Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Motivated seller auction to become bimonthly event in Bend

From the Bend Bulletin:

After a year trying to sell a residential lot in Bend on his own, attorney Erwin Lawrence is turning to a professional, but not the one you might think. Lawrence chose an auctioneer.
This evening at the Tower Theatre, Bend-based Premier Real Estate Auctioneers Inc. will hold its first auction of local residential and commercial properties in what company owner Cole Davis hopes will become a bimonthly event. None of the properties is distressed, meaning none of the approximately 25 properties featured is a short sale or lender-owned, Davis said.
Instead, they’re properties whose owners are motivated to sell.
“The bank wanted their money and I wanted to get it sold,” said Lawrence, of Bend, whose .10-acre lot on McKay Avenue is included in the auction.
As the real estate market continues to work through its woes, more people are turning to auctions, drawn to some key differences from the traditional way of buying and selling property, Davis said. Sellers like an auction because it can quickly lead to a sale and buyers like it because it’s a transparent process that enables them to buy something at market value, rather than an arbitrary price, he said.
“With a traditional real estate sale, you put a number on it and negotiate downward,” Davis said. “At an auction, you put a value and negotiate upward, and that’s why it’s successful. It’s the fair market value.”
The properties featured in tonight’s auction range from three-bedroom homes in Bend to a 20-acre property with a five-bedroom home outside town to commercial properties on Bend’s Galveston Avenue.
The September Bratton Report, released by the Bratton Appraisal Group of Bend, reported that Bend had an inventory of single-family homes equaling 15 months, which points to a glut of homes on the market. An inventory of six months is deemed healthy, according to the industry.
Davis is a Bend native who has worked in the real estate auction business for 20 years, primarily in the Midwest and South where property auctions are more common, he said. Two years ago, he moved his company to Bend but continued most of his work outside the region.
Davis said tonight’s auction is in response to local demand, as more people are becoming familiar with the process. Property auctions in the West historically have had a negative connotation, he said, as they tend to be associated with foreclosure auctions typically held on courthouse steps.