OCEAN CITY – What was characterized a few weeks ago as an “auction war” was mutually beneficial to everybody involved last weekend as all 20 units offered for sale in the upscale Bahia Vista development were sold in separate auctions.
Marshall Auctions offered 11 condominiums owned by local developer Spiro Buas, a partner in the project, while Max Spann Auctioneers auctioned nine different units on behalf of a different group, Atlantic Planning and Development, Inc.
The Marshall Auctions event took place in Ocean City, while Max Spann Auctioneers held their event in Annapolis, hoping to take advantage of the close proximity to potential buyers on the western shore. At the end of the day, both events were highly successful with all 20 units up for bid sold at prices considered great values for the buyers and acceptable levels for the sellers.
“It was unbelievable,” said auctioneer Doug Marshall. “We had over 500 people in the crowd.”
Marshall said the bayfront units he was auctioning in Bahia Vista sold in the mid-$400,000 range, while the other units sold in the mid-$300,000 range. Most of the units were originally listed at upwards of $800,000, but with the stagnant market, the seller was happy to move his inventory and the buyers were happy to take advantage of the slashed prices.
Meanwhile, roughly 100 miles away in Annapolis, the Atlantic Planning and Development group was enjoying a similar success story.
“Everything went very well,” auction Max Spann said. “We had close to 300 people on hand and we sold every one of the nine units we were hoping to sell. The sellers were pleased and the buyers got some great values.”
The success of the dueling auctions appears to signify a new trend in Ocean City real estate sales. With so much inventory on hand, the sellers are anxious to move their properties in one fell swoop rather than the slow drip of traditional methods, even if it means selling them for considerably less than their original price.
“Every time we’ve done one of these auctions, we’ve been successful in selling the units we’ve wanted to sell,” said Spann. “It’s becoming a popular method for selling real estate in Ocean City. The potential buyers like it, first of all because of the value, but also because of the confidence factor. If there are hundreds of people interested in the same property, it creates a buzz.”
Marshall agreed, saying, “It was great for the Ocean City market. We moved some inventory, which will open up more inventory. It’s a supply and demand thing, and the supply was lowered by a considerable margin with this auction.”