Buying Your Home At Auction

tips for buying at auctions

Benefits, Tips, and Tricks


The traditional viewpoint is that homes are bought and sold through a series of open houses, meetings with realtors, house showings, negotiations, home inspections… the list goes on. But there are easier ways to sell and purchase properties! Through real estate auctions, both the buyer and the seller have a much shorter and easier time throughout the whole transaction.

Final Price

As the buyer/bidder, you have the power to determine the final price of the home. Often times, you will get a significantly lower price on an auctioned home in comparison to a home where you must provide offers. Further, your bid cannot be declined by the seller. Adequate preparation in the time before the auction can ensure that you walk away with a fantastic deal and a new property. One tip: the first few properties often sell for less as bidders sit them out to see how the bidding will go.


You’ll have plenty of time to attend the home’s open houses prior to the auction. This will give you a great opportunity to check out the homes and inspect them for potential damages that you will have to eventually repair. In the long run, as the buyer, you will also save time by eliminating the price negotiation phase. In some states, ownership is transferred immediately following the auction.


Most of the hullabaloo is taken away at auctions. By preparing yourself ahead of time and getting all of your ducks in a row, you are able to make the transaction completely painless. No waiting, no negotiating, no let downs. Preparing for the auction can often be the most complicated part. You’ll have to do a fair amount of research on which houses will be auctioned, as well as do your homework on the home’s history. You’ll want to attend the open house if available, and talk to people in the neighborhood. In addition, you will have to arrange your finances ahead of time and make sure your liquid cash is ready. For more tips on exactly what you’ll need to prepare, visit this site.

Finding the History of A Home

the history of a home

There has probably been a time when unanswered questions about the history of your home have wavered into your mind. While an inspector can certainly inspect the home’s bone structure, they cannot tell you about the history of the home. Some questions you might be pondering are, who lived here before, what remodeling has been done or has there ever been any documented disputes or problems with the home? Finding the history of a home can be especially helpful if you plan to purchase a home at auction.


Learning the history of your home is a matter of public record, but you have to know where to start your research. Your trip to the past should begin at your local courthouse or historical society.


Most of the information you’ll want to seek out will be in recorded documents, thus being kept in a public records or clerk’s office. Historical societies also have access to public records and can pull up a house by official lot number.


With consideration that addresses change periodically, recorded information will be organized by the house’s lot number, not the actual numerical address. Once you have the property lot number, researching will be much easier.


A building permit is also great for learning about the initial cost of the home, who built it and when as well as original dimensions and any other constructional information. You’ll need to obtain a building permit, which can be provided at the courthouse or historical society.


A copy of your property’s abstract will provide you with information on the previous owners as well as recorded deeds and any legal transactions. You may have been given this document at the time of purchase, but a copy of same can be provided at the courthouse.


Lastly, don’t forget to peruse through your county’s newspaper archives as well as chatting with neighbors. They will be able to provide a wealth of information if they have been present in the area for an established amount of time.

Outlaw Al Jennings’ pistol going up for auction

 A pistol and other possessions belonging to a one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became an actor are going up for auction

A pistol and other possessions belonging to a one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became an actor are going up for auction next month.

The .45 Colt revolver owned by infamous outlaw Alphonzo “Al” J. Jennings could go for as much as $30,000 during an auction June 5 in Woodward, said Ira Smith, auctioneer with Smith & Co. Auction and Reality Inc.

Jennings was born in Virginia in 1863 and moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, where he became the prosecuting attorney for Canadian County, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

In 1895, he joined his two brothers in a law practice in Woodward. Later that year, one brother was killed and another wounded in a shootout with a rival attorney. Jennings later formed an outlaw band that attempted to rob trains and general stores before he was captured and sentenced to life in prison.

One of his brothers got his sentence reduced, and Jennings was released just a few years later. He ran unsuccessfully for Oklahoma governor in 1914 and then moved to California, where he appeared in at least two westerns before dying in 1961.

“Al Jennings is probably one of the most enigmatic characters in Oklahoma history,” Oklahoma Historical Society executive director Bob Blackburn said. “He was a potential candidate for governor, so he had a professional side to him — an ambition to be accepted by the community — and at the same time, he had this urge to get rich quick. He was not successful at either one.”

Blackburn said Jennings was probably most successful at getting into the movie business.

