Beach Bidders Reach Out For A Deal

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Dewey Beach Condos Go In An Unusual Auction

August 09, 2009|By Jamie Smith-Hopkins | Jamie Smith-Hopkins,

Max Spann Jr. calls auctions "a little stock market of real estate." One of his company's recent little stock markets ended in 19 Dewey Beach condos with original asking prices of $399,000 to $850,000 selling for $240,000 to $585,000.

The New Jersey-based Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. ran the event differently from auctions I've seen before, where something goes on the block and people bid specifically on that something. In this case, the format was "bidder's choice" - the condos were offered up in batches, and the winning bidder picked the one he or she wanted. Then people bid on the remaining condos in the batch, and the next winner opted for his or her favorite of the ones left over, and so on.

As it happened, the condo with the most expensive asking price in the Marina View complex in Dewey Beach was not the one that got the highest bid.

That unit - the one picked first - was a two-bedroom with an original asking price of $775,000. "Very interesting, seeing the order and people's preferences," said Brendan Garfield Crotty, a Bethany Beach real estate agent who attended the auction.

"I think some of these people got good deals," he said. But he's not so sure they all did.

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