Probate Auction Home Closes

By Dave Fratello | April 7th, 2010
Fully 4 months after a 90-second auction at the property, 1801 Elm has now closed for the winner's bid price: $805k, according to a fresh MLS entry.

The delay since that cool December evening was all about getting court signoff on the sale. However, at the final court hearing, a new bidder could have come in at $847,750 (winning bid +5%) to snatch the property away from the auction winner.

That wasn't going to happen, as MBC readers, among others, generally agreed that $800k or so was pretty much the maximum value for the tear-down on this lot.

A solid majority (55%) of those voting in our probate auction pricing poll selected a price range of $700k-$850k, with the greatest concentration near $800k. (See "Poll Results: 1801 Elm.")

The next-door home, 1733 Elm, had sold as a short sale in May 2009 at $801k, but it wasn't a tear-down – it just needed things like a kitchen and bathroom. (The home had been gutted during an abortive remodel.) On balance, this means that the dirt at 1801 Elm sold for somewhat more than the $4k difference in prices on the 2 properties.

You may recall that the listing at 1801 first popped up with the come-hither price of $399k to stoke interest in the auction. And that stoking play worked great. As MBC reported from the scene:
Saturday's open house at 1801 Elm was a throwback to the frenzied days of the real estate bubble. That era when a first public open was often an event, with constant caravans of people coursing through, excited chatter on-site about the price the sellers might get, a neighborhood crawling with people carrying the flyer from the open... Saturday's open had all that.
The auction itself had far more gawkers than bidders, and, as we noted above, it was over nearly as soon as it began. (See "Probation Auction Ends at $805k.")

Next, we fully expect a 'dozer, unless the buyer has unusual vision to revive "one grim, destroyed house" (MBC's description). Bet on the scrape.

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