited bids from the attendees. All the while, I had no idea who in the room was bidding. The faces were so stoic, they must have been bidding with secret nods and things.
To be honest with you, I was only certain a couple of times through the entire auction that I knew which house was being bid on and for how much. I am familiar with the industry of selling and buying houses. I was familiar with the properties being auctioned. Even with that in mind, I was completly lost most of the time we were at this auction.
This brings me to the heart of my thought on this blog. If I felt confused and steamrolled, how on earth would any average person feel at this thing? Now I realize that real estate auctions probably are not set up to appeal to the average consumer, they are for investors to pick up the properties that have not sold on the open market. However, I can imagine that there are some junior investors who are just trying their hand at real estate investing who may go to these auctions to try to snatch up some great deals.
I am so glad that I did not have any ability to purchase anything tonight, because when it was all said and done, there were some people there who picked up rock bottom priced homes. Once I figured out what each had sold for, I was a bit jealous. But I was also a bit tired. I must go again and see if it makes more sense the second time.