Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — Supervisors said they planned to sell a county-owned lot across the street from the Washington County Courthouse at a meeting Tuesday morning. The commercially-zoned lot was acquired by the county in 2017 according to public records of the land, with GIS data putting the value at around $13,400.
“We are not going to use that for parking,” Board of Supervisors Chair Richard Young said. “Initially we were, but our plans have changed, so there’s no sense in holding onto that. Might as well put it back out into the marketplace.”
After some discussions, officials said they likely would not hire a real estate agent for the process.
“My personal opinion, I don’t think we need a Realtor,” Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. said. “I think if the person that buys it wants some help making the transfer, he can find his own Realtor or his own attorney.”
Instead, officials suggested opening the land up to bids from the public.
“It’s my understanding that whenever we sell property, especially real property, it has to be advertised for sealed bids to come in,” Seward said. “We advertise, make sure that everybody knows it’s up for grabs … and then on the date the bids are opened, they would have an auction to increase their bids at that time.”
County Attorney John Gish said the process was probably not subject to many regulations and that the county would not have to hire a real estate agent, though it certainly could.
“I doubt the property value of that lot is above the bid threshold under Iowa code, so I don’t think we need to do a bidding process,” he said. “Realtors don’t have a bidding process anyway, they all have a pretty standard percentage that they’ll take from the sale of the property.”
County Auditor Dan Widmer said supervisors could expect wording for a public notice of bidding at the next few weeks.
“I think there’ll be even more interest once the word gets out,” he said. “There’s no big rush, but on the other hand, if we’re ready to sell it, if that’s the ultimate plan, let’s do it sooner rather than later.”