The following is a partial glossary of real estate auction terms developed by NAR's Real Estate Auction Committee, the National Auctioneers Association, and the Auction Marketing Institute. While it is a real estate glossary, most of the terms apply to all types of auctions.
A procedure which allows a bidder to participate in the bidding process without being physically present. Generally, a bidder submits an offer on an item prior to the auction. Absentee bids are usually handled under an established set of guidelines by the auctioneer or his representative. The particular rules and procedures of absentee bids are unique to each auction company.
A person (or entity) who does not attend the sale but submits, in advance, a written or oral bid that is the top price he or she will pay for a given property.
An auction where the property is sold to the highest qualified bidder with no limiting conditions or amount. The seller may not bid personally or through an agent. Also known as an auction without reserve.
Non-personal, paid communication such as newspaper, radio, direct mail and TV directed toward the general public or, in some cases, specific prospective client groups to provide information about the time, place, contents, and arrangements of an auction.
A person who acts for or in the place of another individual or entity by authority from them.
The act or process of estimating value.
Selling the property without warranties as to the condition and/or the fitness of the property for a particular use. Buyers are solely responsible for examining and judging the property for their own protection. Otherwise known as "As Is, Where Is" and "In its Present Condition."
A method of selling real estate in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also referred to as: public auction, auction sale or sale.
The podium or raised platform where the auctioneer stands while conducting the auction. "Placing (an item) on the auction block" means to sell something at auction.
Auction Listing Agreement
A contract executed by the auctioneer and the seller which authorizes the auctioneer to conduct the auction and sets out the terms of the agreement and the rights and responsibilities of each party.
The price of a property obtained through the auction method of marketing.
Auction Subject to Confirmation
(See "Reserve Auction." )
The price which a particular property brings in open competitive bidding at public auction.
Auction With Reserve
An auction in which the seller or his agent reserves the right to accept or decline any and all bids. A minimum acceptable price may or may not be disclosed and the seller reserves the right to accept or decline any bid within a specified time.
Auction Without Reserve
See Absolute Auction.
The person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction. This person may or may not actually call or cry the auction.
Bank Letter of Credit
A letter from a bank certifying that a named person is worthy of a given level of credit. Often requested from prospective bidders or buyers who are not paying with currency at auctions.
A prospective buyer's indication or offer of a price he or she will pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.
A form executed by the high bidder confirming and acknowledging the bidder's identify, the bid price and the description of the property. Also known as Memorandum.
Individuals who are positioned throughout the attendees at the auction to assist the auctioneer, spot bidders and assist prospective bidders with information to help them in their buying decision. Also known as ringmen, bid consultants, bid spotters, or groundsmen.
The person who actually "calls," "cries or "auctions" the property at an auction, recognizing bidders and acknowledging the highest bidder. Commonly known as
The unlawful practice whereby two or more people agree not to bid against one another so as to deflate value.
The number issued to each person who registers at an auction.
The package of information and instructions pertaining to the property to be sold at an auction event obtained by prospective bidders at an auction. Sometimes called a bidder packet or due diligence package.
A method of sale whereby the successful high bidder wins the right to choose a property or properties from a grouping of similar or like-kind properties. After the
high bidder's selection, the property is deleted from the group, and the second round of bidding commences, with the high bidder in round two choosing a property, which is then deleted from the group and so on, until all properties are sold.
Bookkeeper or Clerk
The person who is responsible for the accounting and paperwork at an auction sale.
An arrangement for third-party brokers to register potential bidders for properties being sold at auction for a commission paid by the owner of the property or the auction firm.
A real estate broker who represents the buyer and, as the agent of the buyer, is normally paid for his/her services by the buyer.
An advertised percentage of the high bid or flat fee added to the high bid to determine the total contract price to be paid by the buyer.
The costs involved in holding a property which is intended to produce income (either by sale or rent) but has not yet done so, i.e., insurance, taxes, maintenance, management.
Catalog or Brochure
A publication advertising and describing the property(ies) available for sale at public auction, often including photographs, property descriptions, and the terms and conditions of the sale.
A Latin term meaning "let the buyer beware." A legal maxim stating that the buyer takes the risk regarding quality or condition of the property purchased, unless protected by warranty.
The person employed by the principal auctioneer or auction firm to record what is sold and to whom and for what price.
The unlawful practice whereby two or more people agree not to bid against one another so as to deflate value or when the auctioneer accepts a fictitious bid on behalf of the seller so as to manipulate or inflate the price of the property.
The fee charged to the seller by the auctioneer for providing services, usually a percentage of the gross selling price of the property established by contract (the listing agreement) prior to the auction.
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