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An absolute auction
Graystone Townhomes on the block Thursday
Sarah and Tim Jarriel of Collins inspect on of the 22 townhomes in the Graystone development which are up for auction. The couple has two children who are presently attending Georgia Southern University so the purchase of one of the townhomes is appealing to them.

      John Dixon and Associates will conduct an absolute auction Thursday of 10 townhomes as part of a larger auction in the Graystone Townhomes subdivision near the intersection of Burkhalter Road and Pretoria Rushing Road.
       At a time when sellers are increasingly anxious to liquidate real estate holdings, the absolute auction format is becoming much more commonplace.
      "It is true that we have not seen very many absolute auctions in the last several years, but they are becoming more prevalent today," said John Dixon, owner of John Dixon & Associates. "With these auctions, we are seeing properties selling. That is something that we haven't seen for the last couple of years. Lenders and developers are beginning to realize that the marketplace is going to be like this for the immediate future, and many are deciding it is time to move on."
       In Graystone, 22 townhomes are being auctioned in all - 10 at absolute auction - which means that the highest bid for those 10 homes, regardless of what the bid is, will be accepted. According to Rusty Lane of John Dixon & Associates, this is how the auction will work.
       "We will start with the first round of bidding," he said. "The highest bidder for a unit will get to choose which of the 22 units he or she wants. We will then go to round two, and the highest bidder for that round, will get to choose which unit they want from the remaining 21. Once 10 units have been sold that way, we will auction off the remaining 12. The owners reserve the right to decline a winning bid on the any of the remaining 12 units."
       Lane said he will be surprised if any of the remaining bids are declined, because the owners are very motivated to sell.
      "I can't see any reasonable bid being turned down," he said. "The owners of Lotts Creek Developers LLC are ready to move on and do something else with their money. They agree that an auction would be the most effective method of eliminating their financial obligations before pursuing other interests."
       Over the last two weeks, there has been a steady stream of potential buyers touring the townhomes and asking questions.
      "We have had a ton of interest," said Lane. "I have been on the property for a number of days, and everyone from investors to first time home buyers have come to look at the units."
       Ben Roberts, an associate with the Macon-based firm of L.W. Benton Auction and Realty Company, and a board member of the Georgia Auctioneers Association said the Statesboro market is a little different when it comes to residential real estate.
       "Particularly as it pertains to multi-family residential, Statesboro has a steady influx because of the university," he said. "It brings a real investment component to auctions like the one that you are going to have which could make it a very strong auction."
       Roberts said that sometimes the word auction can have a bad connotation when in fact, it is the best route for a seller to take.
       "Not all properties that are auctioned are in a distressed situation," he said. "It is a viable marketing solution that will bring buyers to the table. They know that an absolute auction means the property is going to be sold. And if they want to have an opportunity to buy it, it has to be then."
       Built in 2008, each Graystone townhome is 1,650 square feet, three bedrooms, and 2.5 baths, and the entrance is gated.  The auction is being held at the Springhill Suites event room beginning at 6 p.m., Thursday.
       "Ten units of your choice will be sold at absolute auction, no minimums, no reserves - the highest dollar buys regardless of price," Lane said. "Please be aware that a 10-percent buyer's premium will be added to the highest bid which means that 10 percent of the bid will be added back to that bid to come up with the purchase price."
       Also selling at absolute auction will be an additional 10 building pads that have been poured and stubbed for water and plumbing along with enough open land to build an additional four units.
       To learn more about the auction, you can visit the firm's website at

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