Auction FAQs

Auction FAQs2024-04-09T20:01:05-04:00

Auction FAQ’s

Here are some frequently asked questions about auctions. If you have a question that is not listed below please reach out to our expert staff and we will be happy to answer any question you may have.

Benefit auctions sound like a great way to raise money. How can we get some more information?2020-02-26T14:53:47-05:00

We are happy to speak with you by phone or email anytime. Please call for an informative, no pressure consultation. We’re service-oriented and easy to talk to.

Do we have to utilize all of your services? Can we provide our own check in/ out staff?2020-02-26T14:54:41-05:00

Although many clients utilize our full service and item procurement package, our services are available on an individual basis. We provide only the services that you require.

Our organization is concerned about obtaining quality items to sell in the live and silent auction. Can your firm provide assistance with procuring items for our event?2020-02-26T14:55:46-05:00

Strategic Auction Alliance offers services for obtaining donated silent and live auction items. Groups are often surprised by the quality donations that are available from willing donors. With advanced planning and expert consultation, any worthy cause can successfully get great items for their auction. Many of the best donations come from existing relationships with members of the organization.

We’ve never hired a professional auctioneer and are concerned about the added expense. With the slow economy, how can we afford to hire a professional auctioneer?2020-02-26T14:56:02-05:00

Hiring a charity auction professional is not an expense, it’s an investment that will pay dividends far in excess of your investment. Given the current economic climate, your non-profit cannot afford not to have the skills and expertise of a charity auction professional on your team. Charity auctioneers understand how to get the most from your auction event. In most cases, a professional will pay for their services long before they pick up a microphone.

Aren’t auctioned properties sold at a discount?2020-02-26T14:56:08-05:00

This is one of the biggest misconceptions with auctions. The competitive bidding of an auction and the bidding of prospective bidders sets the price and market value of an asset. The item will not sell for more than the highest bid and will not sell for less than the high bid. You, the consumer, and other bidders determine the market value of an item when you buy at auction.

Who’s the person yelling in the audience at an auction?2020-02-26T14:56:22-05:00

The person you see and hear working amongst the crowd of bidders is known as a ‘ringman’. This individual is part of the auction team and is an extension of the auctioneer. The job of the ‘ringman’ is to convey bids back to the auctioneer from the crowd. When bids are received in the crowd the ‘ringman’ will yelp to signal the auctioneer that they have received a bid and to increase the bid amount. These individuals are also there to help answer questions you may have while the auction is being conducted.

Can I attend an auction and participate as a spectator and not bid?2020-02-26T14:56:26-05:00

Absolutely! We encourage people to explore auctions by attending one as a spectator. There is no better way to learn about auctions then to watch one firsthand.

“If I scratch my nose or wave at a friend, will the auctioneer think I’m bidding?”2020-02-26T14:56:30-05:00

We hear this misconception a lot! In fact, to bid at an auction or for your bid to be received by the auctioneer, you typically need a bid paddle or bid card. You will receive this bid paddle or card at registration and it will have a number on it. This number allows the auction company to know who is bidding from their list of registered bidders. If you mistakenly bid or the auctioneer misinterprets your movement as a bid, immediately notify either the auctioneer or their staff.

Can I inspect the property I am interested in bidding on before the auction?2022-06-15T13:49:41-04:00

This depends on what type of real estate auction is scheduled. If it is not a foreclosure auction but rather an owner/seller auction then yes. We encourage you to view the property before auction day. Due diligence on the part of the bidder is important with auctions. Contact the auction company managing the auction and inquire about times when open houses will take place, as well as any paperwork available on the property. Auctioneers want you to feel comfortable on auction day. Always feel free to call and ask questions.

If on the other hand, it is a foreclosure or other court-ordered auction which is likely a distress situation then it is likely that an inspection will not be made available as the owner of record will probably not cooperate with the process and any viewing of the property would be considered trespassing.

If you have been made aware of the sale date by a legal notice contact the law firm listed upon that notice and ask who the auction firm is. You may or may not get further information. Being that most court-ordered or legal process auctions do not provide much information about the asset an investor typically can buy the property below market value, however, you get what you get. In distress auction situations you will be expected to provide an earnest deposit to be eligible to participate. If you are a winning bidder and choose not to close by the scheduled date specified in the terms of sale you will forfeit that deposit. Auctions involved in a legal process are not arm’s length retail transactions.

Am I required to have cash-on-hand at the auction?2020-02-26T14:57:01-05:00

Cash payment is not required at auctions. Auction companies accept multiple forms of payment: cash, check, or credit card. When attending real estate auctions, auction companies may at times require a specific down payment on-site in the form of a cashiers check to qualify as a bidder. Financing is available on auction day with many auction companies where lenders can qualify you for loans on-site. It is important that prospective bidders read all documents regarding the sale prior to auction day.

Why sell at auction?2020-02-26T14:57:09-05:00

Auctions are the perfect answer when you need to accelerate the timeline for selling your assets. Auctions help reduce holding costs and determine the market price of an asset when the value is unknown or when comparable pricing is unavailable.

Where can I find auctions in my area?2020-02-26T14:57:23-05:00

Visit the National Auctioneers Association at and click on ‘Auction Calendar’. If you are searching for upcoming real estate auctions in your area visit the NAA Auction MLS at

What is the auctioneer really saying?2020-02-26T14:57:27-05:00

The auctioneer’s chant is a sequence of increasing numbers and “filler words”. The auctioneer’s chant is simply a statement followed by a question. For example: I have 5 dollars. Would you bid 10?

Are real estate auctions only for distressed property?2020-02-26T14:57:36-05:00

This is a major misconception about auctions. The fact is auctions are the primary sales method when selling valuable assets such as vintage vehicles, multi-million dollar homes, and priceless pieces of art.

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