Some 70 properties going up for auction

An auction that could allow the average consumer to buy a home or lot at a significant discount is being called “a golden opportunity for the middle class.”

Doug Marshall, of Allen-Marshall Auctioneers and Appraisers in Parsonsburg and Westover, will auction off about 70 properties, including a dozen residential homes, commercial lots and building lots, including 75 acres next to the Dover Air Force Base with a 6,000-square-foot structure on site.

“It’s an unheard of event,” Marshall said about the two-week sell-off, daily from Sept.18 to 30.  On two days — Sept. 24 at 2:31 p.m. and Sept. 29 at 3:01 p.m. – a large percentage of the properties will be bargained for.

Bids can be called in to 410-749-8092.

In the inventory are a medical facility on Route 50 near the Salisbury Nursing Home; platted parcels; and one-acre lots on Sweetbay Drive, near The Fountains, the latter originally costing more than $250,000 each.

The auction is the result of three competing banks whose officials decided it would be better to “get rid of these assets” than to keep them,  Marshall said.

“These banks are tired of fighting the market, and they decided to put these properties up for auction,” he said.

“This helps eliminate future supply of troubled assets in the mid-range market,” Marshal said, adding buyers can save 50 percent or more on original costs.

“These are unheard of prices. They allow the middle class to get back into the investing game by buying a property at a deep discount, developing immediate equity and using that equity to parlay into other properties. It appeals to many more people in our local area, people who never thought about buying a lot to build their dream home, for example,” he said.

The opportunity to buy the lots and houses is an excellent one for  those in the middle class, who can “purchase a nice property and be players in an auction where they couldn’t be before,” Marshall said.

“It’s good for the economy, too, because it’s helping Delmarva reach the bottom of the market,” he said.

Marshall explained after a foreclosure, a bank buys a property, lists it with a realtor and sells it. But now, following an abundance of foreclosures nationwide, properties have been in banks’ hands too long.

“What these lenders are doing is putting these properties up in a two-week auction where we’re selling them all off, and a lot of them sell with no minimum bid. That’s called an absolute auction.

“Very seldom do you see lenders selling property at absolute auction  because the risk is, they will bring less than appraisers say they are worth,” Marshall said. But banks are eager to sell so they can stop paying taxes and maintaining properties, and because of regulatory pressures.

Bidders will receive information packets from the auctioneer and Marshall will recommend institutions where they can get financing. Banks are now more likely to work with customers who have declared bankruptcy than they used to be, he said.

The prerequisite for buyers is, they have to have financial ability to settle in 45 days.

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