There are innumerous cities in the U.S. where builders are holding new home auctions … and not on the courthouse steps! If you want to find some good ones, just do a simple search on the Internet. You may also check with local builders, or call some of the real estate agencies in your area. Builders will sometimes use incentives to entice real estate agents to bring potential buyers. Typically builders will give real estate agents a percentage of the sale price when they bring in a closing buyer.
Another good place to check for new home auctions is through your county sheriff’s office. Many new homes have been repossessed either from the builder or from the homeowner and are scheduled to be auctioned off on the courthouse steps … really. Some counties have websites that specify homes that will be going up for auction by the sheriff’s department, including the status of the sale, scheduled sale date, time of sale, case number, lien holder, attorney for the lien holder, phone number for attorney for the lien holder, homeowner’s name and other information.
Determining whether the home is new will take a little bit of digging, however. You’ll need to find out the case number, since the address of the home is recorded under the case number filed in the courthouse. Note the case number and call the civil division of the courthouse. A clerk in the civil division will be able to tell you the address of the property. Now, you need to contact the Registrar of Deeds and talk to a clerk there. The clerk will be able to tell you the details about the home, including the date it was built.
Although, you may be able to get a better deal through a foreclosure auctioned on the courthouse steps, some states allow the homeowner redemption rights for a period of time after the auction. Just because you are the winning bidder, doesn’t mean you can take immediate possession of the home. You may still have to wait for the redemption period to end before you can take possession. If the homeowner is able to redeem the home, then you’ve wasted time, effort and maybe even money in the process.
Another option is foreclosures auctioned off by the lender. Lenders have been known to hire auction companies to conduct auctions of several homes they hold in the area. Real estate agencies may be privy to this information, so you may want to contact a few in the area for this information. The local major city newspaper is a great source for this information, too.
If you decide to go to a builder-held auction (or any home auction, for that matter), you’ll need to be prepared. Oftentimes, the builder will schedule a date(s) for potential homeowners to preview the home. They typically require notification and details by a certain date of those who will be viewing the home during the scheduled preview. Once the auction date arrives, in order to bid you will need a notarized note from your lending institution or bank stating that you are financially capable of purchasing the home.