Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner is calling the county’s Tuesday, Aug. 16 state-mandated land sale “unbelievably successful” after 260 tax-foreclosed homes were picked up out of a slate of roughly 1,200, yielding $5.52 million in gross sales.
That figure is up substantially from previous years, the first-term treasurer said. In 2009, there was $450,000 in gross sales; last year in August, there was $2.3 million in gross sales. The Aug. 16 sales figure is a 10-fold increase from 2009, and more than double last August’s sales figure.
Meisner cited new marketing and sales efforts, including a partnership with the North Oakland Board of REALTORS, as contributing to the increase in gross sales.
“We did a pretty innovative pilot program that really helped us market the properties and bring in a lot more participation,” he said.
Case in point: Last year, there were about 300 people who participated in the August land sale; this year, there were over 800. Plus, the average sales price of the parcels doubled up to about $21,000
In addition, lawn signs, “modest investments in maintenance of the properties,” a website that received “well over 40,000 hits,” and some advertising all resulted in a successful August land sale.
By and large, the properties that didn’t sell during the Aug. 16 sale will go on the auction block again on Oct. 11 for the final land sale of the year, Meisner said.
“Prices will be reduced to reflect the fact that they didn’t sell in August,” he said of properties to be auctioned in October. “There were instances where the taxes owed are more than the market value of the home. We had a home in White Lake Township that sold for $200,000 with a tax bill of about $30,000. There was very competitive bidding on that property.”
Under state law, the county Treasurer’s Office is required to hold two annual auctions of tax-foreclosed properties that are in their third year of delinquency.