After Jennings’ death, his possessions, including the pistol, trickled down through family members, who have now decided to put up the items at a public auction.

Other items include a picture of Jennings attending Wyatt Earp’s funeral, a poster from his failed attempt to become governor and a book signed by President Harry Truman, said Karen Rampy, Jennings’ great-great niece.

The auction will be streamed online, too, Smith said.

“It’s hard to put a value on this thing, but in my mind — which I’ve been in this business 32 years so I’ve watched this happen before — that gun could easily bring $20,000 to $30,000. You never know at a public auction,” he said.

Three Important Tips for First Time Buyers

Before purchasing your first home, you’ll want to focus on the three most important steps of the home buying process. After stabilizing your credit, determining what you can afford, and researching all costs, you’ll be ready to get into the more exciting aspects of choosing your first home.

first time buyer's guide

Stabilize Your Credit

Your credit score is going to either negatively or positively influence which houses you are able to buy. Let’s hope it’s the former. Get your credit report as soon as possible and start making changes to improve it.  In order to make the most of your credit score, avoid moving your money around in drastic ways for a few months before you plan on applying. Don’t apply for new credit cards. Don’t take out new loans. Don’t give your brother $200,000. Banks are hoping to see consistency. This clues them in that you are reliable and a satisfactory candidate for a mortgage. Providing them a complete trail of where your money has been for the recent past can only help your credibility as a mortgage applicant.

Determine Your Budget

In all likeliness, a home will be the biggest purchase you ever make. Many people get in trouble when they try to buy too much house when they cannot afford it. It can leave you with less money for other financial goals you may have such as buying a new car or paying for college. Avoid this by maximizing your monthly mortgage payment at 28% of your monthly income. For example, if you are making $1,000 per month, you should only be spending $280 per month on your mortgage. Staying within this budget will free up your leftover income for things like paying other bills, taking vacations, and buying new cars.

Be Aware of Sleeper Costs

Naturally, the most important number to pay attention to is your monthly mortgage payment. However, you also shouldn’t minimize the importance of extraneous costs such as taxes, maintenance, and repairs. Paying little Joey to mow your lawn over the summer might be something you didn’t think about when you talked to your mortgage broker. You’ll likely also have to replace a door, roof, backyard shed, etc. Taxes can be another doozy.  They can go up without any explanation, and you are obliged to pay. Avoid potentially losing your home by paying close attention to possible repairs, and budgeting for the unexpected.


Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

5 Lessons You Learn while Buying Your First House

Buying Your First House


Buying your first home is exciting, especially now that we have sites like Pinterest and Houzz to get us ready for dream homes and home décor by the age of 14. And so, people often decide on what they want and what the deal breakers are. Many buyers plan their maximum offers, expectations, and maximum offers. And then hit the buyer hits the proverbial brick wall. There is nothing in his or her price range that has all the features of this “dream home”. It’s like dating, when you raise your standards and have too many prerequisites, you drastically reduce your chance of finding the perfect fit.


  • Work with a Real Estate Professional… These pros know about the housing market in your area, and are more inclined to take you to see homes that are under your budget, that may need some work, but that have more ultimate potential than homes selling at the top of your budget. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to become more competitive in order to find what you want, and only looking in your price range may take you out of the running.


  • Shop with Your Head, not Your Heart… You may find the home of your dreams, but it could be way out of your price range, and you could be over-extending yourself, while another home, one that needs your imagination to visualize what it could be, is just down the street, waiting to be discovered. Visit homes more than once before you make a decision. Yes, you want that feeling of “This is the one!”, but there could be more than one home that has “it” potential. You must love the home you choose as it is with an eye towards what it could be.


  • Trust your Real Estate Agent. A good agent is like a salesperson and a CPA rolled into one. They are going to keep in mind your needs and desires – which are different – and what you should and should not be spending. Good agents want to make a sale, of course, but they want you to be happy. Moreover, the pros know which homes have a lot more potential than they “seem” to have, and can help you to see it too.


  • Research is Worth It… When you find homes that interest you, google them, go to the bureau of public records in your town and find out about the home’s history. This is information that is available to the public, and stuff you might want to know. Be aware of things like what school district you’re in, what the utility companies charge, if there is a Homeowner’s Association, and how intrusive they are. Let the professionals do their jobs, but you must do yours. The more info you have, the better your decisions can be.


