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How to Bid at Auctions

Watch and learn

If you want to be in a strong position as a bidder, it is important that you understand the auction process. We strongly recommend attending auctions as an observer before joining as a bidder. This preparation helps you establish your own individual approach, strategy, and limits tailored to your bidding goals.

Know what you can afford

In virtually all cases, there are no mortgage contingencies for properties sold at auction. You must be able to close on the property within 30 days of the auction date, and your deposit is non-refundable. Before bidding, make sure you know exactly how much you are able to pay and, if applicable, that you will be able to secure the necessary financing.

Double check the schedule

Auctions are occasionally postponed or canceled. These changes are announced at the time and location of the published auction, but you can save yourself a trip by calling us ahead of time or checking our auction calendar for the most up-to-date schedule.

Do your homework

Before bidding at auction, it is in your best interest to research the property beforehand, and to be clear on your responsibilities as a buyer.
Check public records, and consult with the municipality’s assessor to identify any possible outstanding liens on the property. It is crucial to understand that when you buy a property at a foreclosure auction, you are also buying any liens associated with it. There is no contingency for property conditions; properties are sold “as is” and “where is.”

Bring the proper deposit

To bid at an auction, you must have the appropriate deposit amount as stated in the foreclosure notice, in the form of cash or a bank treasurer’s check made payable to yourself.

Register on site

Unless otherwise indicated, auctions take place at the property address, and registration is completed on site. You must show proof of deposit and photo ID to register.

Final steps

When the property is sold, the highest bidder endorses their check over to the auction attorney, who then hands the check to the auctioneer. The successful high bidder will be required to sign three executed copies of the purchase and sale agreement before leaving the auction site. In most cases, the balance of the purchase price will be due in 30 days.