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You can pick up a bargain at an auction, but you need to know what you are doing.  The following information is provided to assist in preparing for you auction experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Benefits Auction Terms

General Information

Contact the Auctioneer:  The professionals at Florabama Auction Services are prepared to supply you with information, over the telephone (850) 626-7173 or (850) 995-7173 or via email (info@florabamaauctions.com) concerning specific properties as well as the auction process itself. Take a minute and contact us now.

Do Your “Homework”:  Find out as much as you can about the property.

Preview and Inspect  the Property:  Preview the items offered for sale. All the items in the sale will be available for public viewing sometime before the auction. Take full advantage of this opportunity.  This will allow you or your representative to see first hand what you are bidding on and help determine value and desirability. This allows you to bid with confidence. 

Know What You are Buying: Before the auction do your homework. Make sure you know what you are buying. Comparison shop before an auction to determine the appropriate value of goods offered for sale. Decide the maximum you can afford to spend and stick to it. 

Preapprove Yourself:  Increase your comfort level by knowing your mortgage qualifications. Even before you decide on a property to buy, you should prequalify yourself through a mortgage broker, mortgage banker or your bank. There is never a mortgage contingency in a real estate auction. It is best to know you can pay for the property before you bid. Now you can be able to bid with confidence!

Attend an Auction:  Check the local newspapers or join our mailing list for auctions in your area.  Attend and observe one or more auctions and familiarize yourself with the process before you attend an auction as a bidder. The auction process happens quickly, so knowing what to expect is important, when your time comes to buy.  If you can’t find an auction, call us (850) 626-7173 or (850) 995-7173.

Plan Your Bid Strategy:  Determine your bid limit after examination of the property and all available information.  Don’t be afraid to bid early.  Most other bidders will be willing to pay just as much as you.  The one who bids the number first, wins that day.

Bring Required Deposit:  If you are the successful high bidder at an auction, you will be required to affirm your bid with a signature and deposit.  All deposits must be in earnest money form, i.e. cash, certified or bank check.  Deposit requirements and amounts are clearly listed in the “Terms and Conditions” section of Florabama Auction Services advertising.

Prepare for “Q & A”:  Prior to the start of bidding, Florabama Auction Services auctioneers conduct a question and answer period.  This is an opportunity for registered bidders to ask any last minute questions before the auction begins.  To review our Frequently Asked Questions library click here.

Bid Aggressively:  Until you have won or reached your limit.  There can be only one winning bidder for the property.  You cannot buy at your price unless you BID your price.  

General Information About Auctions:

·  Before bidding, find out what methods of payment the business accepts. Make sure you read, and be certain that you understand the terms and conditions of sale and any special conditions that apply to certain goods.

·  Auction sales business must tell the public before the sale starts that some of the goods are subject to a reserve bid.

·  An employee of an auction sales business conducting the auction is allowed to bid on items but only if he/she intends to buy those items they have bid on.

·  An auctioneer must announce the way in which the sale of an item is completed. It could be by the fall of a hammer or the word  “SOLD”.

·  Once the auctioneer indicates the item is sold, you are responsible to pay for the item. Bid carefully. Normally no refunds or exchanges are allowed at an auction. Under contract law, the sales agreement is binding on both parties.

·  Once an unreserved item has been offered for sale and a bid has been made, the auctioneer cannot withdraw that item from the sale.

·  Check to see if you will be charged a “Buyer’s Premium” as part of the total cost of the item you purchased.

·  You have to pay taxes on most auctioned items unless you have a valid state tax exempt certificate on file with the auction company.

·  When you consign your goods for sale by an auction company you are entering into a contractual agreement. The business agrees to take your goods and sell them; you agree to pay for the service. Fees may vary between auction sales businesses.

·  If you want to get an amount close to the price you want for your goods you can talk to the auction sales business about setting a reserve bid.

·  Unless your goods are offered as reserve bid items, a minimum selling price cannot be guaranteed no matter what you are promised. The goods must be sold to the highest bidder once bidding has begun.

·  It is unlawful for you, a friend, family member or your agent to bid on your goods in order to drive the price up.

·  All terms and conditions of your consignment agreement should be in writing. Include details of pricing arrangements; the commission rate; the administration charges for things like storage, insurance, cleaning and repair. Ask if you will be charged a fee for goods that do not sell. Keep a description of your consigned goods and a copy of the contract for future reference.

·  When your goods are sold, the auction sales business must deposit all money received into a trust account. Within 21 days of the sale, the business must pay you the selling price less the agreed upon costs and any amounts owed to lien holders. The business must send you and any lien holders an itemized statement showing the amount received for the goods.

With this information in-hand and with some experience at auctions, you will soon be comfortable buying and selling merchandise at auctions. GOOD LUCK!



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Florida Auctioneer License #AU3207  Alabama Auctioneer License #1901

 Last modified: November 15, 2008