As many of you know, I track short-sales and foreclosures on Maui. I originally had signed up with RealtyTrak but quickly found out that their data wasn’t very current for Maui. So I manually track the foreclosures in the Maui News and track short-sales by running carefully crafted searches in MLS.
Today, I decided to attend a foreclosure auction. I had heard that Maui auctions were pretty boring; things were either delayed, minimum price set too high or banks outbidding bidders.
Today, there were supposed to be 10 properties at auction; according to the paper. I arrived a few minutes late. Despite the instructions that state that the auction is at the flagpole, there is no flagpole and auction happens near the sculpture. Today, about 25 folding chairs were set up so I anticipated observing some action.
Most of the foreclosures were delayed and rescheduled for a future date. There was only one that was announced and no one was interested. It was a Kihei Villages unit but the minimum bid price was $203,400. This unit had been listed on the MLS for $310,000 but the average sales price in last 6 months at Kihei Villages is about $250,000 (range 185-307).
The unit had been recently updated with granite countertops, new flooring, pedestal sinks.
It was a second floor unit which tend to be less desireable. It was in the middle of the complex. If I were setting a “priced to sell” value on this unit, it would have been $235,000. If I’d been pricing it for someone who didn’t mind waiting, it may be as much as $260,000. It clearly has many more upgrades over many of the short sale units in the $200,000 range.
That said, the unit never showed up on the MLS as a short sale. I see way too many people who are embarrassed by the situation and don’t tell their agent that they are behind on payments and facing foreclosure. Many agents are trained to deal with short sales. The banks prefer to work with an agent because they know the agent is held to strict code of ethics. If you are a homeowner, find an agent who knows and is willing to work short-sales. The pre-foreclosure period has many of good options for negotiating that go away after a foreclosure. Foreclosure properties are not all run-down, uncared for homes that many people envision. Many are in exceptional condition and show pride of ownership. Good people were caught in bad mortgages in a declining market. A good realtor will work hard to find the best solution possible for thier client.
I’ll try going to another auction; maybe one day I’ll even try to bid.