My First Auction on The Court House Steps ~ Not What I was Expecting

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Real Estate Agent with MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 BRE 01235311

 Your Lake Arrowhead Realtor would like to share some local Lake Arrowhead Information with you

Have you ever gone to an auction for real estate property?  I hadn't either until yesterday. And I gotta tell you,  it was NOT what I was expecting.

My son, Jason, and his wife, Colleen, wanted to go to an auction in hopes of bidding on the property next door to theirs that was on the "block." They did their homework: checked to make sure taxes were paid up and also that the title would be clear. All they had to do was bring a cashiers check.

We arrived, headed into the courthouse (after going through the metal detector, etc) and asked a clerk where to go. "Back outside and to the right," we were told. I was expecting a real "professional" set up: Podium and a guy or gal standing behind it with a gavel in their hand.... Ah, NO, that was not the case.

Over on the patchy, damp grass under a very old pine tree, was a dude sporting a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt, sitting in a lawn chair (fancy one, I might add) that had a arm table that popped up & with his crazy looking laptop on his lap. He started shouting out properties that were being canceled or had been given a new date.

Thankfully, the property my kids were interested in came up right away. The auctioneer (is that what he was?) called it out. Too much money! We left.

The experience was a good one, as I had no idea what to expect; accept I was thinking it would be slightly more "auction-ish." 

Just goes to show that we should always expect the unexpected!

P.S.  I did NOT take pictures... that was not a place where you go snapping shots of people (or you might be shot at!)

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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
California San Bernardino County Lake Arrowhead
Groups:
Everything California
Lake Arrowhead ~ Southern California Mountain Resort
Posts to Localism
Realtors®
Southern California Real Estate Forum
Tags:
auctions for real estate
san bernardino county courthouse
courthouse steps
gavel

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Rainmaker
649,467
Sharon Paxson
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912

Hi Kat - that sounds like an interesting experience. I may have go to check one out sometime.

September 10, 2010 12:01 PM
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565,098
Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

Sharon.... I think everyone needs to attend one of these, at least once. :-)

September 10, 2010 06:50 PM
Rainmaker
598,574
Donne Knudsen
CalState Realty Services
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA

Kat - I too attended an auction once.  It was at the courthouse but not the steps; in was in a little room.  When we walked in, there were a bunch of "suits" standing around talking and there was a table up front with a notebook on it with all the properties to be "auctioned" off that day.

As we went through the book looking for the one we wanted to bid on, we noticed a lot of the properties pages had big red X's on them and those were the ones that were "off the block".  Then a guy came through a side door and picked up the notebook and started rattling auctioning off the available properties.  We soon discovered that the "suits" were just a bunch of bank reps buying their own properties, which we found kind of odd.

Needless to say, we left empty handed.  All the way home we talked about how that was NOT what we were expecting.  That was a few years ago and it may be a little different now (at least here in Los Angeles county) but my advice to anyone planning to purchase at auction:  have lots of cash available because you are competing with banks and and attorneys and/or negotiators for either large real estate investment companies or professional real estate investors.  JMHO

September 13, 2010 02:23 PM
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Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

Donne:  Thanks for sharing! I, too, had heard about "suits" coming and possibly loading up on propeties. BUT why their own?  Isn't that creepy?    The stuff we learn in real estate. Yikes!

September 13, 2010 05:42 PM
Rainmaker
598,574
Donne Knudsen
CalState Realty Services
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA

Kat - We too thought it seemed kind of wierd that bank reps seemed to buying their own properties but then I don't recall seeing any payments exchanging hands either.  There were a couple of "suits" that were actually attorneys (I think?) for r.e. investment companies.

September 13, 2010 10:09 PM
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Kat DeLong

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