Monday, August 8, 2016

The Auction

The Auction
 Dr. Mouhamed N. Tarazi

Forty eight I shouted when the clerk at the Sheriff office opened the bid on this condo. Forty eight is short for forty eight thousand dollars.

Friday I went to the Sheriff real estate auction to try to help my nephew buy this condo. It was appraised at $72,000 and the opening minimum bid was $48,000. My nephew and I decided early on not to go over $55,000.

Without seeing the inside of the property and just relying on peeking through the widows (if you can), you have to be careful and cover your bases when you buy a property at a Sheriff auction. You need to factor in unexpected problems (like a damaged air conditioning unit or dysfunctional water heater. Some owners, when they lose their property, they leave and take with them anything they can; refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, light fixtures; etc. Sometimes they will take even the copper pipes.

“Forty eight one ($48,100),” a man in the back of the packed room shouted.
“Forty eight one, do I have a higher bid” the clerk repeated.
“Forty eight two” I announced.

Every time a bid is made the clerk repeated it and asked for a higher bid.

“Forty eight three,” a man in the back barked. I couldn’t tell if it was the same man.
“Forty eight four,” I cried.
“Forty eight five,” a voice from the back.
“Forty eight six,” I insisted.
“Forty eight nine,” a man in the back shouted.
“Forty nine thousand,” I announced

The clerk got fed up with us going by one hundred increase every time we bid and sternly she directed us to go by $1,000 increase.

“Fifty (meaning fifty thousand),” he said.
“Fifty one (This was not $50,100 as it was understood in the first round, it was $51,000),” I decided.
“Fifty two,” was announced in the back.
I went up to fifty three thousand.
“Fifty four thousands,” the same voice announced.
I announced our upper limit: “Fifty five thousands.”
The man in the back went up to fifty six thousands. The clerk said, after asking for a higher bid: “Fifty six thousands going once, fifty six thousand going twice,” pause.

In a real estate auction or in any auction for that matter, your adrenaline goes high up and can prevent you from stopping at the right time and you will end up getting a bad deal.  Let me just add one more thousand. Thankfully my nephew was not with me and I controlled my desire to just go up a thousand dollars one more time.

“Sold, Fifty six thousands, please come forward,” the clerk nodded to the buyer in the back. A man, the buyer, and a representative of the bank, hurried at the same time to the clerks’ table to do the necessary paperwork.

I folded my papers and stood up to leave when I heard the clerk announcing the rebidding of the same condo. Did I really hear that? This does not happen that often. Apparently that buyer thought all along that he was bidding on a different property.

“Do I have an opening bid of forty eight thousand?” the clerk announced.
“Forty eight thousands.” I gladly said.
“I have an opening bid of forty eight thousand, do I have a higher bid?
Silence. I started to get excited.
“I have an opening bid of forty eight thousand, do I have a higher bid?
Silence. I was excited now.
“Forty eight thousand going once.”
Silence. More excited.
“Forty eight thousand going twice.”
Silence. Extremely excited. My heart beats went up to 120.
“Sold. Forty eight thousand. Please come forward.”

Had this confused buyer stopped at $54,000, we would’ve paid for this condo $55,000.  But we only paid $48,000. Clearly in those few minutes my nephew saved $7,000.  

Be mindful of almighty God and He will show you a way out of distress and He will provide for you in a manner beyond all expectation.

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