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
1,736,685
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.
WHISPERING PINES REALTY

Kat...buying foreclosed properties at auction can be very risky also if you are not well informed.  It is not done very often in Minnesota as the owner has a redemption period of 6 months to a year.

September 09, 2010 09:05 PM
Rainmaker
940,838
Georgie Hunter
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers

It sounds a lot like over here.... most properties get cancelled or a new date.  Things just keep dragging on.  

September 09, 2010 09:07 PM
Rainmaker
329,854
Sharon Lord
Argent Décor - AZ Vacation Home Furnishing Service
Argent Décor

Kat - thanks for sharing!  My dad wants to go to pick up a home "on the cheap" but I'm afraid.....  I, too, was picturing at least a guy in a tie with a gavel....ha!

September 09, 2010 09:07 PM
Ambassador
573,630
Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

William: it is done here all the time.  I actually had my title rep do some digging before we even hopped in the car...

Georgina: Most were cancelled.  But the one we went for, had already went up for auction last Nov and wasn't taken.  The sellers RUINED this place. Took sledge hammers to floors, counter and ALL windows.

Sharon;  you can get a deal for sure.  Just do your homework first.

September 09, 2010 09:18 PM
Rainmaker
1,674,754
Lou Ludwig
CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC, e-PRO
Ludwig & Associates

Kat

Sometimes the sales are not very professional as you found out.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

September 09, 2010 09:22 PM
Rainmaker
1,035,209
Joan Whitebook
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
BHG The Masiello Group

Kat ~  I have never been to one of these auctions either.. Maybe I should check it out sometime.  The only auction I recall is one in San Francisco for some condos on the ocean... the day was sunny instead of the usual fog... and they were selling like crazy... I think some folks were surprised when the fog returned!

September 09, 2010 09:54 PM
Rainmaker
419,861
Jim Patton
Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor.
Century 21 M&M - 209-633-2839

Kat - I have been wanting to go to one too, here in the valley we have quite a few of them.   I also noticed that you are a CDPE, as am I.  Do you think that was money and time well spent?

September 09, 2010 09:55 PM
Ambassador
573,630
Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

Lou: so so true.

Joan: I BET they were!

Jim: No, I don't think the money into my CDPE was worth it. Not at all.  How do you feel about it?  BYW; I have tons of family in Modesto and Hughson...

September 09, 2010 10:05 PM
Rainmaker
247,854
Paula Swayne
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715

Hi Kat!
Hmmm...they always tell me that they are going to the courthouse steps...but maybe that is an exaggeration...I am going to have to check it out some time, just to get an education myself!

September 09, 2010 11:20 PM
Ambassador
573,630
Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

Paula; Steps there were... but the auction wasn't on them.  :-)   You really need to go check out one sometime.

September 10, 2010 04:04 AM
Rainmaker
659,774
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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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
598,840
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
Ambassador
573,630
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
598,840
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

Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
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