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Every auction has different rules, be sure you read the terms and conditions of any auction you bid.
An auction is a great way to buy or sell real estate.
Most auctions for real estate are cash transactions. You will need to have your your financing in order before the auction. If you can not close in the allotted you will most likely lose your deposit, and may be liable for any loss the seller takes if he or she has to sell the home again for less money.
That being said, you should look for an auctioneer that is a member of their State auction association and the National Auctioneers Association, they are bound by a code of ethics. Look to see if the auctioneer has the NAA's Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate (AARE) designation (I hold this designation). Also check for their rating on the Better Business Bureau (our firm is rated A+). Ask for a bidders packet, you are usually buying the home "As Is" so you will want to do your "due diligence inspections" before you bid. The auctioneer may have inspection reports, inspection reports, a lead statement, and a seller disclosure form.
An auction "works" like this:
In an typical real estate auction you will bring a deposit to the auctioneer and register by showing your drivers license. After you register you will receive a bidder number. The auctioneer will hold your deposit (request a receipt for it). Check to see if the auction is with a reserve or no reserve. An auction with no reserve is an auction where the property will sell to the highest bid regardless of price. The auctioneer and the seller may not bid on the property in a no reserve auction. In an auction with a reserve the auctioneer will require a minimum bid under which the property will not sell. The Uniform Commercial Code UCC 238 has been adopted by every state but Louisiana. It was written to cover Personal Property but it has been applied by the courts to apply to Real Estate on many occasions.
Many auctions now have an on-line part as well as an in-person part. You may find yourself bidding against others on-site as well as those bidding from other cities, state or even from another country.
To bid you will hold your number up. It is wise to not stand there with your number up but to flip it up and then quickly back down. As an auctioneer I love it when a bidder simply stands there with their card up, it allows me to count faster and change the bid increment (say from $500 per bid to $1,000 per bid).
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