Ryland houses will go on block Long & Foster to conduct sale of about 100 homes

Some regardless of price

Event said to be biggest of its kind ever in Balto. area

September 28, 1997|By Robert Nusgart | Robert Nusgart,SUN REAL ESTATE EDITOR

In what is being labeled as the largest event of its kind in the Baltimore region involving new homes, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. will be auctioning off approximately 100 homes built by Ryland Homes on three dates in October and November.

Although Long & Foster has done auctions for Ryland in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, it is the first time the two have ventured into the Baltimore area to auction properties.

nTC The auctions will be held on site at:

* Owings Choice in northwest Baltimore County, at 10 a.m. Oct. 18. Eight townhouses will be auctioned, with two selling regardless of price.

* The Trails at Woodlot in Columbia, at 3 p.m. Oct. 18. Eight single-family homes, with two selling regardless of price.

* Separate auctions totaling 35 new homes Oct. 25 at five Ryland subdivisions: Claybrooke (single-family) in Baltimore County; Dunteachin Estates (single-family) in Ellicott City; Parkview (townhouses) in Baltimore County; Brentwood Park (townhouses) in Bel Air; and Mays Chapel (townhouses) in Baltimore County.

* The Anne Arundel County community of Quail Run in Odenton, at 1 p.m. Nov. 1. Fifty townhouses will be auctioned, with up to three selling regardless of price.

"They will definitely walk away feeling like they got a deal," said Gloria Gardner, corporate auctioner and vice president for Long & Foster, who added that, to her knowledge, "it's the biggest builder auction [ever] in the Baltimore area."

For Jim Joyce, president of Ryland's Baltimore division, the auction method was a way to quickly move homes in subdivisions that are in closeout status.

"We have a lot of new things coming up for next year, and I want to be able to close out inventory and get my sales [representatives] freed up by the end of the year and [get them] into the new communities and get my construction supervisors into the new communities as well," Joyce said. "So we really looked at how we could do something exciting that would generate some urgency."

Bidders will be required to show proof of $2,000, according to Gardner, who added that the homes will be sold on a non-contingent basis. Gardner recommended that bidders get pre-approved for a loan by a lending institution.

She also said that settlement for completed homes will take place 30 days after the sale and that all homes will be covered with full warranties and guarantees from Ryland. For homes under construction, winning bidders will have the opportunity to add options.

Both Joyce and Gardner said interested buyers can submit bids before the auction, but they said there would be no guarantee of acceptance.

"It is a quick process for us, and it moves things along faster than normally," Joyce said, noting that if the subdivisions were sold by conventional means, Ryland would probably be at Owings Choice and The Trails at Woodlot well into 1998.

"We may have a [conventional sales] process that could drag out five or six months, but once we make a commitment here to start the homes and have them ready by year end, we feel like we can be cutting three to five months off the process. And

obviously that saves us money, and the consumer in essence will get the benefit of that," Joyce said.

Joyce expected that the benefit might result in a 5 percent savings to buyers.

"Most of them will not be huge deals, but a 5 percent discount, a 7 percent discount, on any of these is a substantial amount of money," he said. "A 5 to 7 percent discount on a home in Woodlot [where prices range from $300,000 to $350,000] is a piece of change and certainly worth doing your homework and showing up on auction day, prequalified with a $2,000 check. Obviously, a 5 to 7 percent price difference on homes moves a lot of product."

And Gardner expects that the auction will open other builders' eyes who have shunned auctions in the past.

"So many of them said they would never do an auction, would never need an auction, and I think they are catching on to the fact that auction is a way of creating a sense of urgency and accelerating their sales," she said. "[It's] not a matter of them making less money, it's just making money quicker."

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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