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A prime location, high end amenities, and a rooftop pool with a view. West in downtown Raleigh is a 17 story luxury highrise with 170 condos – and 36 of those could soon be sold to the highest bidder.

“The great thing about the market is we’re bringing the market to the seller. As opposed to the seller listing it, and having people come by, dripping in one at a time,” said Andrew Chung of Cary-based Real Pro Auction. He anticipates that hundreds will have interest in the auction.

Starting bids for condos that were once listed at well over $300,000 are just $95,000.

It’s certainly not like your traditional real estate marketing techniques – open houses and glossy ads in magazines – but experts say, in these uncharted waters, sometimes traditional just doesn’t cut it.

“I think it’s a genius marketing plan,” said Realtor Chuck Belden of Rtown Living. He’s received lots of interest from potential buyers, wanting to put in a bid at West, and thinks the auction is one way to jump start the market.

“The real estate market has changed. It’s not as easy as getting a listing agreement, putting a sign out front, and selling the home,” Belden said. “You’ve got to think outside of the box. You’ve got to do some different things.”

Perhaps the only ones not excited about this, some current West homeowners. Some paid close to $700,000 for units that may be auctioned off at about a third of that cost.

“You’re going to have homeowners who are concerned about their property value,” said Chung. “But what they’ve got to understand is that the market has changed since they bought their home.”

The West condo auction will be held at the Marriott in downtown Raleigh on October 31. The sales center is open daily for anyone who wants a preview.

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