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Condos to be sold at auction

By Jesús Ibarra

Twelve condos at El Caracol will being auctioned off on August 25 through the local firm Coates/Dolan Real Estate, which has partnered with United Country, the largest lifestyle real estate marketing company in the US, and the sixth largest in the world.  In an exclusive interview, Dan Duffy, the company’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board, spoke to Atención.

Jesús Ibarra: Mr. Duffy, please tell us about your company

Dan Duffy: United Country is the largest lifestyle real estate marketing company in the US; it has been around since 1925. We have been especially marketing lifestyle properties and we have 650 offices in the US and about three dozen offices in Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. What we bring to the market, different from other companies, is that we understand that there are certain communities and towns and certain types of properties that require real estate marketing that is done in a very focused way to bring in buyers who may not even know about the community. So, our job as a company on a global basis is to expose individual properties to all buyers, in the local market, in the region, within the country and outside of the country. We partner with the stronger local real estate offices. We are very careful in selecting these offices; our job is to provide them global marketing and technological resources so that they can give better service to clients. We are more a marketing service company than a real estate company. In Mexico, we selected San Miguel as the heart of our Mexican expansion because it’s a very special place.

JI: Why are auctions a good way to sell and buy properties?

DD: An auction is a very rigorous and aggressive marketing process. It allows us to bring in more buyers who are focused on one particular property. A lot of consumers have become very comfortable with auctions as a way to transact business, because they create a sense of urgency and a sense of opportunity for buyers. An auction draws attention to a one property out of all of the other properties available for sale. It conveys the seller’s motivation to sell at the current market value. Here’s an analogy: imagine you have a soccer field filled with white ping-pong balls, which would be traditional listings, and now imagine painting one of them red and putting it in on top of a pole in the middle of the other ping-pong balls. The auction makes the asset stand out. The auction process must be followed even before the day of the auction. Some of the assets will sell before the auction takes place, through a pre-entered offer that the seller accepts, so there’s a sense of urgency for buyers. Some of the assets will sell the day of the auction, and some will sell after the auction to buyers who express interest in unsold properties. It’s also a very transparent, secure way for sellers to sell their properties. The sellers love this process, the buyers love it, and everyone has a fair outcome.

JI: Has the bad reputation of Mexico abroad, in terms of safety posed a problem for you in deciding to choose San Miguel as the center of your business in Mexico?

DD: There were some challenges, indeed, because of the bad publicity in the media, but people who have traveled abroad know there is a big difference between what the media say and the reality. Not all of Mexico is having the same problem; it is concentrated in certain communities, particularly on the border. San Miguel is quiet and tranquil. There are much more dangerous cities in the US. San Miguel is safer than 99 percent of the cities in the US. We feel safe and comfortable as a team in Mexico; otherwise, we would not be investing thousands of dollars in Mexico. People who are interested in the lifestyle that Mexico, and particularly San Miguel, offers, which is truly unique, are still interested. Part of our job is to get this message out through public relations and social media; we reach 100,000 lifestyle buyers a day through our 3,500 websites. We are endorsing not only the real state opportunities here, but also the town itself.

FAQS: Caracol Condos & Penthouses Auction
Saturday, August 25, 4pm at the condos
Registration: Saturday, August 25, 2–4pm
Preview: August 18–24, 10am to 5pm

1. Is the auction bilingual? The auction will be in English (prices in pesos) with a Spanish translator.

2. If I don’t win the high bid when is my deposit returned to me? At the conclusion of the auction.

3. If I win the high bid when is the 10% deposit due?  A contract must be signed and the 10% down-payment made at the end of the auction.

4. Is there a minimum bid?  No minimum bid.  The seller has the right to either accept or reject the final bids, but it is important to understand that the seller’s intent to is have all of these units sold that day, and he is very motivated to make that happen.

5. What is the difference between a “reserve” and an “absolute” auction?  Absolute means that something will be sold regardless of what the bid price is, and reserve means that the seller either has set a minimum price he will accept or that he has the right to accept or reject any bids. In the Caracol auction the first unit will be sold absolute and the remaining units will be sold reserve.

6. What are the payment terms if I have the high bid?  Ten percent of the total purchase price, due at the end of the auction.  Owner financing is available.

7. What is the guarantee that the property is free and clear of any liens?  We are guaranteeing clear title or you do not have to close and your down-payment would be refunded.

8. What happens if the property does not close?  If the buyer fails to close, they will forfeit their 10% down-payment.  If the seller fails to close, the down payment would be refunded.

9. Can I have a property building inspection?  That is up to the buyer, but he has to understand that he needs to do due diligence prior to bidding because the contracts are contingency-free and are not subject to inspections, financing or anything else.

10. If legal matters arise, who is responsible?  Buyer and seller are responsible for their own legal matters.

11. What determines the opening bid?  The bidders determine where each round of bidding will start.

12. What do I need to do to prepare for the auction?  Preview the property during the preview period, inspect the units, decide which units you would like to have, arrange for payment, bring your cash or cashier’s check to the auction for registration, talk with the auction staff to get your questions answered and then be the high bidder and choose the unit you want.

13. What personal documents do I need to attend and bid the auction?  Mexican buyers: voter registration card and registration funds. Non-Mexican buyers: passport, immigration document and registration funds. Registration funds are US$5,000 or MN$75,000.

14. How long does escrow take to close? 30 days.

15. Are all sales final? Yes.


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