Q: I am interested in buying a condo in Buckhead/Atlanta and have read reports of many condos going to auction selling for nearly fifty to sixty cents on the dollar. Can you tell me where I can go to find out when and where auctions will be and any place I can go to get auction buying tips?

Your help will be greatly appreciated! We love to listen to you when you are filling in for Clark!

A: Sometimes you can get a great deal at an auction. Sometimes you only THINK you’re getting a great deal. But you should certainly investigate all of the options. There are many good auction houses in Atlanta. You should look them up in the phone book and register with all of them to receive their information about upcoming auctions. A Chicago-based auctioneer, Sheldon Good, also does auctions in Atlanta. When you get the information, be sure you’re approved in advance (often you need a cashier’s check for anywhere from $5,000-$25,000) and that you take the time to check out the properties.

Remember, you’ll sign papers for the property AT the auction itself, so consider making friends with an attorney who can come with you if you find a property in which you’re interested so you can look over all of the documentation then and there. You won’t have a broker who can assist you, and it can be a rather adversarial process (you’re buying from someone who’s unhappy about selling typically).

Visit several auctions as a spectator before you go. And remember, never bid more than you think the property is worth. It’s easy to get caught up and overbid.