This lakeside home on 15 acres in Marengo, previously valued at $3.9 million, was auctioned last week (October 14th) with a minimum bid of $1.675 million. Auction house Sheldon Good & Co. has not yet released the final sale price.

The auctions of a couple of big-ticket properties—the old main post office and a Burr Ridge mansion—have been getting lots of press lately, but there are many other, less pricey properties up for auction in Chicago and the suburbs. By my count, auction houses will take bids on more than 200 local homes in October and November, everything from 20 unsold South Loop condos to a hobby farm on 22 acres in McHenry County.

Why so many auctions lately? For a developer of multiple properties, selling several of them at one scheduled event is a way to bring in needed cash and cut the costs of carrying unsold inventory. For buyers, it’s a way to “set your own price,” says John DeMato, the president of Global Real Estate Auctions. And in a market where nobody is quite sure what something is worth, an auction is a useful method of “price discovery,” says Craig Post, the director of sales at the auctioneer Sheldon Good & Co.

A list of recent and upcoming auctions is below. Many of the auctioneers offer seminars or post educational packets on their websites; take advantage of them. And if you are hoping to collect the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, which is set to expire December 1st, several of these companies may be able to arrange a quick closing.

  • October 10: Hudson & Marshall auctioned 80 bank-owned homes in the Chicago area during a five-day, multi-state blitz.
  • October 14: Sheldon Good auctioned a French-style manor home on 15 acres in Marengo. It had been valued at $3.9 million; the minimum bid was $1.675 million. The sealed bids are still under review.
  • October 21: Sheldon Good has a second Marengo home on the auction block. This is a more conventional open-outcry auction; it’s this evening at 7 o’clock at the Holiday Inn Crystal Lake (800 South Route 31).
  • October 27: Rick Levin & Associates will auction properties that include new condominiums in Lisle, Mt. Prospect, and Schiller Park, and single-family homes in Chicago and Norridge.
  • October 29: Leslie Hindman—which just took bids on Elvis’s hair—will auction a picturesque McHenry County farm.
  • October 29: Global Real Estate will auction houses and lots in Homer Glen and Mokena.
  • November 8: will auction about 20 houses, condos, and lots, scattered from Crystal Lake to Oakbrook Terrace. All the properties are being sold on reserve, which means the seller holds the right to accept or reject the winning bid if it does not get above the seller’s undisclosed minimum sale price.
  • November 15: Sheldon Good will auction 20 condos in a trio of historic Motor Row buildings in the South Loop.
  • November 21: A Florida company, Auction Services International, is auctioning at least four properties in the Chicago area. Here are links to each of the properties: a single-family home in Country Club Hills  and condos in Humboldt ParkHickory Hills, and Canaryville.