A member recently asked the following question:
I am a annual subscriber to your storage auction listing service. I have read your blog and all the helpful information thru your links, including your beginner's guide. What I am wondering about is how to do more research on the units being sold. Do you need to access the public legal notice to get that information? Is it common practice to call the storage facility? Just want some tips on how to research more than likely what will be in the unit beyond what one can see.
This is an excellent question. First of all, thanks for being a member, we really appreciate you. Allow me to begin by explaining how the storage facility manager takes inventory of the contents of a storage unit scheduled for public sale. After a storage facility manager has given a delinquent tenant notice, they are required by Chapter 59 of the Texas Property Code to publish legal notice in a newspaper of general circulation for two consecutive weeks, which includes the name of the tenant, location, date and time of the sale and a description of the contents of the storage unit.
See the following example of an actual legal notice:
Demarques Tucker: furn Darrell Conley: furn, boxes, sprtng gds, applnces, TV/Stereo Equip LaTwanecia Willingham: furn, applnces Traqueva Langrum: hsld gds, furn, boxes, TV/Stereo Equip Adam Jackson: hsld gds, furn, boxes, TV/Stereo Equip Jacqueline Thurman: hsld gds, furn, boxes, tools Maria Rios: furn, dishes, boxes Geary Matthews: hsld gds, furn, boxes, sprtng gds, tools, TV/Stereo Equip Billy Greer: furn TeTierre Hamilton: hsld gds Jaime Mendoza: hsld gds, furn, boxes, sprtng gds, TV/Stereo Equip Maria Rios: hsld gds, furn, boxes Antrum Critterdon: hsld gds, furn, boxes, applnces; Stephanie Cannon: hsld gds, furn Andrea Williams: hsld gds, furn, boxes, sprtng gds, tools, applnces, TV/Stereo Equip Leonetta Green: hsld gds, furn, boxes, applnces,TV/Stereo Equip Tiffany Huitt: furn, boxes, TV/Stereo Equip Kenya Barnes: hsld gds, furn, boxes, account records Muriam Watkins: hsld gds, furn, boxes, tools, applnces, TV/Stereo Equip, accnt rcrds Tywanna Ferguson: hsld gds, furn, boxes.
Pretty monotonous right? Some people actually do read the public notices to get an idea of what is inside the storage units before the auction. But, once you have been doing this for a while, you realize that it is a gigantic waste of your time. I say this for a few different reasons.
1. Over half of the units advertised in the legal notice will not go to auction because the tenants will get current on their payments before the auction begins. Nothing is more frustrating than getting excited about a unit and then finding out that the owner paid the bill just minutes before the auction begins. It happens a lot.
2. The person doing the inventory does not enter the unit, open boxes or move things in order give a better description of the contents. This is why the descriptions are so vague.
3. We do the research for you, that's what were here for. Whenever there is a unique or valuable item in a unit, we list it in bold print. If there is nothing listed, it means that the storage facility did not list the specific contents in each unit or that the unit contains any of the following common items: furniture, appliances, electronics, household goods, clothing, tools, boxes, sporting goods, accounting records, etc. If there is a business unit for sale, and the contents aren't listed, we research the business for you, so you can get a better idea of what may be in the unit.
As far as trying to determine what could be in the unit beyond what one could see, research is most likely not going to help you. You will have to buy a lot of units to develop the skills and experience which will help you identify clues as to what may be inside the unit.
Yes, it is a common procedure to call the storage facility if you plan to attend the auction. Some people call the day before and some call the morning of the auction, but either way, it is strongly recommended that you call to make sure that the auction hasn't been cancelled. Also, this will give you an opportunity to speak with the property manager and you might even be able to get some inside information.
I hope this has been helpful and if you or anyone else has a question, feel free to post a reply or send me an email. Have a great day.