The year is 2009. Real Estate is in one of its toughest markets ever in Gallatin Tennessee. Fresh off the 2008 debacle and people are sitting in their homes, many upside down, fresh off a huge market correction. As a Realtor and Auctioneer, these were the days it would have been easy to simply sit back and throw your hands in the air. Not many were buying and the market was flooded with overpriced inventory. That is when I received a call from Matthew Branham.
Matt had lost his father, James Branham, the previous year and their family had a farm in the heart os Gallatin over on Saint Blaise Road. It was a gorgeous 90 acre farm that had been in their family for a LONG time. Matt lived out of town and was Executor of his father’s estate and we set up to meet.
The farm was even more beautiful once we got off the road and drove across it. It had a lovely large pond stocked with fish, a huge barn full of collectibles, and an older farm house that had been completely rocked from the family’s old rock quarry. Matt had one simple question, “Would it bring one million dollars as it was tax appraised for?” My father and I were there and we both agreed that it would and Matt Booked the auction.
Weeks of preparation went into this sale. Fence rows that had to be cleaned out (which I helped out on myself and got a wonderful case of poison Ivy!) Pastures were cut for hay then constantly mown to keep it looking good. Lots of work on the personal property to market and inventory for the auction. And when the marketing began, what a rush of interest on this place.
As we move forward in the story, do not forget, we are in a very troubled market. People were not spending money. However, if you have something they want, nothing will stand in their way and at Auction, the market price can and will be met.
Auction day arrived and we invited over 400 people onto the grounds. Our 40×80 tent was full and running over. Bidding set in and the price was driving high. I watched best friends bid against each other for the opportunity to own a piece of this land. When it was all said and done, the property had sold for over $1.15 million. It truly was a remarkable day.
If they had tried to obtain that on the private market, without the proper subdividing and marketing an auction provides, it would have sat there for several years awaiting the market to return. Because they chose to auction it, it allowed the family to reach their expectations and settled the Real Estate portion of the estate (as well as personal property) all in one day.
So do Auctions really work? Absolutely, and I believe the Branham family would agree!
Ray Carman – Auctioneer