Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thoughts After the Las Vegas Foreclosure Auction

We attended the most recent Las Vegas foreclosure auction today, and it went pretty much as expected, except the prices being bid were even higher than we anticipated. For the majority of buyers, it was their first auction. I'm not sure exactly how many bidders there were, but our bid card was number 4273. And there were quite a few out of state license plates pulling into the valet parking area to attend, especially from California. I don't think most of the buyers realized that almost all of the Las Vegas homes and condos had recently been listed and at what low prices they were listed for.

Instead, these buyers must have relied on the auctioneer's estimate of value in the auction brochure, because the prices they were bidding up to were only slightly below the last asking price in the MLS. As an investor, I had predetermined what I was willing to bid on each property and my value margins were far exceeded, except for one property I picked up really early (number three in the brochure) before the frenzy to buy became too great. And I am still waiting to hear if the bank will even accept my bid. My guess is I am too far below their reserve price, but if by some strange chance I do get it for the price I bid, I will indeed be happy!

Otherwise I will go back and search the MLS listings for the steals that are already there. It is definitely a little more work, as there is no central list and you have to dig for the information, but it is certainly worth the effort. And I will actually be able to pick up properties at less than what they were going for at the auction. I am also going to keep an eye on the properties that were in the auction to see if they actually close or if they end up going back on the market. My guess is at least 50% of those "sales" will fall through and be listed lower on the next go round.