Milwaukee Sheriff Auction

7 Replies | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Yes I have bought one a few years ago. You find a property and complete your due diligence. you show up at the court house with 10%of what you plan to bid in cash or cashiers check. First bid can be $1 over the banks bid then goes by min of $100. If you win the judge confirms the sale about a month later and you go back to the courthouse to pay the balance. There are a lot of deals there right now because the banks are selling them on the MLS for $20K to $50 above the auction price. there are reasons like taxes and trash outs why the price is higher.

Thanks @Ralph B. I made to the auction, and you were spot on. Somethings to note there is a lot of investors and a lot of competitive bidding which drove the price up. Also there is somebody there to represent the property mostly lawyers, and they start the bidding. 

Carlton B. Were most of the properties going well below FMV? Approximately, what % of the homes were bid on and/or sold at the auction? Just curious as I may go check it out myself sometime.

@Darren Budahn They probably all went below FMV, but the better question is did they go for less the ARV. To answer the spirit of your questions the investors did there research and knew what they could bid. There was no great deals but if you knew what you were doing you could find a property that could make money either as a buy and hold or flip. There margins were not great and if you are not experienced I would be careful using the Milwaukee Sheriff auction as a way to acquire property. BTW I did not buy, the property I researched went for more then my research indicated I should pay.

I've been going to the MKE auction on and off for over 10 years now, but not in the last probably at least 9 months as I haven't been looking for anything, but I'm interested in what you said (@Carlton B. ) about there being "a lot of investors" there and a lot of "competitive bidding" because back in maybe 2006, 2007 and 2008 for sure, there were more and more new faces (investors or potential investors) showing up each time I was there, when in the past it was usually the same relatively small group that would be there and actually buy something. By 2008, that room in the basement was often filled past capacity, where there used always be empty seats, even if you came at 11:30am, now you had to get there early to find a seat and many would be left standing all over the room. Along with the increase in numbers came a ridiculous rise in selling prices, to where all of the long term buyers I knew said the same thing as you just said, whatever they had their eye on ended up selling for far more than they'd ever pay and they had no clue how the buyer would make any profit, whether it was to flip, hold or whatever. 

I myself wasn't there at all from late 2008 until early 2012, you can probably figure out why that was, but still heard from people who went and they all said it was back to being a ghost town again, other than the attorneys for the various firms that do foreclosure work here, as they must send a representative for any auctions they're in. I'd figured that with the return of all of the silly TV shows that make flipping houses look like easy big money and all of the radio and other ads for one "flip houses and get rich really quick" seminar after the next that we'd see the same thing happen again there, lets just hope it isn't followed by another crash!

Also, to answer the question about how many that go through each week have opening bids worth bidding on, its probably 5% of them at most. The rest all start too high to even consider buying and will later likely appear on the mls as REOs, although some in the lowest priced areas are so stripped and trashed that either the bank, through their 3rd party asset managers knows they'll never sell even for $1 or no realtor will take the listing for the same reason and that's why we have this huge number of vacant homes in the city either owned by banks or the city through tax foreclosure. 

Plus, there's the new phenomenon, the "zombie homes" that the owners ditched thinking they'd be foreclosed on since they'd not made payments in a while but the banks won't foreclose on, since then it becomes their problem and as I've mentioned before, the city cracked down on banks maybe 3 or 4 years ago and started forcing them to bring vacant homes up to code (essentially a home in perfect shape is what's needed to truly meet code) but that kind of backfired when the banks figured out foreclosing on a trashed and stripped shell of a house in a low priced area was a bad move and now we have all of these zombie homes too!