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City properties mounting up

Realtors bid to list vacant lots

September 17, 2010
The City of Warren and its Redevelopment Authority need a little help in unloading acquired properties. During their Thursday morning meeting, members reviewed bids from three local real estates firms for the listing and marketing of the properties acquired by the authority. According to City Manager Jim Nelles, the bid solicitation asked for a price for “the liquidation of vacant property” as well as a price for listing properties with structures. “Just as a refresher, we have eight vacant properties,” said City Building Code Official Alan Gustafson, adding that the authority also has two properties with structures including the former Home Street Elementary School property. Howard Hanna Daley Real Estate offered a flat fee of $1,500 for any property with the exception of the Home Street School property, which the company requested a commission of $3,000. Coldwell Banker Phil Mathyer Real Estate offered a fee of $1,400 for properties listed under $25,000. For properties over $30,000, the company requested a five percent commission rate. The final bid came from Real Living Avista Properties. The company offered a fee schedule of $1,000 for properties listed at $10,000 or less; a fee of $1,200 for properties listed between $10,000 and $20,000; and a fee of $1,500 for properties listed between $25,000 and $40,000. For properties listed in excess of $40,000, the company requested a five percent commission rate. Nelles indicated that the majority of the properties the authority is trying to sell are valued under $10,000. Authority member Tim Huber questioned the proposed fees indicating that he thought the rates should be lower since it would be putting several properties in the real estate firm’s hands. Citing personal experience, Nelles said real estate companies “normally” charge a “flat fee of $2,000” to list vacant lots. “When you do the math (Real Living Avista Properties) is the least expensive of the three,” said authority treasurer Rob Kaemmerer. With a motion by Kaemmerer, the authority approved Real Living Avista Properties as the listing agency for the its properties. In other business, two citizens expressed interest in two of the authority’s properties. Ben Mueller sought more information about the property at 467 Prospect Street. “I’m interested in purchasing the property and restoring it back into a home,” he said. When asked by Nelles what the timeline would be for restoring the structure, Mueller said, “I would say within a year have someone moved into it.” “I don’t want to discourage you, but there was someone else interested in doing the same thing and decided the cost was too much,” said authority member Chuck Hayes. Mueller agreed to take a closer look at the property and come back to the authority with an offer and a plan of action. Warren resident Jim Davis expressed interest in the property at 812 W. Fifth Ave, which is adjacent to his home. Davis agreed to make an offer in writing. Nelles said that if Mueller and Davis are truly interested in the properties, then the authority can hold off on listing those particular properties with the realtor.


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