Going, going, gone!
November 17, 2006
BY LARRY FINLEY Real Estate Reporter
…Steven H. Baumann, president of Westar Properties Inc. of Oak Brook, said he is getting five times as many calls as last year from people seeking help selling their properties.
"Not all of those people fit the candidacy for an auction," he said. "We want a property that is a good, quality property without any liens or encumbrances. The better the location, the better the property."
Quality homes include new single-family houses such as four in an auction Nov. 14. They included two large houses at the Arbor Lakes of Green Oaks development near Libertyville. The 4-bedroom houses were both priced at more than $1 million. Opening bids were set at $575,000. He also has other single-family homes and six-flats in Arlington Heights and Glenview. (www.westarproperties.com)
"In a soft market, where the seller is having a difficult time selling his property, time is money," he said. "Their carrying costs can eat them up. So . . . to limit the costs an auction may be their best option."
Traditionally spring and fall are the best time for conventional home sales, but auctions can be successful any time of the year, he said. Auctions are not as formidable as they might seem to someone who has never been to one, Baumann said.
"They see our advertisement in the paper or signage on the property," he said. "Then they call our office for a brochure [630-705-5500]. It has a description of the property, terms of the sale and the scheduled open house dates and times."
Three to five open houses are held three or four weeks before the sale. This gives a potential buyer a chance for a close inspection. They also get more material on the house, plus a packet of information on the auction process.
"We understand that most people have never been to an auction, so we have associates at the open house to explain what they have to do," he said. "A lot of people get intimidated, but an auction is really quite easy."
The auction itself will be held in a hotel meeting room. The bidders will be asked to have a certified or cashier's check for a specific amount as "earnest money." If they have the winning bid, they will be asked to increase their deposit to anywhere from 7 percent to 10 percent of the total purchase price, he said. They also will be asked to sign a contract included in their bidder's packet. A closing will be held about 30 to 45 days after the auction.
Baumann has about one auction a month with six to nine properties. Some bidders are referred by other brokers, he said, who receive a fee.
"People are getting good deals and people are happy to be selling," he said. "Our job is to bring the buyers and the sellers together to make deals that otherwise were improbable."
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