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How does auctioning real estate work

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Curious about how auctioning real estate works in the US? This article provides a detailed explanation of the process, from start to finish, for both buyers and sellers.

Are you considering buying or selling real estate in the US? Have you ever wondered how auctioning a property works? Auctions can be an exciting and efficient way to complete real estate transactions, offering a transparent and competitive environment for both buyers and sellers. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of auctioning real estate, providing you with a comprehensive guide on how the process unfolds.

  1. Understanding Real Estate Auctions

Before diving into the details, let's start by understanding the concept of real estate auctions. Unlike traditional methods of buying or selling property, auctions involve a public sale where interested buyers competitively bid against each other. The highest bidder secures the property, and the transaction is typically completed within a specified timeframe.

  1. Types of Real Estate Auctions

Real estate auctions can be categorized into two main types:

a) Absolute Auctions: In this type of auction, the property is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the final bid amount. Absolute auctions are

Auction weaknesses are:

You can never be sure of precisely how much you will get. Marketing costs tend to be higher. Auctions concentrate the buying process into a short period of time. This may turn out to not be the ideal time to sell.

How does the auction process work?

Once an item is placed for sale, the auctioneer will start at a relatively low price to attract a large number of bidders. The price increases each time someone makes a new, higher bid until finally, no other bidders are willing to offer more than the most recent bid, and the highest bidder takes the item.

Do auction houses take a percentage?

In general, you'll pay a sales commission equal to 20 to 50 percent of the sale price. If your sale totals less than $300, you're more likely to pay that 50 percent; more expensive items are charged lower commissions. But fees are negotiable and often depend on how much an auctioneer wants to sell your goods.

What is the difference between selling and auctioning?

An auction selling process is different from a traditional method. Instead of showing the property to interested parties and waiting for them to make an offer, an auction introduces a commercial building or plot of land to a group of prospective buyers all at once.

What should you not do at an auction?

7 Things You Should Never Do at Auction
  • Don't talk to your partner.
  • Don't phone a friend.
  • Don't let your body language give you away.
  • Don't bring the whole family along.
  • Don't dress up to the nines.
  • Don't be rude to the auctioneer.
  • Don't make silly bids.

Do you need an auctioneer license in Virginia?

Unless exempted by § 54.1-601, no person or firm shall sell at auction without being licensed by the Board.

Who conducts an auction?


An auctioneer is a person who manages an auction, or a public sale at which people can bid on items. It's exciting to win the bidding at an auction and hear the auctioneer shout, "Sold!"

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get an auction license in VA?

Virginia Auctioneer License Requirements
  1. Auction School: Western College of Auctioneering is an approved auction school in the State of Virginia.
  2. State Auction License Required: Yes.
  3. State License Required for Online-Only Auctions: No.
  4. Minimum Age: 18.
  5. School/Apprenticeship Required: Yes.
  6. Bonding/ Insurance: $10,000.

How do you get the best price at an auction?

These tips can help you get the best possible deal the next time you go.
  1. Get an advance listing of the auction items.
  2. Call the sponsoring company the day of the auction.
  3. Get to the auction early and have a look around.
  4. Examine the items carefully.
  5. Write down the lot numbers of all items you are interested in.

What is an auction for a house for sale

Buying a property at auction usually requires a lot of cash. Each auction company and county government has its own requirements for payment, but you will 

What happens if an auction fails?

In the event that bidding fails to meet the vendor's reserve price or no bids are placed at all, the auctioneer will temporarily pause the auction and consult with the vendor to decide the next step. If no bids are placed, the property must be passed in.

What are the three stages of auction?

The auction has three stages: the lead-up, when the property is given exposure; the auction itself, and the post-auction period.

How long after an auction ends do you have to pay?

The short answer is four days. As of 2022, eBay has rolled out a new rule that states all unpaid items must be settled within four days from the time that the buyer has finalized the order or has won the auction. Therefore, a buyer must pay for the sold items within that period.

How do you pay after an auction?

How it's paid. As the seller, how the deposit gets paid is your call – be it by cheque, bank transfer or another method. Some buyers might float paying part of the deposit on the day and the rest at a later date. Being flexible helps, but contracts of sale usually require the entire deposit be paid on the day.


How do you not overpay at an auction?

By researching the item beforehand, setting a budget, attending the preview, avoiding emotional bidding, and being wary of misleading descriptions, you can avoid overpaying at auctions and ensure that you're getting a fair price for the items you purchase.

How does auction work?

