Q: This is a comment. In a recent column on this subject you discussed the questionable legality and impracticality of using a lottery to sell a property. You suggested that the property be donated to a charity and a tax deduction taken.
This method will require an expensive appraisal and, most probably, only a portion of the value can be deducted in the year of donation. I was nonplussed that you not mention the easiest, quickest method to sell the property at market value — auction.
A: You’re right (as are dozens of other readers who wrote in to share their stories about auctioning property). I should have mentioned that auctioning off a property through a well-known real estate auction company or online with a company like eBay can be a valuable strategy in a tough market.
While auctioning your property may help you unload it, it can be costly. In a future column, I’ll tackle the subject of auctions, how they work, the costs involved and why you might choose this route. In the meantime, if you have a real estate auction property story to share, e-mail me at my website, ThinkGlink.com.
Jan. 19, 2009.