Auction Terminology

Often the terminology used at the sale or in the advertising can be confusing.  Here is a list of common Auction terms that may help you.

Absolute Auction: A property is sold to the highest bidder with no minimum or reserve price.

Appraisal: A qualified opinion of a value of an item.

As is, Where is: The property is sold as it is currently and where it is currently.

Auction: A public sale in which items are sold to the highest bidder. To sell or offer for sale.  Latin word meaning the advance of bids.  One of the oldest forms of marketing.

Bid: A buyer’s indication of the price they are willing to pay at that point to purchase an item. Offer (a certain price) for something.

Buyer: The person who is the winning bidder on an item.

Buyer’s Agent: A real estate agent who is employed by and represents only the buyer in a transaction, regardless of whether the commission is paid by the buyer or the seller or through a commission split with the listing agent.

Buyer’s Premium:  An additional charge, usually expressed in the form of a percentage of the highest bid, paid by the purchaser of the property.

Buyer Number: A number issued to a person who has registered to bid at an auction. Also referred to as bidder number.

Chant: The Vocal announcement of the auctioneer to the buyers/bidders. Also referred to a bid calling.

Clerk: Person who records price, item, and buyer from the auctioneer.

Consignor: The person that hires the auctioneer or who brings merchandise (items) to be sold at auction.

Earnest Money: A percentage of the listing price or purchase price that is presented by the buyer/ bidder. Money paid to confirm a contract. Earnest money usually is credited towards the final purchase price.

Estate Auction: An auction where items of a deceased person are sold.

Lot: (1) Item in catalog or items sold together. (2) Number assigned to a consignor to identify on clerking tickets

Market Value: The price the item or property brings on auction day. What the general public is willing to pay.

Online Auction: An Auction with internet only bidding. This allows you to place a bid for an item in advance or during a timed auction without actually attending the auction.

Reserve: The lowest or minimum price that a seller will accept for merchandise.

Ringman: A person who assists the auctioneer in spotting bids at a live auction.

Silent Auction: A term used to describe the bidding process of written bids which can be raised in writing. Usually held at Benefits or charity events.

Soft Close: Prevents individuals from entering a bid at the very last second before an auction closes with the intent to prevent others from bidding higher.

Tie Bid: A situation where two buyers bid the same price at the same time. Resolved by the auctioneer.