How does one know when a home will be sold at a forclosure auction. Can any body attend even if your not intending to buy?

Asked by Judy A, Lawrence, MA Thu Jul 21, 2011

Is a forclosure auction like any other auction that you see on TV? Does it take place at the actual property with some guy that speaking into a microphone really fast? I'm just tryng to get an idea of what one of those auctions are like. A home my dad built that I no longer live in is currently in short sale and will foreclose any day now because I'm keeping on top of it on line. The home means a lot to me given my dad built it form the ground up, and I would like to attend the auction to see who ends up with the home. Thank you!!

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Sarah Goulart…, Agent, Plymouth, MA
Thu Jul 21, 2011
Hi Judy,
Yes, anyone can attend an auction...with some stipulations usually. To register at the auction, normally you have to show that you have a certified check (I've seen the amount normally $5,000) but in most cases you can go to just watch.

To find out about the date and time of the auction, look in your local newspapers. In MA, the auctions and foreclosure status have to be announced a number of times before it can actually take place.

Also, as a side note, what most likely will happen, as it is happening in most foreclosures now, is that the bank itself will buy the home back at auction and sell it with a realtor at a later date as a REO property. It is becoming more and more rare for people to buy homes at auctions since you have to buy the home sight unseen. It certainly does happen, just not as often any more.
1 vote
Ted Duncan, , Brookline, MA
Tue Jul 26, 2011

It's not as cut and dry as you may think.
Feel free to email me for details on how to estimate the "underlying bond ammount" which is the least a bank can sell it for at auction in Massachusetts. If no one bids that minimum ammount then the bank must buy it and it becomes and REO property. From that point it can take up to a year to come back on the market.

Feel free to email and ask me, or any other Realtor, how to look up the records at the Registry of Deeds.
0 votes
Christine Mo…, Agent, Wilbraham, MA
Thu Jul 21, 2011
I agree with sarah. You can get a great deal . but they won't let them go for nothing.
0 votes
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Thu Jul 21, 2011
Hi Judy,

I am not sure exactly how things work in Massachussetts, but here in New Jersey they take place at the county courthouse in a room designated for that purpose. They actually used to take place on the Courthouse steps. They are public auctions, which means anyone can attend. Check the auction announcements daily, even just before leaving for the auction to be sure it hasn't been put off. Often these things get put off at the very last minute because the homeowner is negotiating with the bank to do a loan modification, or because they have filed a bankruptcy, or even because (at least here in NJ) the law allows a certain number of postponements. In our area, the bank usually ends up with the home, but you should attend just to get a feel for the proceedings. It's very informative and educational to watch the process if you have the time.

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