Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Realty or Auction? Why choose? We’re now fully up and running to do both – even better than before.

It's Official!

We've joined forces with our good friend and Realtor, Larry Deaton, and we've opened Schur Success Realty & Auction, LLC an auction company specializing in real estate. Or, if you prefer, a real estate company specializing in auctions. Either way, we'll be selling real estate through the auction method of marketing.

In 2007, auctioneers sold more than $58 billion in residential, agricultural, and commercial real estate. Despite the hard economy and the dip in traditional real estate sales last year, real estate auctions actually increased by five percent. We believe in the auction method of marketing for real estate so much that we formed a new company to specialize in it.

Although we've been auctioning real estate for many years, it's always been through informal agreements with realtors or brokers. Now, we have a formal structure and a true professional at the helm. Larry has been selling real estate through auction for many years. He came to Colorado about two years ago from Memphis, where he sold properties of all types. Since Larry has been here, he has become a trusted member of our regular auction team and a good friend. We've worked jointly on the last few real estate auctions we conducted, but it was his company partnering informally with our company.

With the new partnership and company, Schur Success Realty & Auction will be able to tap into the nearly 30 year history of Schur Success, as well as our marketing and logistical support abilities. We'll also be able to tap into Larry's tremendous ability to network and make friends, combined with his experience and expertise in realty auctions. Combined we're a powerful marketing and sales company. Larry (who has his AARE – Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate), is not only a realtor, auctioneer, and broker, but he's the new company president.

When we contract to sell real estate that also has assets to sell, we have a ready-made company all set to step in and handle the whole liquidation – land, buildings, and contents. The whole nine yards (or at least the front and back yards).

The auction method eliminates several awkward aspects of traditional real estate transactions. The "make an offer, wait for a counter, counter the counter, wait for another counter" timeline disappears. Everyone makes their offers at one time – by bidding. If you want the property, your offer (bid) will be higher than the other offers (bids), that of course, you will hear immediately. You'll know by the end of the sale if you get the property of not. The mystery is gone. The bidder across the room just "countered" your offer. Now you can "counter" his all you want.

Another great aspect is that the closing and sale is on a set time line. The auction will be on a certain date. The closing will be within a short time frame from that point (usually 30 days or less). That means you don't have to list your property and wait 3, 6, 12 months or more to see if an offer will come in. It will come in on auction date. A date that you choose. This means significantly reduced holding and carrying costs, as well as reduced liability and risk.

If you'd like to learn more about realty auctions, just call or email Larry. He'd be happy to speak with you and help you learn all of the pros and cons of real estate auctions. We love working with other realtors, and pay cooperating commissions when you participate in the sale. Want details? Call Larry.

See you at an auction soon!

You can reach Larry toll-free at (877) 975-6789, or via e-mail at

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Storage Auctions – NOT a “get rich quick” scheme

We had an interesting phone call yesterday. Someone was asking questions about storage auctions. That's not so unusual. We get those calls every day. This call lasted more than ½ hour. She was asking great questions, like "how can I make thousands of dollars on each unit?" and, "Who will help me move all the heavy stuff?"

The good news is she listened and asked lots of questions. She learned that it's not a slam dunk.

Here are a few key tips to being successful at storage auctions:

  • You won't make thousands of dollars on each unit. If you buy right, you'll make a few bucks.
  • You won't make your money overnight. You need a place to sell your stuff, and people to buy it. That means Craig's List, E-Bay, Garage Sales, Yard Sales, and other similar outlets.
  • Not everything you buy is worth money. You're buying things other people have stored, and then didn't pay for. Maybe they hit some trouble and couldn't pay for their prized possessions. Maybe they chose not to pay because their stuff wasn't worth the rent. You won't know until you go through every box, bag, drawer, and item.
  • You'll throw a lot of stuff away. Think about who's going to help you carry it, where you will dump it, and what dumping it will cost you.
  • You can't see everything you're bidding on. You're not allowed in the unit, so you should bid on what you can see. Is there a Ferrari hiding behind the boxes? Maybe. Probably not. I wouldn't bet on it and neither should you.
  • I don't need a lot of money to get started. Maybe, define "a lot". True, some units sell for $5. Some sell for more than $5000. On average, a decent unit will cost you around $200, maybe more. And you'll have to put up a cash deposit for your unit, usually $50 for the first unit, and $100 for 2 or more, at each location. Do the math. You buy three units, and two different locations in a day. That's $600 for the units, and another $150 for the deposits. That's $750 in a single day. And it is all cash. NO checks, NO credit cards, and no, you can't go to the ATM. Cash in your pocket, when you bid. Don't worry. Get all three units cleaned out in the next 48 hours, and you'll get your deposit back.
  • There's more details to think about, such as "Where am I going to put this stuff?", and "Who will help me move this stuff?", and "do I have a big enough vehicle to haul it all?". Answer those questions and you're on your way.

The good news is that you can make some decent money buying storage units, and there are bargains to be found. But it's not a "get rich quick" plan. It's a business plan. Buy the units smartly, go through them thoroughly, sell them well, and you can make a profit. We have sold almost 700 units in the past six months, so someone is making a buck or two. And yes, sometimes you'll find that coin collection, or that nice Rolex watch, or a case of DVD's that have some value. That's the fun.

As a bonus, the folks who go to storage auctions are great people. Our advice is to come and watch a few auctions before you ever bid. We have over 100 locations, so you should be able to find one close to home. Leave your money at home the first time or two, that way you can't make any mistakes bidding. Then venture out and buy a unit or two. It's a treasure hunt, and you'll enjoy it if you do it right.

Still have questions? Ask them. We're glad to help.