Star Riverside, a large condo project under way on the south shore of Ladybird Lake near I-35, has announced that it is going to auction 64-units in partnership with ibidcondo with no minimum price and no minimum bid. Before you call your mortgage broker and grab your credit card checks, the fine print on the Star Riverside auction is downright absurd.
Instead of using a starting or reserve price, ibidcondo starts the process by selling a limited number of “virtual auction seats” which are sold until a minimum price is reached. The auction seat price for each of the 64-units is $100. Here is the crazy catch: the auction doesn’t actually happen until enough people have paid $100 for ibidcondo to purchase the unit. So, for the typical $690,000 condo, 6,900 people need to buy $100 seats before the auction starts. Once the auction starts, 6,900 people (or fewer if someone buys multiple seats to compete against themselves) compete to buy the unit. The highest bid wins. The proceeds are then donated to charity after the company takes its undisclosed but likely significant fees.
After the auction, 6,899 people are losers: they are down $100. The one lucky winner gets to participate in one of the least friendly buying processes ever: they have 48 hours from the close of the Auction to (1) deposit the entire bid price into an escrow account maintained by iBidcondo at the Nominated Title Company and (2) execute a purchase and sale agreement with the developer or owner of the property.
Unlike the real auctions taking place soon for units in Brazos Place, this auction is somewhere between a scam and an ill-conceived dot com get-rich-quick scheme. For all the units in Star Riverside to sell, 441,000 bid seats would need to be sold. This, obviously, is never going to happen. The big question is why Star Riverside would associate themselves with such a sketchy endeavor: each auction is bound to leave a bad taste for 6,899 bidders and maybe even the one winner. This is a terrible way to try to sell condos.
On the auction site, there is a link to see previous sales from the company. Currently, the link does not work.
See the ridiculous auction firsthand here.