Friday, May 29, 2009

Randy and Mike Griff of Elite Auctions #124

This week, Bruce is joined again by Randy and Mike Grigg who head Elite Auctions. Randy Grigg is President of Elite Auctions and Mike Grigg is the Chief Auctioneer.

Last week, Bruce, Randy, and Mike discussed a Riverside auction in which a man bought a home out of the MLS. Because of the price deterioration in the market, Bruce said that the man should flip the property via auction. In the end, the buyer earned a large profit after the property sold. Bruce asks about the costs to market.

Randy and Mike Grigg discuss marketing and advertising and what the auction company does to attract attention. They are also able to show all their results to their clients, so that they know where their money is being spent. Bruce asks Mike and Randy how many people showed up to a particular open house they had. They had approximately 60 to 80 people come in to view their property. They typically have a successful auction when there are that many people attending their open house.

Whenever someone attends one of their auctions, they always ask the attendees how they heard about their auction. Only about 30 percent of their attendees go to the open house. In this case, the winning bidder did not go to the open house. The winning bidder owned rental properties in that same area, and he was attracted to the property from a post card advertisement. Altogether, 38 bidders showed up at the auction, and they all had $5,000 dollar cashiers checks. The home being sold needed paint, carpet, and the kitchen was in bad shape. Just down the street from their auction, REDC was selling similar inventory for $98,000. The final sale price for this house was $147,400. The investor bought the home for $75,000. What a fantastic deal. They closed the property in 12 days.

Bruce goes on to discuss what people consider to be a “deal”. Bruce believes that if that buyer owned homes in that same neighborhood then he might have paid more for every house that he owns than that particular one. People are used to thinking that real estate is so cheap, that they have forgotten that real estate used to be 2 or 3 times the current price. Sarah, Bruce’s daughter, bought a house very recently. From Bruce’s perspective, her deal was the interest rate she received. The market was at 5%. The man who bought this property knew the area he was buying in, so the purchase worked well for him.

Auctioning properties is challenging right now, because buyers are very cautious. In a market where prices are escalating quickly, the auctioneer will be ahead of the prices in the MLS. The consumers prove how much the auctioned property is worth when there is competition. Bruce believes that his properties in Rosamond would have sold better if they had been auctioned. Bruce is surprised builders don’t use this method instead.

Bruce asks what Mike’s duties are as the president of the California Auction Association. Mike’s main duty is following California government legislation in regards to real estate auctions. He also assists other auctioneers by showing them what they need to do to be a legitimate auctioneer. Mike arranges conferences where speakers come and talk about their specialties. The main goal is to better California’s auctioneers, so that they can offer better service to their clients.
Bruce asks Mike if there are California rules that trump national rules and vice versa. Mike says that auctioning rules vary greatly state to state, and that California is actually very lenient. Mike would like to see more legislation to stop people from holding deposits for lengthy amounts of time after the bid is rejected from the lender. Bidding on behalf of auctioneers is also something that needs to be addressed by legislation. Instead of an auctioneer having to be licensed like a realtor, there should be a separate real estate auction test. It’s very different.

Bruce asks Mike what C.A.R. thinks of real estate auctioning. Mike does not think that C.A.R. views auctions as a bad thing. There are some Realtors that view auctions as a threat to their business, but it is not. Mike and Randy pay Realtors if they bring in buyers and sellers.

Approximately 10 percent of the time a Realtor represents a client for his auctions. Occasionally, Realtors get confused by the process because they are not used to that method, but Mike does not feel that this has affected his ability to close a deal.
In the United States people have viewed auctioning as a necessary evil. Bruce asks Mike if he thinks that auctioning will have a strong foot hold in the real estate business in the future. Mike thinks that auctioning will become more important for real estate sales in the future. California seems to be far behind the rest of the United States in regards to understanding the value in auction sales.

Bruce believes that the key going forward is to have repetitive clients. If investors get the idea that they can efficiently sell houses in auctions then it would be constantly viewed by retail people as a respectable selling method. Mike believes that as the real estate market returns many of the big auction houses will go back to land auctions, but Mike and Randy’s business will stay as a local California business.

Bruce asks Randy what kind of perception change has taken place in the auction industry. Randy thinks that much of the public still view auctions as a fire sale, but many investors believe that it is an effective way to sale inventory. It depends on who you talk to.

Bruce discusses how variable the results can be when selling properties through auctions. The right person for the sale may or may not be attending. Often the problem with auction sales lies within the seller’s expectations. When people own properties, which they have assigned a feeling of value to, it can distort one’s perception of whether or not a property is being sold at the right price. Randy believes that houses sold through auctions are priced properly about 80 to 90 percent of the time.

Bruce asks Mike how different it is to auction real estate in comparison to other auctions. In real estate you do not get paid immediately. You have to go through escrow, and you have to understand how to deal with Realtors. An antique seller is not going to understand real estate, just as a real estate auctioneer will not understand antiques. In the rest of the auctioneer industry, you usually get paid immediately after the sale. Online auctions are also much different than the on site real estate auctions that Mike and Randy handle.

The number for Elite Auction is 661-325-6500, and their website is

Randy Grigg

Being involved with real estate transactions since 1977, Randy discovered the benefits of using the auction method of marketing real estate after completing a single-family house rehab project that had three failed escrows. Selling time went from 2 months to 7 months due to the buyers backing out because of financing and appraisal contingencies. These extra 5 months of holding costs dramatically reduced the net profit.

As a "control freak" (and knowing other people are too) we designed our company to cater to the desire of our clients to sell their properties quickly in "as-is" condition with no loan, appraisal or property contingencies... at the highest price the market will bear. By selling my own properties "absolute" (no reserve), we learned first hand how to get the right bidders to our auctions. After we continued tweaking our marketing program we finally felt comfortable selling for others. We also have developed a strategy for selling real estate for others where our clients have full control over the final selling price, again understanding many of our clients desire for complete control.

Mike Grigg
AARE - Auctioneer / Agent

Mike graduated from the prestigious "World Champion College of Auctioneers." He has participated in charity and real estate auctions and handles agent/broker relations. Mike serves as President for the California State Auctioneers Association (CSAA). He has been designated AARE, which means he is an Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate appointed by the National Auctioneers Association.

Mike has called a variety of real estate auctions in California and knows what it takes to get the buyers to competitively bid and drive the prices up. He is one of the 2004 California State Auctioneers Association Bid Calling Champions. Mike began his career in the real estate auction business in 2002 and believes that real estate auctions are the purest form of price realization. Learning real estate exclusively through the auction method is an advantage to potential clients and makes Mike one of the leading auction experts in California . Contact Mike at (661) 325-6500.

Professional Memberships

* On the Board of Directors for the California State Auctioneers Association (CSAA)
* Member of the National Auctioneers Association (NAA)
* Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate (AARE) designated by the National Auctioneers Assocation
* Member of the Bakersfield Association of Realtors, Arcadia Association of Realtors, and the * MRMLS (A Multiple Listing Service for Southern California )
* Member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)
* Member of the California Association of Realtors (CAR)

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