  • Know What your Priorities and Deal Breakers are… know exactly what you want and get your priorities in order. You are going to have to compromise on some things and make some concessions. You may not get your fireplace, but instead you will have glorious views. Be a visionary.


Above all, be patient! Home buying is a process, and when you are buying for the first time, you should enjoy the process and learn from it. Be creative in your thinking, and be flexible. Rely on the pros for good advice. Allow yourself to be excited and eager, but temper that with good sense. Buying your first home is a great gift. Remember that, with gratitude.




Moving to Your New Home with Pets

moving with pets

The challenge of moving can be highly stressful for any family; but when pets are involved, a completely new level of challenges arise that are difficult on everyone involved. Our pets are a part of our families, and they often feel the stress and angst that we feel, during major life changes. Moving, whether you are traveling across town, or across the country, is one of the most major life changes we can make.

Though moving can be stressful, it is also an exciting experience. It brings with it, opportunities for new beginnings, and fresh starts. In addition, if we have pets, we most certainly want them along for the ride. Making sure that everyone is prepared for this life-changing event is important, so there are quite a few things we may need to consider for ourselves, and our pets, before taking on the challenge.

Here are a few tips for moving with pets, that will make the transition a bit easier, and as painless as possible for the whole family.

Take Your Pets to the Vet

Especially, if your move, includes a bit of travel, car rides, planes, etc.; taking your pets for a general check-up and letting the vet know that you are about to move, is a wise idea. Many pets can have adverse reactions to long distance traveling, or simply being taken out of their familiar surroundings. Making sure that they are healthy and prepared for travel of any kind, will make you feel better, and help keep your pets stay healthy and balanced.

Keep a Good Supply of Meds, Food, and Water

Knowing that you are equipped with everything you need to keep your pets calm and happy will make the move a lot less challenging. If your pets are on any medications, or if any are prescribed by the vet before you move, be sure to have them on hand. Also having enough food and water for your pets will help to keep them on an eating and drinking schedule that is similar to what they are used to. Well-nourished and hydrated pets are usually relaxed and happy.

Make Sure They Are Restrained Safely

All airlines have safe travel requirements for pets. They are normally required to be in a crate or airline safe carrier. If you are traveling by vehicle, the same rules should apply, for everyone’s safety. Loving your pets means that you will keep them safe, and NOT try to hold them in your laps. Having pets roam around inside of a moving vehicle is not a good idea for anyone.

Prepare Your New Living Space For Your Pets

Most pets thrive on the familiarity of their surroundings. As soon as you get to your new location, unpack your pet’s toys, food and water bowls. Take some down time with your pets to make them feel at ease in unfamiliar territory. Their toys, pieces of your clothing, and other familiar items from your last residence, will make the transition much smoother for you and your pets.

5 Tips For Pricing Your Home To Sell

Thinking of selling your house? It can be a daunting task in any real estate market. The goal is to make your home stand out above the rest. It is highly important to get buyer’s attention from the start. First impressions, are the only impressions in the real estate industry; and sellers need to be aware of things they can do to make the process smoother and speedier.

Research the Local Market



Sellers should research the local markets to see how homes that are comparable to theirs are selling, and at what price. Housing prices are subject to their local area demands. A house in one city, may not be able to sell for the same price in your city, depending on the cost of living, the quality of the school systems, and other attractions and opportunities that may or may not be available. Do your research before attempting to price your home. Proper pricing can make or break a sale.

Seek Professional Advice



If you are not sure how to price your home, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Ask your agent to share with you what they think is best. Even if you have yet to make a decision about selling, real estate agents will be happy to assist you with information about home sales in your area, and for your type of house.

Obtain a Broker Price Option (BPO)



Get more than one agent’s advice and a couple of different BPOs, before pricing your home. It is wise to have a list of educated opinions before making a final decision. Homeowners should be well educated on what their house is actually worth before placing it on the market.

The last thing a seller needs, is to be told by a potential buyer, that they have seen a comparable property priced for less. You can avoid this with a BPO. A Broker Price Option allows the seller to set value on their home by a Real Estate Professional, using comparable sold properties comparing the seller’s home to others that have sold in the market place within at least the last 6 months. A Realtor has working knowledge of homes  on the  market currently and those that have sold in the market.  At Smith & Co. or Realtors are all full time agents with Professional training and several years of experience.

