I attended the RCBC Dream Buys Public Auction of foreclosed properties yesterday, February 28, 2009. I am making this recap of the public auction proceedings to give a first-hand account of what happens in a public auction of bank foreclosed properties, for the benefit of those who have not yet attended one and would want to know more about it.
The RCBC Dream Buys Auction was held at the Jade Palace, located at 106 Shaw Blvd, Kapitolyo Pasig City, Philippines. Since it was a Saturday, getting there was a breeze. Jade Palace is hard to miss. I arrived early and parking was hassle-free as valet parking was available. When I arrived at the auction area, I was greeted by the very pleasant staff from RCBC and was shown to the registration area. As advised by my broker (who handles the area of the property I was interested in), however, I waited for the last minute to register. Just to give a background, a couple of days prior to the auction, I inspected a number of properties in the same vicinity with my broker, and when she showed me a property that looked very promising, she mentioned that the previous owner’s sibling was already going to bid on it. I told her that if thats the case, then I don’t intend to bid on that property anymore as I believed that the previous owner’s family should get first crack to get this property. I felt it was the right thing to do. However, the night before the auction, I texted my broker and asked if I can attend the auction anyway just in case the previous owner’s sibling would change their mind or lose interest on the property. Of course she said I could attend and so I did. I just did not register immediately as I was still waiting for the previous owner’s sibling to show up and bid. Some of you might think I was hoping they would not show up. Nope, that never crossed my mind. However, I was not going to let such a great opportunity pass if ever they did lose interest in the said property.
During the auction proper, the pace was very relaxed and very friendly to first time bidders. The auctioneer handled the auction quite well without rushing the bidders, giving them a lot of time to outbid each other before banging his gavel to announce the winning bid. The atmosphere was very festive as people applauded after each time a property was sold to the winning bidder. I noticed there were some foreclosed properties that had no bidders, but there were also a lot of properties that had lots of bidders which resulted in very high winning bids, sometimes reaching more than Php500K higher than the minimum bid price. For a few lucky bidders, they were able to acquire the properties they were interested in at the minimum bid price because there were no other bidders. I was one of the lucky few who won their bids at the minimum bid price.
In retrospect, this was the 7th public auction of foreclosed properties I have attended, the 4th which I actually made bids, and this was the 2nd where I won my bids. I noticed that my nervousness was already gone and attending public auctions have somehow become routine to me. This is why I advice those who are new to foreclosure investing to start attending public auctions even if you have no intention to bid yet, provided you’d come with someone who is actually bidding (because you won’t be allowed inside without him/her). I assure you that your time would be well-spent. When the time comes for you to make your bid, it would be very easy.