Multimillion-dollar Austin home headed to auction

AUSTIN (KXAN) –A $15 million home in Austin is being auctioned off Wednesday to the highest bidder without a reserve price — meaning that it could sell for a lot less.

While auctioning homes is not a new practice, it’s something Austin typically doesn’t see because the housing market is so hot.

“We are standing here at Casa Santuario; it is a really unique property with 5 acres in Tarrytown,” said Laura Brady, managing partner with Concierge Auctions.

With just more than 9700 square feet, five bedrooms, five baths, a sprawling back yard with a pool and views of Lake Austin, this mission-style home sat on the market for nearly a year and a half.

“High-end properties typically take longer to sell,” said Brady. “They are very unique. There is a smaller pool of buyers, and the higher the price the smaller the pool becomes.”

Enter Concierge Auctions. A company that auctions off high-end properties around the world and most recently opened an office in Austin.

“Our auctions attract a lot of opportunistic buyers, meaning they might not even be thinking about purchasing a home. But once they see it, going to auction, it sparks their interest and they become interested,” said Brady.

While this property was listed for $15 million, that doesn’t mean it’s going to sell for that much. It’s a risk the seller takes in exchange for a faster sale.

“It’s certainly not a mainstream model,” said Jude Galligan, REATX Owner.

Galligan is a realtor and creator of the Downtown Austin Blog said auctions in Austin were popular back in 2009 when condos like Brazos Place and The Sage weren’t selling fast enough.

“We saw a surge of auctions coming in when developers were trying to move a bulk of units very quickly,” said Galligan.

Now, if buyers are looking for something priced between $250,000 and $500,000 an auction is not needed.

“Here in 2014, we have a much stronger market — where a lot of deals are being closed before they even hit the MLS,” said Galligan.

That could be the one luxury million-dollar properties can’t offer.

“Properties that are very unique do very well in our platform, so we see ourselves executing more auctions in Austin,” said Brady.

Anyone interested in bidding on Casa Santuario has to be vetted by the auction house first. That means applying and placing a $250,000 deposit in escrow.

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