A Sign of the Times – Foreclosure Auctions

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Yesterday I was out and about, checking on some listings down in Watsonville. I drive into one condo complex that has been especially hard hit by foreclosures and short sales – there are over a dozen units for sale in a complex that probably doesn’t have more than 75 units in it. Right as I drove up the main road, what should my wondering eyes should appear, but this sign, nailed to the garage door of the unit:

Foreclosure Auction

Wow. That is something you definitely don’t see every day. It’s a sign of the times, that’s for sure. This unit had previously been on the market for some months, listed as an REO. When it first went on the market, it had an OK price, but the lender/owner (your good friend and mine, Countrywide) did not cut prices quickly enough to keep it competitive in the market, and now it’s on the auction block.

Well, being the Internet-savvy Realtor that I am, when I got back to my office I hopped on the web site, to see what the scoop was. It seems that this auction company is holding a huge auction on February 23. They are auctioning off six properties in Santa Cruz county, and hundreds more from other parts of northern California. Here’s a link that shows what they’re selling in Santa Cruz County:

US Home Auctions – Santa Cruz County

There are a number of details (that’s where the devil lives!), of course – but they are all explained on the web site, just hunt around. Some details are that you need a $5,000 cashier’s check to bid, and you must bring your checkbook because you will need to put down a 5% cash deposit.

I was talking to a colleague of mine about this at our Tuesday office meeting, and he said he knew about this because he saw a similar such sign posted on one of the other properties they are auctioning off. He said he had been to one of these auctions previously, when one of these very same properties did sell, but the deal must have fallen apart, because here it is back at auction again. He also said that the winning bid was about 4 times higher than the opening bid.

It certainly is an exciting time to be in Real Estate!

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