Know Your Potential Buyer



It’s good to know who your potential buyer is; single professionals, couples with children, single parents. Knowing the profile of your buyer will help you to make the right choice when it comes to pricing. Study reports that will show you who has been purchasing and selling, the homes in your area. Are the homes near schools selling more quickly, or properties in the heart of the city moving more rapidly? Are condos moving in and out of the market quickly, or are single family homes more in demand? By knowing this information, you can price your home competitively.

Strategic Pricing



Strategic pricing is when sellers consider what other homes in their area are selling for, and decide early in the game to lower their price by a couple per cent. Sellers may sacrifice a bit of profit, but the home may sell quicker. Many sellers would rather have a quick and easy transaction that doesn’t linger on for months, sometimes years, than to make more money from the sale. Strategic pricing gets the attention of potential buyers. Even if your home is not their dream home, they may choose to make the purchase because they will save some money for needed repairs or improvements.

Consider the Deal



Though as a seller, you may have your heart and wallet, set on selling for a certain price; if you are offered a bit less by a well qualified buyer, consider taking the deal. You don’t want to have your house sitting on the market for long periods of time, especially if you are eager to move. If the offer is one you can clearly live with, consult your agent for professional advice, and if they say it’s a good deal, give it serious consideration, so that you can move forward with finding your new home.


Benefits to House Shopping At The End Of The Year

The end of the year is often reserved for holiday shopping and celebrating, but truth be told, the months of October to December are great times to purchase a new home. With most people being pre-occupied with Christmas preparation, you might be able to locate your dream home with less stress than during the busy real estate months.


The buying benefits for the end of the year range from favorable tax deductions to anxious sellers looking to sell for a great price. While there are, on average, fewer homes for sale at this time, you’ll be one of a small select group of people looking over gem properties. Due to limited number of prospective buyers, your chances of purchasing a dream home are increased.


Other perks of waiting to compare MLS listings during the winter months include:


Deducting mortgage interest, property taxes and point on your loan when you file for income taxes (as long as you close by December 31st). This is very beneficial when you spend the first few years of your loan paying off interest.


If the house you desire is a new build, the building company might offer incentives to buy the property by the end of the year. Throwing in complimentary features is not uncommon.


Moving companies are more readily available in their “off season” which is November to December. This makes moving much more doable.


A fresh start for the New Year can begin with a new home. Making memories in a new home you can share with the people you love is the perfect start of new beginnings. To help start you on your newest journey, contact Smith & Co.


Affordable Farm Land and Used Farm Machinery

Almost all of the mid-west and many parts of the northeast and west coast comprise of beautiful farmland that is responsible for growing and feeding the economy with healthy crops. Owning farmland is very profitable, but finding desirable land can be hard to come by.


Farmland is expensive. Whether prepared for planting or not, you are purchasing a large quantity of land. The price for farmland acreage depends on where you are located. Considerations such as rich soil, favorable weather, price for ethanol gas and livestock production are factored into the price equation.


Acquiring new or unused farmland at an affordable price is possible and there’s one solution to ensure this: an auction. Farmland auctions are particularly popular and serve as a reliable source for purchasing affordable land.


A farmland auction begins with an affordable bid price followed by buyers being able to control the amount of money they’re willing to pay. Little is needed in order to attend the farmland auction, which may or may not be held at the actual property location.


Now onto another topic related to acquiring farmland, finding used farm machinery. Farm equipment can be quite expensive. Companies such as John Deere and Caterpillar are known for providing the highest quality of farm machinery on the market. For farmers who wish to purchase budget-friendly and functional farm equipment, seeking out used is ideal.


The task of locating used farm machinery can be a tricky. Two ways of guaranteeing success include knowing what you need and knowing where to begin your search. For example, if you need a hay baler, tractor or manure spreader, narrow down the makes and models that you’re willing to purchase used.


Next step is to attend a farm auction or farm dispersal sale. These kinds of sale avenues are great for spending on a budget. Many auction houses will list the items for sale on a website so you can preview before the auction.


The last step you can take to purchase used farmland is to place an ad in the local newspaper. List exactly what you’re looking for with the following information: make, model, year, condition and price.


If you want to increase your chances of acquiring affordable farmland or used farm equipment, contact Smith & Co. Auctions today.