Real Estate Auctions: Not Just for the Dead and Broke Anymore

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In the past, auctions were for liquidating estates and foreclosures. Selling luxury real estate through an auction has become an innovative vehicle for sellers with unique properties to reach a niche buying market. It’s a win-win proposition for both buyers and sellers as they experience the advantages of luxury real estate auctions.

Auctions of residential real estate in the US totaled $14.2 billion last year, up 8.4% from 2004.

Because of the growing acceptance of luxury-property auctions, auction houses are now providing extensive sales and marketing services to reach prospective buyers both in national and international markets. As reported by The Wall Street Journal on line, “Auctions of residential real estate in the US totaled $14.2 billion last year, up 8.4% from 2004.”

On November 8, 2006 a quintessential Malibu hideaway will hit the auction block using this unique approach. Selling luxury real estate through an auction house is perfect for properties that need to rise above the market clutter and attract the attention of the international or second home buyer.

According to Michael Fox International, a global auction house specializing in residential real estate and industrial property, “The auction method is proactive. A full-scale marketing effort brings together qualified bidders who compete against each other in the competitive pressure cooker of immediacy.”

Case in point: Dr. James Rota, a dentist to many entertainment icons, has a most unusual luxury property in Malibu, CA. His home is located in the most exclusive modular home park in the country. He has the same ocean view for which many celebrity neighbors pay tens of millions of dollars. It is a perfect second home for the bi-coastal or international resident. His neighbor’s home just sold for $1.8 million.

“I live in one of the most beautiful places in California,” says Dr. Rota. “There are tremendous advantages to owning a modular home with one of the best ocean views located in a secure, private environment. Land leases are commonplace in the real estate environment - and I pay no property taxes. Do the math.” Instead, he writes a check annually for $53 in HCD fees.

Clay Dickens, Vice President of Community West Bank, a financial institution that provides a significant amount of the financing in the Point Dume Club says “It’s a no-brainer. The area has been zoned by the California Coastal Commission for modular homes, so they aren’t going anywhere. This is the last bastion in Southern California of affordable ocean view homes. Similar homes in conventional neighborhoods go for twice the amount, along with hefty property taxes. The modular homes in this area are good business for us and a great investment for the buyer.”

The buyers benefit, too. Smart investments are made as properties are usually purchased at fair market value through competitive bidding. Dr. Rota’s neighbors have recently purchased their beautiful ocean view homes in the range of $1.6 to $1.75 million.

The buyer knows the seller is committed to sell. Buyers determine the purchase price and know they are competing fairly and on the same terms as all other buyers. Auction houses, such as Michael Fox International, provide a comprehensive information packet for the property.

And by the way, real estate brokers can win, too. They may still earn a commission for bringing a qualified buyer to the transaction.

On November 8, 11:00 am, on the deck of this quintessential Malibu hideaway, the auction gavel will strike.

For additional information on this auction, visit Dr. Rota’s auction listing may be viewed at


Dori Friedland


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