Risky Business: Real Estate Auctions

risky business - blog

Have you seen the show Flip or Flop on HGTV? A husband and wife real estate team in California purchases homes at auctions with cash in order to renovate and resell them. We recently had a client who was interested in how real estate auctions work, and if they were a smart investment for her.

Home auctions and renovations produce high drama – they make for a good TV show, but are certainly a risky investment. Here are four risks you take when purchasing a home at auction:

Risk #1 – 10% Earnest Money

If you buy real estate at auction, you have to put 10% down and that is absolutely nonrefundable for any reason. You are committed from contract.

Risk #2 – No Inspections

All your inspections must be completed prior to bidding. You can’t really inspect the property before contract because usually the utilities are not on, and you are not guaranteed to win the bid. If you are buying with a loan, it is worse: no appraisal or loan contingency (and, you have to use the auction house’s lender).

Risk #3 – 5% Auction Fee

On top of your purchase price, they add a 5% auction fee. The auction house charges 5% premium and often an additional “technology fee” ($300 to $1000) for holding the auction to the buyer (in addition to whatever they charge the seller).

Risk #4 – Advantage to the Seller […]

Hurricane Danny: Are You Prepared?

Seminole County Office of Emergency Management and first responders are preparing for the potential impacts of Hurricane Danny. This weekend, you may consider preparing your home and devising a plan in the event Hurricane Danny makes landfall in Central Florida. For more information, please contact the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management at 407-665-5102.   Here are a few Read more about Hurricane Danny: Are You Prepared?[…]

Market Update: July See Sales Growth & Tight Inventory

Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association’s monthly market report is out! July closings increased over 33% compared to last year. When compared to July 2011, the July 2015 median price is 59.20% higher. Right now inventory is very tight with a pace of just under three and a half months of supply. The total inventory count is Read more about Market Update: July See Sales Growth & Tight Inventory[…]

Searching for a Brand New Abode or a Lovable Lemon?

choosing the right home - blogIn February of this year the Wall Street Journal reported that Orlando fell on the list of “metro areas with the most fixer uppers listed for sale.” Often purchasing a fixer upper saves money, but there are ways to tell if it’s right for you. We’ve gathered the profiles of four types of homes to search for that run the gambit from “huge time and money investment” to “brand, spanking new.” There may be some options that surprise you.


1front (2)The Lovable Lemon Dwelling

“If you can’t be handsome, be handy.” – The Red Green Show

This is one of our favorite quotes and it totally applies to searching for a home that needs some care! The first sign of a lovable lemon is in the listing description with phrases like “as-is.” When viewing this home buyers may think “I can picture a more open layout,” or “the bathroom shower is disgusting.” It is important to keep certain repairs in mind. Large projects like the roof, foundation, or framing can be expensive.

The Lovable Lemon Dwelling is right for you if:

– You love taking on a project (even Ikea furniture or assembling children’s toys).
– You’re handy, or you’re willing to learn to be handy (houzz.com has some great tutorials).
– You have an eye for design.
– You want to save money on your initial purchase of a home.
– You’ll be able to fund projects overtime.
– You have time on weekends and holidays.
– You’re patient.


1exteriorfrontThe Cosmetic Makeover Crib

“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” – Conrad Hall

Not quite full remodel, not quite move-in ready, these homes can be deceivingly simple to fix up without a lot of time and money. They generally have good bones, like a newer roof and appliances, pleasant layout, and attractive cabinets and vanities. What throws buyers off of these homes are visual elements like the carpets, wallpaper, or fixtures. Cosmetic fixes are easy and cost-effective to change, they just require a little imagination.

The the Cosmetic Makeover Crib is perfect if: […]