Absentee Bid - A procedure that 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 auction company.
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.”
As-is / Where-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 Chant - (also known as "bid calling") is a rhythmic repetition of numbers and "filler words" spoken by auctioneers in the process of conducting an auction. The chant consists of at least the current price and the asking price to outbid. Auctioneers typically develop their own style and chant.
Auctioneer - An auctioneer is any person who offers, negotiates or attempts to negotiate a listing contract, sale, purchase or exchange of goods, chattels, merchandise, real or personal property, or of any other commodity which may lawfully be kept or offered for sale by or at public auction, or who sells the same at auction. Also, known as a Bid Caller.
Bid - A prospective buyer's indication or offer of a price they are willing to pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.
Bidder – A person registered to make an offer at an auction; who makes a legitimate offer on an item or lot.
Bidder Card / Bid Number – A card issued to bidders at auction registration. At a live auction, the card will give the bidder a unique identifier to be able to distinguish their bidding from other bidders. The card will usually give a few details about the auction and the terms of the auction. Phone bidders and online bidders will receive a bid number too, but no card is usually issued.
Bona Fide - The term bona fide means that a person or agency is acting in good faith, without dishonesty, fraud or deceit. In relation to an auction, the term is normally used to refer to a bona fide purchaser.
Bulk Sale - A bulk sale is any transfer that is in bulk and not in the ordinary course of the transferor’s business, or a major part of the materials, supplies, merchandise or other inventory of any business subject to the Bulk Sale Law.
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.
Cashier – An individual hired by a principal auctioneer, or auction company, to take payment, and make reports of purchases to bidders after successful bidders are finished with their purchases at the auction.
Chattel - Chattels are moveable personal property such as furniture, automobiles and livestock. This excludes real estate.
Bidder Choice – (AKA Buyer’s Choice or Choice) A method of sale whereby the successful high bidder wins the right to choose an asset or assets from a grouping of similar or like-kind assets. After the high bidder's selection, the asset is deleted from the group, and the second round of bidding commences, with the high bidder in round two choosing an asset, which is then deleted from the group and so on, until all assets are sold. In Bidder’s Choice, the high bidder takes their choice of items in the lot; then other bidders, that are willing to pay the same price, can take their choice at that high bid price, in order recognized by the auctioneer.
Clerk - An individual employed by the principal auctioneer or auction firm to record what is sold and to whom and for what price.
Close of Bidding - The point at which the auctioneer stops taking bids, and the highest accepted bid wins the item if the reserve, if any, is met.
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.
Commodities - Commodities may or may not be chattels and include valuable interest in agricultural products, silver, gold and other products customarily sold or traded in commercial markets.
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. Also known as “Auction Terms & Conditions”.
Consignee - The consignee is a person or agent to whom something, usually goods, is entrusted by others for a purpose. The auctioneer is referred to as the consignee for such goods to be sold at auction. He or she is the person in whose care goods are placed for sale.
Consignor - The consignor is the person or entity that consigns goods to an auctioneer. In an auction, the consignor usually is the seller.
Contract - A voluntary, legally enforceable agreement between two or more persons.
Encumbrances - An encumbrance is a claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. An encumbrance can impact the transferability of the property and restrict its free use until the encumbrance is lifted. The most common types of encumbrance apply to real estate; these include mortgages, easements and property tax liens. Not all forms of encumbrance are financial, easements being an example of non-financial encumbrances.
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. The auctioneer often deals with the sale of both real and personal property in the settlement of an estate. In working with estate auctions, certain terms are important
Administrator (Male), Administratrix (Female) – The administrator or administratrix of an estate is the person appointed by the court to oversee the settling of an estate when there is no will or when the person named in a will cannot or will not serve, or when the will names no executor or executrix.
Executor (Male), Executrix (Female) – The executor or executrix of an estate is the person named in the will to carry out its provisions. The executor or executrix then, is a person specified by the person making the will.
Free and Clear - A phrase describing the situation of someone when he or she gains outright ownership of an asset, such as when it is completely paid off and no creditor has a claim on the property. Before a sale can occur, the property must be "free and clear" so the buyers know that there are no prior claims on it.
Goods - defines goods to include chattels, merchandise, personal property, or commodities of any form or type, which may lawfully be kept or offered for sale.
Hammer / Gavel Price - Price established by the highest bidder and acknowledged by the auctioneer before dropping the hammer or gavel. It is not necessary for the Hammer Price to be set using an actual gavel. Many times the auctioneer will designate by saying, “SOLD” or other such sign.
Liens - Liens are adverse claims against property which may occur when the property has been used as collateral for a debt by the property owner or when a legal interest is created upon non-payment of a debt such as taxes or contractor’s bills.
Lots – The division of items to sell at one time at an auction. This can consist of a single item or several items. Some lots may be sold in several sessions of bidding, such as in Bidder’s Choice.
Market Value - The market value is the price that a willing seller will take for goods and a willing buyer will give if neither buyer nor seller is under any compulsion or undue influence to buy or sell.
Minimum Bid Auction - An auction in which the auctioneer will accept bids at or above a disclosed price. The minimum price is always stated in the brochure and advertisements and is announced at the auctions.
Moral Turpitude - Intentional acts or behavior involving dishonest, wickedness, depravity or grave infringement of the good moral sentiment of the community.
Multi-Parcel - The Multi-Parcel (multi-par) auction method allows the buyer to maintain control of any tracts or parcel throughout the auction, regardless of the combination of the tracts. With the Multi-Parcel you select the lots you wish to purchase and bid on them, first by the acre and then in whole dollars. After a per acre price has been established by individual tracts, for the entire acreage, any bidder may add to the total amount bid on any tracts in the preset dollar amount established at the beginning of the auction or as new bids are posted. If no advance of bid is made within a specified time frame, then the lots will be announced closed.
No-Sale Fee - A charge paid by the owner of property offered at a reserve auction when the property does not sell.
One Money - When two or more items are sold in a single lot for the highest amount bid for the lot as a whole.
Opening Bid - The first bid offered by a bidder at an auction.
Preview - Specified date and time property is available for prospective buyer viewing and audits. Also known as “Open House” or “Inspection”.
Reciprocity - In the professional auctioneering context, reciprocity is the mutual recognition by two or more licensing agencies of the validity of the licenses issued by any of them. An auctioneer licensed in Arkansas, for example, will be granted a license in any state with which it has reciprocity simply by requesting the licensing and paying any necessary fees.
Register – Getting a buyer’s number at the Registration desk. This is done by giving the registrar the required information and being placed on a list of acceptable bidders.
Reserve - The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a property to be sold at auction. Also known as “reserve price” or “Subject to Confirmation.”
Ringman – (AKA Bid Assistants) Individuals of a live auction team whose primary responsibility is to accurately interpret and effectively communicate buyer participation to their auctioneer. They should also be qualified to assist prospective bidders with the necessary information to make a better informed buying decision.
Sale Manager – (AKA Auction Manager or Project Manager) The person designated by the auction company who is responsible for organizing the details of an auction.
Sealed Bid - A method of sale where by confidential bids are submitted to be opened at a predetermined place and time. Not a true auction in that it does not allow for reaction from the competitive marketplace.
Tie Bid - When two or more bidders bid exactly the same amount at the same time. This must be resolved by the auctioneer.
Times the Money – When a lot consisting of several items is sold as a group, but the bids are received on a per item basis; such as with a set of dining chairs. The bids may be done on a per chair basis, but the bid will be multiplied by the number of chairs for the total of the entire lot to a single successful bidder.
Withdrawal - Failure to reach the reserve price or insufficient bidding.
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