Bubil: With home sales, some still take the auction route.


The real estate market may be improving, but for those unique properties, some motivated sellers still choose to go the auction route.

Of course, the first question on the lips of would-be bidders is, "Is it an absolute auction?"

Often, it is not. Often, it is a reserve auction, in which there is no sale if the seller thinks the highest bid is too low. The seller sets a minimum price, or reserve, which is kept secret.

Such was the case at the recent auction by J.P. King Co. of Gadsden, Ala., of the DeVita Ranch near Venice. Someone bid $4 million. No sale.

J.P. King will try it again here on June 7, when auctioneer Lanny Thomas will drop the gavel on a penthouse at Vista Bay Point, the condominium with the twin domed towers on Golden Gate Point in Sarasota. Except this time, a penthouse unit is being sold, furnished, in an absolute auction.

That means there is no minium bid. As long as someone bids, it will be sold, according to the auction company.

The penthouse has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, an office space with built-ins and large windows in the living room. The view of Sarasota Bay is impressive.

Built in 2004, when a top-floor unit sold for $2 million, the building has has a deeded rooftop "verdana" with a domed service kitchen and bathroom. Other amenities include an athletic center, heated pool and spa, theater room, guest suites, event facilities, social room with game table, billiard table and a catering kitchen and bar.

Bidders may register at 10 a.m. on auction day and must show a cashier's check for $50,000. The auction begins at 11. Tours are underway; go to JPKing.com.

If a downtown penthouse is not your style, how about a 1,000-acre ranch that has hosted such dignitaries as Lyndon Johnson, Lawton Chiles and Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski? The Kibler Ranch, 3715 Kibler Ranch Road, Myakka City, will be auctioned on June 6 by National Auction Group.

The ranch, with a four-bedroom lodge, has 2.5 miles of frontage on the Myakka River and 1.75 miles on S.R. 64, along with "endless opportunities for trophy hunting and fishing." It is "minutes from ... exquisite Gulf Coast beaches." About 50, to be exact.

Tours are ongoing; bring $100,000 to register for this one. It is not an absolute auction, but the owners are motivated to the point of offering financing.


Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: May 25, 2013
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.