Mario Piatelli didn't want to auction off resort time-shares. Compared to other types of real estate, time-shares don't sell for much, even when they're new. And second hand? Piatelli knew his share as an auctioneer would be minimal.
He took the job, anyway. Why? "Because he was a nice Italian fellow, and his name was also Mario," Piatelli said of Mario Collura, who approached Piatelli with the idea two years ago.
Since then, though Piatelli complains that escrows take a long time to close and so he doesn't get paid as quickly as he'd like, the auctions of "used" time-shares have paid off, Collura claims.
From the four auctions held, 391 time-shares were sold for a total of nearly $1 million, he said. Sellers who had few if any ways to sell their interests got a return, and buyers got what they considered bargains, he added.
The average price paid at auction was about $2,500, in contrast with an average new sales price of $7,000.
Now Piatelli is getting ready for the fifth time-share auction presented by RE/MAX TRI, Collura's Marina del Rey-based company. It will be held today at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles Convention Center.