Las Vegas Property Auctions - Deal or No Deal?

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There was a time when I would be excited by the prospect of a property auction in Las Vegas. Back then, auctions were a huge deal and very rare. Buyers could have the opportunity to pick up a home or condo far below market price.

Now, there seems to be an auction every month and the "deals" aren't just what they used to be. Of course, the whole point of an auction is to generate excitement and in the heat of the moment, get people to spend more than they want to. Add to that the buyer's premium that can range up to 10% of the winning bid, plus closing costs and suddenly that great deal isn't as great as it used to be.

That being said, there are a couple of auctions this month coming up. The first one is for the Monterey condos at the Las Vegas Country Club (condo conversion). There will be 45 condominiums auctioned off on August 16th. This statement from the auction company sums up what I mean about auctions: "This once-in-a-lifetime event will be a great opportunity for buyers to gain ownership in one of Las Vegas' premier communities," said Keith McLane, president of REDC's builder division.

Unless you attended the last auction for Monterey condos they held back in October of last year. The buyer's premium for this auction is 5% and you'll need to bring a cashier's check for $2,500. You also must register 48 hours before the event.

Later this month Newport Lofts will also be holding an auction for 20 new lofts on August 29th. Reserve prices have been posted and range from $90,000 up to $450,000. You are required to buy a bidder's packet by mail for $10 in order to bid on the property. The buyer's premium is 6% of the winning bid. You must also present a cashier's check for $7,500 to $15,000 in order to be able to bid on the properties. Registration begins at 2 pm the day of the auction.

If you decide to attend either auction, I highly recommend that you have your own agent with you. Auction companies don't prohibit you from having one, but they certainly don't mind if you don't have one. Also, never bid on a property that you have not throughly inspected in person---EVER. A quick search on google will give you dozens of horror stories about auctioned properties that weren't inspected prior to purchase (don't get me started about "virtual auctions" on the internet). True there are disclosures given by the auction company about the properties, but you would hire a home inspection professional for any property that you would buy in a regular transaction---but most people that buy at an auction don't. Part of the buyer's premium you are forced to pay goes toward having a buyer's agent. Since you are stuck paying it, you might as well get the benefit of having your own agent.

With so many bank owned properties already on the market, going to an auction is kind of a moot point. Prices are depressed below what experts deem a "historic" value already (what a condo or home would be worth in a normal market here). Another thing to consider are the closing costs. Most foreclosure properties will pay buyer's closing costs or at least a good percentage of them.

If you would like to see what is currently on the market for Newport Lofts or Monterey Condos, feel free to use our property search to do some research.


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