If you weren't at the Las Vegas Auction on Sunday, August 5th, you missed out on an excellent real estate experience.
I got to the event and noticed that tons of cars were pulling in and that valet was full even @ 11:30 on a Sunday. As I walked in to the event I was talking with the lady next to me as I saw property printouts in her hand. We got to the registration tables and and waited about 2-3 minutes to sign in and get our "paddles". After that we sat and talked, looking over comps I had brought. She asked if I would help her out as it was her first auction so I said sure.
About 12:30 we looked around the corner, as we were sitting on some couches in a lounge area, we saw the registration lines stretching back 10-15 people deep with about 100 people waiting to register. Figuring we should get a seat we walked in and the ballroom was packed. If you have ever seen a Vegas ballroom, you know how big they are. The hotel had already begun moving walls and doubling the size. News cameras were all over the place. Photographers. It was a frenzy.
We snagged the last few seats up front and listened to the live music being performed (A guy with a keyboard playing modern day music ala elevator style).
When the event started I had the area around me fixated on my book of comps. The auctioneer started giving information about how it works and said that each one should be about 2 minutes. 2 MINUTES!?!?! I thought I had a record when I sold my house in a matter of hours of being listed.
As the auction got to the first property I flipped open to the first property and the first set of comps... 40,000 went the first bid. 45, 50, 60, 62.... finally ending up around 70,000. It was fast and furious with everyone around me looking over my shoulder asking what it was actually worth, what it was listed for in the MLS, what the HOA fees were, etc. etc. In the end, the property seemed to go for about 20-25k below the comps. Not knowing the condition, that may have been a great deal.
As the day continued and properties selling in minutes, I started to notice that the homes were selling for around 50k below the list price. On a 300k list price, a sales price of 250K is about a 16-17% discount. Not too bad. Some sold for more of a discount than that and others closer to the list price than I would have wanted to pay.
Some of the 400-600K homes went for discounts of $200K+.
It was definitely a great learning experience and based on the information I had on hand and the questions that were coming to me, I've now got a greater understanding and will be better prepared next time.
Later in the evening, the 10 o'clock news reported on the event and showed interviews with previous auction buyers about the downside of buying a home auction style and the problems that they ran into. I'll write on that subject later.
All in all it was a good time and it went by fast. Let me know if you want to be updated on future auctions and I will keep you informed.
I also plan on putting out a book for the next auction that will have every property along with the comps and other information that I found from being there will be imperative to have on hand. The book I had with me took my assistants and I about 2 days to put together, thus costing me some serious $$ and time so when I do put them together for the next auction, I will be charging a fee for them, as I can't afford to give them away to tire kickers but for those who are serious, refunding the cost when you show up and register with me.
Next auction is in 90 days, with brochures being sent out 30 days before the auction and I should have them 15 days sooner than that.
John at Johncalvert dot net