What is an Auction? An auction is a system of buying and selling goods or services by offering them for bidding—allowing people to bid and selling to the highest bidder. The bidders compete against each other, with each subsequent bid being higher than the previous bid.

What happens if buyer doesn't pay after auction?

Buyers must pay for the items they purchase on eBay within 4 calendar days. If the buyer doesn't pay within this timeframe, the seller can cancel the order and an unpaid cancellation will be recorded on the buyer's account.

What percentage do most auctioneers take?

Commission: Auctioneers often charge a commission, representing a percentage of the auction's gross sales. A 10% to 15% commission is typical for this profession. Depending on the deal, they may also receive bonuses.

Does it cost more to sell at auction?
Some auctioneers charge the seller between 6 percent and 10 percent of the sales price as a commission. Others charge the buyer an auction premium, usually 10 percent.

What percentage does an art auction house take?

How do auction fees work? The seller's commission at major auction houses, such as Christie's or Sotheby's, is 15%. On top of that, you'll be asked to pay shipping, LDL (loss, damage and liability insurance), as well as a hefty marketing and cataloguing fee. These are negotiable fees when it comes to consignment.

Do auction houses make money?

At the most basic level auctioneers receive a commission (percentage of the sale price) and/or fee by the seller of the asset or property in question. Agreed upon prior to the auction, these commissions and fees are in the auction contract.

How does auctioning real estate work

Can an auctioneer reject the highest bid?

A minimum bid is not published, and the seller reserves the right to accept or reject the highest bid within a specified time -- anywhere from immediately following the auction up to 72 hours after the auction concludes.

What happens if no one buys your auction?

When a property doesn't sell at auction, the auction house will begin trying to tie up a "post-auction sale". Interested parties are invited to come forward with their best offer, and an auction representative will try and agree a sale with the seller.

What is a trustee's sale in Arizona? The trustee's sale procedure is the most used in Arizona. When the lender decides to use a trustee's sale to foreclose on the borrower's property, there are laws governing the process. Normally the trustee's sale, in comparison to other processes, is cheaper and quicker (at least 90 days).

What happens in an auction if the reserve isn't met?

A reserve price is a minimum price that a seller would be willing to accept from a buyer. In an auction, the seller is not typically required to disclose the reserve price to potential buyers. If the reserve price is not met, the seller is not required to sell the item, even to the highest bidder.

What happens if there is only one bidder?

If there's only one bidder then the auctioneer is allowed to “run them up” to the reserve price, by bidding against them. However, if their highest bid is still lower than the reserve price then the property will not sell. It's a strange auction rule, and sounds surprising.

What is the benefit of an auction house?

Auction produces fair market value through competitive bidding, allowing you, the buyer, to make a smart buying decision with a seller that is committed to sell. Buyers determine the market value. Auctions provide for a timely purchase and eliminate long negotiation periods.

Why do people win auctions and not pay?

Buyers don't pay for what they won for a whole lot of reasons. Sometimes, they've seen the item and placed their minimum bid immediately, and then are never outbid, and have totally forgot about the item.

  • What should you do as you prepare to go to a public auction to buy something?
    • In most cases, you'll be required to register before you're allowed to bid. You'll have to bring identification (like your driver's license), and sometimes you'll also have to provide a credit card to pay for any items you choose to buy. You'll get a bidder number when you register.

  • Can someone bid for you at an auction?
    • The authority to bid form is probably the most understood method. That could be a buyers' agent, or simply a friend or relative bidding on behalf of someone. That person then goes up to the selling agent or auctioneer to register and presents the signed form.

  • Would an agent be representing a customer in a real estate purchase?
    • A buyer's agent only represents the buyer, while a selling agent represents only the seller in a transaction. There are also dual agents in real estate transactions. These agents may represent both a buyer and a seller as the agency law allows them to represent both clients within the same transaction.

  • What do I need to buy at an auction?
    • Most likely you will need to register with the auction company and get a buyer or bid number. Most will ask for a photo I.D. Understand the terms of the auction. These are usually announced by the auctioneer prior to auction time.

  • What is the auction method of buying?
    • An auction is usually a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bids, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder or buying the item from the lowest bidder. Some exceptions to this definition exist and are described in the section about different types.

  • What is a buyers premium in an auction?
    • The buyer premium is the fee added to the auction price to determine the final contact price. The Buyers Premium may be a percentage of the auction price or a flat fee. At closing an amount equal to the Buyer Premium is paid to the auction company for their services.

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