Are the auctions held regularly? Where are they located? Is there a list of particular properties and corresponding auction dates?

Asked by Victoria, Martinez, CA Tue Jun 29, 2010

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Shel-lee Davis’ answer
Shel-lee Dav…, Agent, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Tue Jun 29, 2010

As you are asking this question from the "foreclosure in Martinez" category, it would appear you are asking about Trustee Auctions. These happen daily (sometime multiple times per day) on the courthouse steps at the local county courthouse. The properties that are scheduled to go to auction are public record. You can either go to the county to get this information, request it from your local title company or pay a service (such as or or which will give you search and print features.

Now a word of caution. Trustee Auctions are not for the novice or single home homebuyer. The people who buy on the courthouse steps do this for a living. They know the business and they take some risks. Also, you MUST pay with cash (usually in the form of cashier's checks payable to yourself, which you endorse over to the lender/trustee when you win the bid) on the courthouse steps.

Also, when you look at Trulia and see properties going to auction for $20,000 and $30,000 this can be very misleading. Trulia gets it's foreclosure information from RealtyTrac, which is nothing more than an aggregator of information from the public records. The amount they show as the "price" if often just the amount the owner is delinquent on their loan, not the full amount of the loan. They also do not tell you about other liens. Perhaps this is a 2nd or 3rd trust deed. At the auction, you would have to take the property SUBJECT TO all senior liens. You often do not have an opportunity to see the interior of the property, so you don't know if they have stripped out the kitchen, bath, electrical wires, etc. If the house looks like a good deal, the professional auction buyers will most likely shut you out. Your best bet is to purchase this property once it has reverted back to the bank, or been purchased by an investor and rehabbed.

Hope this helps to clarify the process. If you want to discuss it further, please feel free to contact me. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, CDPE, SFR, QSC
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
1 vote
David Chiles, Other Pro, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Jul 1, 2010
Thank you for your question Victoria.

Auctions are held regularly. Generally, they take place on the Courthouse steps. A list of the auction properties and corresponding auction dates can be obtained from your county courthouse.

There are websites that collect this data and republish for a fee, RealtyTrac and Foreclosure Radar. I like to refer to these sites as 'snake oil salesmen' because all the information is readily available for free.
0 votes
Bob Georgiou, Agent, Danville, CA
Thu Jul 1, 2010

Yes, they are posted in several of the lcoal newpapaers. Living in Martinez you could simply run to the courthouse and check daily but that would not be a comprehensive list since some sales happen at the house.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Bernard Gibb…, Agent, Danville, CA
Wed Jun 30, 2010
Great answers Dave and Shel-lee. Let me just add a little detail that explains why these buys are so risky.

When you buy at auction, you really are buying "As Is". You do not get to see the inside of the house or do any inspections at all before you bid and as well as that, there may well be various liens you have to settle (property taxes, HOA dues, mechanics liens etc.) than can run to many thousands of dollars. There is also a prettty good chance that the prvious owners will still be living there so you will have to evict them. This in itself is can be costly, plus you don't know what damage they may have done before leaving if tey are feeling vindictive (very common at all price points).

Be very, very careful if you decide to buy at auction.

Bernard Gibbons

Bernard Gibbons, J. Rockcliff Realtors
DRE License # 01331583
Phone (925) 997-1585 -
0 votes
Dave Sutton, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 29, 2010
I just gave a thumbs up to the previous answer and suggest you reread it in detail .

In Martinez, the auctions lately have been held twice a day at 10 and 2.

There is a fiction that you can buy homes that 50¢ on the dollar at foreclosure auctions.

That is simply not the case, or if you do they will require another 45¢ on the dollar in repairs before you have anything saleable.

Any Realtor can give you a list of bank owned homes which have already been foreclosed and you might be able to save a little on those, depending on their condition
0 votes
Jeri Creson, Agent, Studio City, CA
Tue Jun 29, 2010
If you're looking for auctions, I would recommend checking out auction sites on the internet. There are many auction houses that primarily concern themselves with foreclosures, or probate homes. Williams & Williams is one that I have worked with recently, and recommend. Also Kennedy Wilson. I just closed a probate beach home through that company and can heartily recommend this house as a legitimate auction source. Perhaps check with your local tax assessor, as Counties typically hold real estate tax auctions at least once per year.

It's a good idea to have a solid plan, an absolute budget and know what you're bidding on prior to attending the auction. Many real estate pros have experience in auction properties and can accompany you to the auction and help you keep your wits about you when bidding, prepare you with the information available prior to the auction so you have a good game plan, and follow through with the paperwork and any loan that may be involved to help you finalize the sale successfully. I recommend not "going it alone". There is almost always a broker fee offered that does not penalize the buyer in the bidding process at all.

Good luck to you! If you need a good referral to an agent in your area, let me know.
0 votes
Kent Gagon, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Tue Jun 29, 2010
Are you asking about Trustee sales? They are typically held daily. If you are talking about 3rd party auctions they are held at different times throughout the year you would most likely want to watch the news paper for such information. You can check county tax records as this type of information is public in most cases. Or a Realtor in your area may be able to give you the information that you are looking for.
Good luck
Kent Gagon
0 votes
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