A friend of ours retired and sold farm and contents at auction; he reckoned what he *might* have lost financially was more than made up for by the fact that it was all over and done with in 48 hours, and he walked away with no concerns and a juicy big + sign in his bank account!
I'd discuss it with your local auction houses, get personal references, talk to both satisfied and dissatisfied customers, etc.
I live just outside of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which is the land of auctions. It is very common here to auction real estate, as well as just about anything else.
We purchased a farm last year and tried to go the auction route. We found some properties that went at prices we expected and possibly at little lower. There was one that we really wanted that went out of our price range within three bids- the house was barely liveable, it did not have a usuable barn, and not one rail of fencing - but the location was to die for if you were a hunter or trail rider.
We have also noticed that which auction company you use makes a huge difference. There is one company here that outshines the others- advertising everywhere, print ads, flyers, signs, great auctioneers who are willing to talk to you about the propety at length- and their properties seem to bring the higher prices.
You can put a reserve on the bottom line price. The auction company does not announce the reserve to the public but may not sell the property if your reserve is not met.
It took me 7 years to get divorced, so I know what you are going through by wanting it to be all said and done. Hang in there!
Last edited by cutter99; May. 31, 2011 at 08:09 AM.
My family is an auction family...so we have done loads of estate sales. The market isn't the greatest for high price house hold items, though it is starting to climb. If you just want it over and done with having an estate sale is probably the quickest easiest way to go.
The one big thing you need to do is research the Auction house that you are going to use. Ask for references, ask around, ask antique dealers, they know who to deal with and who not to deal with.
You will have the final say whether the property sells or not, if your reserve isn't met they will not sell it. For the ones that haven't sold on sale day, it is usually within a week they are sold, because the buyers had a chance to go through it during sale day, were able to come up with the money for the reserve etc.
In you case I think if both parties agree, it may be a great way for you to go.
If I can just get the property sold, then I'm done. It's a relief to know that there is a reserve.
Thank you Romany, Cutter, and Charlo for the replies and advice.
My property hasn't had one look and it's been on the market since early April. It's competively priced, and I've got a great realtor. Her contacts indicate that other similar properties haven't had any looks.
There is a farm that is similar in size to mine just a mile down the road that is going up for auction. This is what gave me the idea. I will go to that auction and start my "research" there.
Any other comments and advice on this topic is certainly welcome.
Here in Middle Tennessee, auctions are very common to settle estates. I know they not only have reserves but also will confirm with the owner the time of the sale if the price is acceptable. I bought my home and acreage at auction. I went to look at an antique trunk and ended up with a 160-year old farm house and 14 acres.