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Downtown Charleston housing up for auction, negotiations ensue

At the height of the housing market nearly four years ago, residential real estate construction was on the move. During this time, developers built and attempted to sell high-end condominiums in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Shortly thereafter, the housing market fell apart and the sellers were not able to move the property as they desired.

Recently, the properties went up for auction and the immediate response was positive. Nearly 200 people came to place bids on the 15 units that were put up for sale. However, the buyers and sellers could not reach a mutually agreed upon price during the auction or post-auction negotiations in many instances.

At the time the condominiums originally went on the market, they were listed at $1.2 million apiece. Unfortunately, for the sellers, some of the bids stalled at prices much lower than they were expecting. Even though most of the housing units were assigned to winning bidders, most of the offers were rejected because they were too low. After the auction was over, some of the bidders sat down to negotiate a fair selling price, but there are still many properties to sell.

Though the overall residential housing market appears to be stabilizing, this story is a reminder that the market still has some improving to do. On the other hand, it's positive sign that so many people showed interest in the properties. This is a potential sign that Charleston residents are once again on the market to buy residential property.

As this story also demonstrates, buyers and sellers often get locked in negotiations. Both parties have interests to protect, but there is usually a way that a mutually-beneficial deal can be pieced together. After all, both parties stand to gain from a fairly negotiated closing.

Meanwhile, many property owners are looking to move their residential real estate holdings because they are in a tight financial situation. Because housing values fell so much, many people owe more on their properties than they are worth. This presents a solid opportunity for interested buyers to get the home they desire and sellers to work toward an equitable selling price to make up their losses.

Source: The Post and Courier, "Most winning bids for Anson House condos rejected in downtown Charleston auction," David Slade, May 1, 2012

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