The following are some basic terms you might want to know when you go to an auction.

Absentee Bidder 
A person (or entity) that 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.   

Appraisal 
The act of or process of estimating value.

"As Is"
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."

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 (Absolute Auction) 
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.

Auction Subject to Confirmation 
This means the seller reserves the right to accept or decline the hi bid at the end of the auction.

Bid
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.

Bid Assistants 
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 ring men, bid spotters, or grounds men.

Bid Rigging 
The unlawful practice whereby two or more people agree not to bid against one another so as to deflate value.

Bidder Number
The number issued to each person who registers at an auction.

Bidder's Choice
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.

Broker Participation 
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.

Buyer's Premium 
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.

Commission
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.

Conditions of Sale 
The legal terms that govern the conduct of an auction, including acceptable methods of payment, terms, buyer's premiums, possession, reserves and any other limiting factors of an auction. Usually included in published advertisements or announced by the auctioneer prior to the start of the auction.

Estate Sale 
The sale of property left by a person at his or her death. An estate auction can involve the sale of personal and/or real property. In a living estate the owner my not be deceased they are just liquidating there belongings. For instance when someone is moving into a nursing home and has no more need for their possessions. 

Market Value 
The highest price in terms of money which a property will bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

Multi-Property Auction 
A group of properties offered through a common promotional campaign. The properties to be auctioned may be owned by one seller or multiple sellers.

Multi-Seller Auction 
Properties owned by many sellers, offered through a common promotional campaign are auctioned in a single event.

On-site Auction
An auction conducted on the premises of the property being sold.

Opening Bid
The first bid offered by a bidder at an auction.

Preview
Be sure to take advantage of the preview times made available for you to look over the items being offered for sale. Many times, auction items are slightly used so you will want to know if there are any defects, such as loose or missing table legs, a vehicle that doesn't start, or glassware that has chips or cracks. While these may be acceptable to you, it may affect the amount you want to bid, so look before you bid. You will feel much more confident if you do this.

Reserve
The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a property to be sold at auction. Also known as the reserve price.

Sales Tax Exemption
The need to provide a tax exemption certificate will vary from state to state in the U.S. If you are a dealer, call to ask what will be needed. If you have a dealer number for tax

Seller
Entity that has legal possession, (ownership) of any interests, benefits or rights inherent to the real or personal property.

Tax Sale
Public sale of property at auction by governmental authority, due to nonpayment of property taxes.

Terms and Conditions
"Terms and Conditions" are something you will see at every auction you attend. They will vary a according to the type of commodity being sold.  

Types of Payments Accepted
We accept cash, cashier's checks or personal checks and credit/debit cards. You will need a positive ID such as a driver's license or other government ID when you register for the first time.

Tie Bids
When two or more bidders bid exactly the same amount at the same time and must be resolved by the auctioneer.

Withdrawal
Failure to reach the reserve price or insufficient bidding.

What Our Clients Say

Mike and I appreciate you and your staff in making our sale such a success. This was my first auction and I was impressed. You and your staff made us feel relaxed and welcome. Thanks again.

Harry & Mike, Galax, VA