Real Estate Auction Madness

Real Estate Agent with Mountain Top Producers BRE# 01888377

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.

Comments (11)

Margo Currie
Exit 1 Stop Realty - Saint Augustine Beach, FL

I've heard of real estate auctions, but never actually attended one. Sounds interesting!

Jan 24, 2011 04:46 PM
Brandy Gurtner
Sr Mortgage Consultant

Wow, I know  others that have attended auctions here in Phoenix, and there were only a few  people present.  That just proves  what a huge  difference  there is in real  estate from state to state.  Hang in there, and try the  auction idea again some day. Next time you can say your experienced and have been  there before.  LOL

Jan 24, 2011 04:51 PM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

It's important to understand the terms. Some auctions charge a 5% buyers fee. Others provide insurable title, but not necessarily clean titles. It pays to do due diligence.

Jan 24, 2011 04:52 PM
Tommy Taylor
Taylor Properties & - Kerrville, TX
CNE- Texas Hill Country Realtor

The only real estate auctions I have attended were the ones held on our Courthouse steps- 1st Tuesday of every month. Sounds like it was a little more laid back than your auction experience.

Jan 24, 2011 04:54 PM
Chris Alston
Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California) - Campbell, CA
Silicon Valley, California

It does sound interesting, and reading this made me think, "hmmmm"

Jan 24, 2011 04:55 PM
Rama Mehra
Asante Realty - San Ramon, CA

Interesting concept. I have thought of going to one but never really landed up doing it.......

Jan 24, 2011 04:56 PM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Amy~ I'm not sure what kind of auction you actually attended, but many of these auctions are not absolute auctions. I explained the process in a recent blog: Going, going, gone. NOT!  What the winning bidder wins is the right to additional negotiations, in many instances; so those low prices may not be the final prices.

Jan 24, 2011 05:01 PM
Kat DeLong
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ

Amy; GREAT post!!!!

  I went to an auction on the court house steps a few months ago (to give support to the buyers) and I honestly felt intimidated.  But I haven't been to one right ON the property of the home being sold.   Call me next time and I'll go with you. 

Jan 25, 2011 11:14 AM
Amy Sharrow
Mountain Top Producers - Running Springs, CA

Liz - I read your Going, Going, Gone. NOT! Blog and it was really enlightening.  There is so much to learn about that arm of the industry, it is good to get some insight from you.

Kat - we would love to go together!  It was the first one I had heard of here in our backyard.  I'd like to attend one at the courthouse also.  I think the key is to have the exposure by going to more than one.  I am looking forward to the next opportunity.

Jan 25, 2011 11:20 AM
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Amy~ While I've been to a number of the on-site auctions (when my listings were involved), I have never actually attended a courthouse auction. ...maybe when the weather warms up... And for the on-sight auctions, FEW of the "buyers" ended up getting the property for the auction's final bid.

Jan 25, 2011 04:07 PM
Amy Sharrow
Mountain Top Producers - Running Springs, CA

Thank you Liz for your wonderful postings in your blog.  I have really enjoyed reading through your topics and entries and I am so impressed that I subscribed!  You have a way with words that this ole English major really admires.  Thanks for your postings here so I could find you!

Jan 25, 2011 04:43 PM