Forget 'Qualified' – Auctions Failed

By Dave Fratello | December 9th, 2008
Two weeks have now elapsed since the vaunted auctions of 5 new local homes.

Every one of them is now back on the market.

It's fair to say, now, that MBC held back too much in calling the auctions a "qualified failure." At this point we've got just the "f" word left.

All 5 homes have returned to market priced well above their auction start prices. (The "reserve" prices for each property remained secret.) This hardly seems to be a good way to encourage quick sales.

We probably don't need to tell you that the DOM figures on these listings are all, at this point, purely fictional. In fact, the old listings had their clocks reset. (Go back to our late-October story, "Name Your Price?" and click on those links to see for yourself.)

As always, click any highlighted address for pics & details via Redfin.

2509 Palm (5br/5ba, 3150 sq. ft.) was offered at auction for a start price of $1.499m; it's now at $1.699m, but there's no hurry. It's deep in the foreclosure process, facing a different kind of auction – a public sale – next Monday, Dec. 15, on the courthouse steps in Pomona. (Minimum bid: $1.677m – good luck with that.)

1211 11th (5br/5ba, 3550 sq. ft.) came to auction at $1.450m; it's now at $1.799m.

1405 Faymont (5br/5ba, 3550 sq. ft.) returned to the market Tuesday. It was at $1.399m during the auctions; the markup now is smaller than the other 2 MB homes, up to $1.499m.

Meanwhile, the 2 Hermosa homes are back, also – neighboring 540 21st (5br/4ba, 3550 sq. ft.) and 544 21st were offered at $1.649m and $1.669m, respectively, and are now both back at $2.199m.

The auctions were an experiment. The properties didn't sell at auction, but there was a buzz and there were said to be qualified buyers who began negotiations on some of the offerings.

Alas, the experiment has failed, and the market will have to find another way to absorb these speckies, as well as several other holdings of the builder who rolled the dice in this case.

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