The foreclosure auctions just keep on coming. For three days next week, Hudson & Marshall, a national auction company, will set up shop at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center and auction off more than 300 Chicago-area homes for the banks that have foreclosed on them.
Mirroring the concentration of home losses in modest-income areas, the properties are heavily clustered in South Side and West Side neighborhoods and moderately priced suburbs. But the inventory also includes homes in Libertyville, Woodstock and Highland Park.
Because many of the homes need extensive repairs, they are likely to appeal more to an investor than to people looking for bargain-priced homes for themselves. But there are some move-in bargains here, including those homes in Libertyville and Highland Park.
A public-relations spokesperson for Hudson & Marshall said that the company’s auctions tend to have about a 60-40 split between investor buyers and homeowner buyers. She did add that Chicago buyers tend to include more investors since the city has such a large stock of very old housing in urban neighborhoods.
The auction dates are March 27th, March 28th, and March 29th, so if you want to consider buying at the event, it’s time to get moving. Start by visiting the auction site to see the listed houses, townhouses, and condos. Hudson & Marshall will auction 140 homes on Saturday, March 28th; the other two days will each see 99 homes put up for bid. Each of the properties will have an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22nd; if you can’t attend that day, call the agent listed for the property to set up a showing in advance of the auction.
If you haven’t attended a real-estate auction before, study the terms, the FAQs, and all the other information about auctions provided at Hudson & Marshall’s Web site. This will explain such fundamentals as how much money to bring (in the form of a cashier’s check) to the auction, and when or if the winning bid will be confirmed as acceptable to the seller (usually within five days of the auction, says the company’s spokesperson).
Hudson & Marshall also has an eBay-style “Bid Now!” option on each of the homes. That may mean that a house you are interested in might be sold before the auction—but it also means you can try to grab the house that interests you now and avoid the angst of auction day. If you are already working with a buyer’s agent and that person works on your behalf at the auction, he or she can collect a commission of 2 or 3 percent (it varies by property). And if you are planning to bid on a home for yourself (to live in, not as an investor), let me know. I’d like to tag along and see how it goes for you.