5th & Madison Auction: Beware the Unpublished Reserve Price

The 5th and Madison auction site is up.

If you want to skip registration here is the price list for the 18 units.

I’ve spoken to a few folks who are pretty excited about the auction because of the low starting bids. However, if you read the fine print you want to beware the unpublished reserve price. From their fine print:

All homes have an unpublished reserve price (Unpublished Reserve Price) which means that the seller has established an unpublished minimum selling price. The Starting Bid is not the Unpublished Reserve Price. In order to become the winning bidder of a home, a bidder must have the highest bid and meet or exceed the Unpublished Reserve Price. The highest bid is subject to acceptance by the seller (see “Subject to Confirmation” section below). With respect to a high bid less than the seller’s reserve, the high bid, resulting purchase agreement/offer are subject to the seller’s acceptance, counter-offer or rejection during the auction, in the contract room, and/or within 5 days following the auction.

So yes, a $195k starting bid for a 800 square foot 17th floor unit is likely too good to be true.

Other details to note:

  • 18 units from 808 square feet up to 1958 square feet
  • Starting bigs from $195k
  • Auction day is March 28th. Starts at 1pm, be there by noon.
  • They’ll have practice auctions on March 21st
  • Registration deadline is March 25th, though you can register day of, but then you’re limited to only one unit
  • Auction office is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily
  • $5,000 deposit
  • Buyers who close within 45 days with the preferred lender will get a $5,000 credit towards closing costs
  • FHA financing available
  • If you bring an agent they’ll get 2%
About Matt Goyer

I'm the publisher of Urbnlivn and a real estate agent. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.
Get in touch to:
• Understand the market
• See homes for sale
• Sell your home

Contact Matt matt@urbnlivn.com / 206-618-1600

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  • Clint

    It's a trap!

    I've been looking to pick up a condo at auction but this is just silly. I recommend we all boycott this to avoid this happening when other places go up for auction.

    The whole point of the auction is to sell units at market price. A hidden reserve just undermines that purpose.

  • Axe

    Will they have shill bidders? If they do, they won't be caught on tape!

    i) The auction will be recorded. Bidders’ attendance at the auction shall
    constitute Bidders’ consent to any audio and/or visual recording.

    **j) No auction attendees may take audio or visual recordings of the auction.**

  • The MD

    Agreed. I wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole

  • ace

    I've yet to meet anyone who bought or rents at 5th and Madison and is happy e.g. see http://www.seattlecondoreview.com/2007/12/5th-a

    The building is not LEED certified despite the developers original plans. I'm surprised none of the original buyers have sued for misrepresentation since 5th and Madison was pitched so hard as a 'green building' but never got LEED for some reason.