There’s a lot of stuff I love about Harrisburg. I love rivers, so I like watching the Susquehanna flow. I’m also a huge history buff, and the Civil War museum is one of my favorites. Whenever people ask me why I like it so much, I tell them that you have to understand history to understand your present and plan your future.

It’s a lesson I use a lot when looking at my real estate investments, and the methods I use to find houses to purchase. When it comes to real estate auctions in Harrisburg, I think about the success and frustrations I’ve had with them. I use all of my history in the city, and in using auctions, to decide if it is worth my time or not.

If you’re thinking about working with real estate auctions in Harrisburg, PA, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. There are opportunities in auctions, and there are a lot of pitfalls. The most important things in our business are time and money, and auctions can prove costly in both.

Which Real Estate Auctions in Harrisburg PA Actually Offer Solid Investment Deals?

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Auctions in Harrisburg, PA

There’s a pretty good reason why people in Harrisburg use auctions. It certainly seems like you can get a really good deal. There are a lot of houses going up for sale, it moves fast, and the prices start out lower than what you’d pay with a cold call or even a hot lead.

Usually. Well, sometimes.

As we’ll see, this isn’t always the case. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of three prominent real estate auctions here in Harrisburg.

Lane Ryan Auctions

Lane Ryan has a great reputation for auctions in the area, including real estate. They have a pretty wide selection of houses, going from fixer-uppers to places ready to move into. They’ve also got a reputation for fairness, and are very seller-friendly.

But that doesn’t mean it is right for you. Most of the houses there are higher-end, sold by people who had to move and didn’t want to wait for a long selling process. They also don’t charge a commission to the seller, making their money from a surcharge to the buyer (i.e. you). It’s a pretty decent way to find a house you want to live in, but not to buy, renovate, and sell for profit.

Kerry Pae Auctions

Kerry Pae is a lot like Lane Ryan: a private firm people sell their homes to, who then turn around and auction them off. They are very good at generating interest because buyers have generally had a good experience with them. There is also a wide variety of houses, and it isn’t as consistently high-end as Lane Ryan. This one is a little more in your lane.

It’s that “generating excitement,” though, that’s a problem for you. Kerry Pae is excellent at making sure there are going to be a lot of bidders. That means a ton of competition for your houses, including investment firms with really deep pockets. You could easily spend a lot of time trying to get the house you want only to have it snatched away at a price you can’t afford.

Dauphin County Real Estate Sales List

This is where you’re probably going to get your most action. There are a lot of houses on this list, and their starting prices are pretty low. These are foreclosures and abandonments, bank-owned homes that the county is auctioning off. That means a low price and motivated sellers.

It comes with a lot of problems, too, though. Here are just a few.

Too many buyers. Everyone and their aunt is going to be bidding. And, that’s not to mention competition from the lenders themselves who may see higher profits from the nicer properties by selling on the MLS.

Too little information. You can do some digging to discover liens and such, but you probably don’t have the time to research liens on 150 houses. That makes any purchase a gamble.

You’re buying sight unseen. Maybe you have a chance to look at the houses on the list, but again, all 150? That doesn’t seem likely. You might end up with a house that costs so much to fix up, you won’t make a profit after the sale..

Higher prices. I know it starts cheap, but there are a lot of people bidding on these houses, and the price starts to roll up. Then those investment firms come to play. The seller might be motivated, but so is every buyer, and they’ll jack the price upward.

To me, real estate auctions in Harrisburg, PA can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. That’s why I’ve found a different way.

Getting Better Leads With Fewer Pitfalls

This profession, to me, is about maximizing opportunity while minimizing risk. Most auctions are too risky. I don’t get the information I need about the houses, and even when I win, there is a ton of red tape. It’s brutal. To me, it’s rarely worth the hassle.

That’s why I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. Now, when I want to invest in Pennsylvania real estate deals, I can take advantage of the brand’s national reputation. When distressed homeowners in Harrisburg are looking to sell, they turn to the famous  “We Buy Ugly Houses®” people. And, I get qualified leads. I’m able to do my research and talk to someone who made the first approach by contacting me first. It’s not a cold call.

If you really want to up your real estate investment potential, contact HomeVestors® today. You’ll find qualified leads, time and time again. You’ll be glad that history keeps repeating itself.


Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.


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