My sister Martha, who attended St. Mike's and Powers in Flint, is taking a somewhat unusual approach to selling her house in Tacoma, Washington. She's auctioning it off herself. It's a huge place, but her children are grown and she and her husband really want something smaller. They've found that selling a massive historic residence isn't exactly easy in this market.
Kathleen Cooper of the Tacoma News Tribune reports:
These days, home auctions typically are associated with foreclosed or bank-owned homes. But home auctions were increasing even before the real estate market busted. The National Auctioneers Association, based in Kansas, tracked homes sold by auction between 2003 and 2008, and saw a 7 percent to 8 percent increase each year.
“Auctions work in good times and bad,” association spokesman Chris Longly said Thursday. Auctions offer the certainty of a time and date of sale. They also are a way for more unusual properties, like historic homes, to find out what price the market will bear.
Gary Gestson, a Realtor with Maryland-based HistoricHomeTeam.com, said Thursday that owners crafting their own auction is somewhat unusual, because the pool of buyers for historic homes is small.
“Maybe six out of a thousand qualified buyers will be interested in your home,” he said. “Marketing is the key. If you market to Tyvek and particle board people, you’ll be frustrated.”
Martha's experience has left me wondering what a house like this would be worth in Flint or San Francisco.