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House auction fails to draw a buyer

An Alta Sierra home that was auctioned Sunday after being advertised at sellingsunday.com failed to attract a buyer, according to the builder who arranged the event.

At a time when the real estate market is going through a nationwide slump, builder Gary Stokes’ innovative idea of selling a house at an auction failed possibly because local buyers weren’t used to the new process, Stokes said.

Stokes had advertised the Sunday auction and his Web site sellingsunday.com, with signs posted throughout the area.



Though 150 people attended the event, there were only “a couple of bidders,” who eventually “decided to drop out,” Stokes said.

Bidding started at $559,450 and reached $750,000, Stokes said. The brand new 3,400-square-foot home, finished last February on two acres of flat land with a pond,




is appraised for $875,000, according to Stokes.

“I think people were very intimidated by the bidding process,” Stokes said. “Maybe I could have done a better job of educating them about the process. They loved the house because it’s really beautiful.”

Stokes will now e-mail or call anyone who attended the Sunday auction and try to sell the house the traditional way, he said.

“Because we got an offer of about $750,000, we’re going to put it on the market for $775,000,” Stokes said.

In western Nevada County, 1,070 homes are for sale, compared with 400 in 2004, according to figures analyzed by the Nevada County Board of Realtors.

Houses on sale from June to July have spent an average of 122 days on the market, compared to 115 days the year before, according to local real estate agents.

There are fewer buyers, with some sellers having a hard time even getting their homes shown, local Realtors said.

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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