Buyer's remorse being what it is, people sometimes get cold feet after purchasing a home at auction.
The auctioneer who handled the Pier Homes at HarborView sale in Baltimore last month says one of the 18 buyers backed out during the rescission period, which ended last week. One more is in an extended rescission period while both sides work out pricing on some extras for the unit. The remainder are now in a hard-contract period and will lose their sizable deposits if they walk away without closing.
Jon Gollinger, co-founder of Accelerated Marketing Partners, which handled the June 28 auction, said another buyer signed a contract at the development overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor after the event.
He called a one-out-of-18 rescission unusually small.
"It’s rather unprecedented for us," he said. "It’s remarkable."
He attributed it to buyers doing their homework in advance, "and I think the other thing it clearly states is that people think they’ve got a good price."
The luxury townhouses were conceived during go-go times but delivered as the housing market soured. Nearly half the 88 units were unsold going into the auction.
The development team ended up putting 18 on the block rather than the 11 originally planned. Winning bidders got them for as much as $1 million off the advertised last asking price.
I say "advertised" because, as a reader pointed out, a few of these units were once on the multiple-listing service with prices lower than the "last asking price" in the marketing materials for the auction. Bidders were told the last asking price for one of the units on Pier Pointe Landing, for instance, was $1,479,000, but it was on the MLS for a time in 2009 at $1,290,000. (It ultimately sold for $637,000.)
Gollinger, who notes that this question also came up at the "practice auction" held for registered bidders the day before the real deal, says the asking prices he provided to interested bidders were the ones the development team gave him. But he argues that it doesn't matter much in the end.
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