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$300 million in property for May national auction


The clap of an auctioneer's gavel May 21 may clinch the sale of more than $300 million in commercial real estate and land.

The national auction, the largest of its kind, will include 86 properties in 20 states. It will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. Other prospective buyers will participate "live" via satellite in San Francisco and New York City.

Commercial buildings, multifamily developments, land and recreational properties will be offered for sale at the auction, HTC which is being presented by a partnership of Grubb & Ellis/Ross-Dove Co. Grubb & Ellis is a commercial real estate brokerage and management firm.

One study, conducted by Kennedy-Wilson, Inc., reveals that real estate auctions increased 264 percent between 1990 and 1991. Sales of properties sold at auction in 1991 totaled a record $761.6 million, up from $398.5 million in 1990.

Owners have noted that prices received for auctioned properties are not usually bottom-line prices, as they once were. The well-known "bidders' fever" enters the auction scene and prices tend to rise to a respectable level.

Speed is the most appealing aspect of selling real estate by auction. Instead of waiting months or years for a property to sell, it can happen quickly -- on auction day. Suddenly the owner is free of those burdensome interest payments and operational costs, and has money to invest in other projects.

Bidders are normally pre-qualified at major property auctions. In the case of the May 21 commercial property auction, bidders must not only qualify to buy property they bid on, they must put up a $50,000 deposit for each property.

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