Foreclosure Auction

Fresno, CA, USA Homes in Chowchilla that sold for more than $300,000 two years ago were going for less than half their original prices.

Sylvia Tate was one of the winning bidders. "Oh, excited about that. With the market as it is, we're looking to make some cash flow, get in at a good low price, so we're very excited."

These auctions aren't for everyone. In order to bid, buyers must have a cashier's check for $5,000, and be prepared to write a personal check if necessary to cover 5% of the bidding price, which goes to the auction company, Real Estate Disposition Corporation. Buyers must also qualify for financing, and then wait to see if the bank that owns the house accepts the price they bid.

"I really don't know how long it will take them to make the decision whether they're going to go ahead and sell it to you or not." Sylvia Tate said.

So the bid is really just an offer, and many are rejected. Still, real estate broker Cliff Henes says it's another way to buy and sell. "People are making some good buys and it's a great way to move some of this inventory which is what we need to have happen to get the market back to normal."

It's clear the market remains far from normal. According to real estate web site A 3,200 square foot home in an exclusive gated neighborhood in North Fresno sold for $544,000 dollars in 2004. It was once valued at close to $900,000 dollars. It went at this auction for a winning bid of $395,000. A similar house just down the street sold for $518,000 a few months ago. So, it may be a good buy, if the bank accepts the winning bidder's price.

Wednesday night's auction was the latest in a series held in the Fresno area to try and move the huge backlog of foreclosed homes.


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