Originally Published: April 17, 2008 8:49 p.m.
PRESCOTT - The first land and home auction in the city went quietly Saturday afternoon as people on all sides of the event worked to make it successful.
Bob Ancha was one of the people looking to sell his vacant piece of land in The Ranch at Prescott subdivision after it sat on the market for nearly a year.
Although it did not work for him, Ancha and the people behind the auction have not given up.
"I was not greatly disappointed, I think it's going to grow as more people realize it," he said.
Batterman's Auction house and Windermere Real Estate came together to offer home and land owners a different venue to sell their property.
People attending the auction sat quietly through a mix of 19 home and vacant lot presentations from the auctioneer, Kurt Vogel.
Two properties sold through the auction, as most of the roughly 150 people in attendance did not actively participate in it.
A Prescott Valley home sold for $126,000 and eight acres in Wineglass Acres sold for $89,250.
Suzanne St. John was one of those people.
St. John is having trouble selling her home and she is considering adding it to the auction roster in the future.
"We thought we'd sniff this out and see how this went," she said. "I was interested to see the dynamic."
Vogel explained that an auction is a place where the people determine the market.
"I think it brought a lot of spectators," he said. "I think there were people that had all kinds of different agendas."
And Vogel said some sellers might need to adjust their expectations.
All of the properties were set with a reserve- or minimum-bid and Vogel said the reserves can scare away prospective bidders who might feel that they are set too high.
Some owners decided to set reserves at levels ranging from $350,000 to more than $800,000.
"Overall, I can say I was pleased," he said. "I think there is going to be some adjustment in the next auction."
Ed Pattermann, owner and broker of Windermere Real Estate, concedes that some owners set reserve levels too high.
Pattermann believes that people should set their reserves at 60 percent to 70 percent of market value.
"Not all properties are suited for the auction process," he said. "In general, people are coming to an auction looking for a deal."
The next auction is set for May 31 and Pattermann is working to get more properties in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range.
The marketing campaign spread throughout Arizona, Nevada and California, including more than 250,000 e-mails and print and television advertising efforts, Pattermann said.
He also offered unsuccessful owners another chance to sell their properties in next month's auction at no additional cost.
Ancha believes a lot of "tire kickers" were at the auction and he will continue to try and sell properties that way.
"I think they've done a good job, but the market is slow and people are fearful that the market has not reached a bottom yet," he said. "There is always a slow start to something new because people don't know what to expect."
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