Frequently Asked questions


What is a real estate auction?

A Real Estate Auction is a method of buying and selling real estate. It is an intense and accelerated real estate marketing process that involves the public sale of property through open, competitive bidding.

What are the general differences between a public auction and a foreclosure?

Generally, a public auction is for sale by owner. The owner is not in financial distress, but has merely concluded that selling his/her property via the auction process is the most effective method. As selling at auction moves towards further towards the main stream, more and more people are finding that selling their real estate at auction to be the best way to maximize value in a very timely manner.

A foreclosure, on the other hand, is a forced sale by creditors. These auctions are sight-unseen and are generally held on the courthouse steps of whatever county the property is located. There are many more differences that are examined later in the FAQ section.

What do I need to bring to the auction in order to bid?

All that is required for a potential buyer to bid at all of our public auctions and foreclosures is cash or certified funds in the amount of the pre-determined deposit. Personal checks and letters of credit are NOT acceptable.

Are auction sales contingent on inspection?

All of our sales are on an "as-is" basis. There are no warranties as to the condition and/or the fitness of the property for a particular use. We encourage our buyers to do their due diligence prior to sale day for their own protection.

If I win the auction, what happens to my deposit money?

The deposit will count as a credit towards the purchase price of the property and placed in escrow. Please note; it is the purchaser's responsibility to obtain financing. If you plan to use a mortgage to purchase the property, we recommend that you apply for the loan immediately.

What happens if for some reason the buyer cannot settle on the property?

A well-conducted real estate auction by its very nature minimizes such failures. Failure to close can happen, but it isn't frequent. If the rare failure to close occurs, the auction seller can turn to the next highest bidders, who demonstrated their willingness to pay nearly as much as the buyer who failed to close.

If the buyer fails to settle on the property, he/she will be considered in default of the sales contract. In this instance, the buyer might lose all or part of their deposit and potentially be responsible for the cost of reselling the property.

When can I inspect the property?

For our public auctions the property is generally only available for viewing 30-90 minutes prior to the auction.

Foreclosures are sight unseen. The property is not open to inspection prior to the sale. You can view the property from the street, but remember that deed-holder still legally owns the property.

What happens if for some reason the seller cannot settle on the property?

Our service contract states that the seller must be able to deliver free and clear title to the property without any liens or judgments. Express Real Estate Auctions does not do an independent title search. In the case that free and clear title cannot be delivered by the seller, the buyer will be refunded his/her deposit.

Foreclosure sales the same rule applies, if the seller cannot deliver free and clear title, the deposit is refunded and the sale is considered cancelled.

Who is responsible for closing costs?

For both foreclosures and public auctions, the buyer is responsible for all closing costs, as stipulated in our contracts. Closing costs can include, but are not limited to title fee and recording costs.

What is an absolute auction?

An absolute auction is a public auction without a reserve or minimum. This means that the property, once the auction begins, will be sold that day. Foreclosures cannot be absolute.

What is the Buyer's Premium?

The buyer's premium is a service charge that is added to the high bid for our public auctions. Express charges 10% additional to the winning bid. In this regard, buyers pay our fee not the sellers.

Foreclosures do NOT have a buyer's premium.

What are the advantages to a seller in an auction situation?

There are 5 main advantages to a seller by having Express sell your property for you at auction:

Sell your property "as-is" for cash
Pay no commission or settlement cost
No fix-up costs or feasibility studies
No financing contingencies
Settle for case in 30-45 days

Buyers come prepared to buy. "Lookers" are eliminated because most often bidders must qualify through a deposit of a certified or cashier's check. Auction brings interested buyers to a point of decision. Buyers feel that if all the properties are sold before the auction ends it represents their last chance to purchase a desired property. Sellers get maximum exposure for their properties. The auction marketing strategy differs from conventional advertising. It is more concentrated, therefore more intense and visible. High carrying costs are avoided. Through auctions, the seller is in control and knows that if properly priced, his property will sell on a certain date, which is usually within 30-60 days of signing the service contract. By selling quickly, the seller is able to avoid high carrying costs such as insurance, real estate taxes, security and maintenance and is also able to benefit from the use of the monies to reinvest in other real estate or investment opportunities elsewhere.

Other benefits are:

Offers the seller another option.
Creates competition among buyers - auction price can exceed the price of a negotiated sale. An auction generates excitement and heightens buyer interest.
Accelerates sales - the property can sometimes be sold within six weeks of listing.
Auction is a true market forum - the highest buyer pays the lowest price a seller will accept.
A seller knows exactly when the property will sell.
A seller sets the terms and conditions of the sale, maintains control of the property throughout the auction (depending on auction type), and actively participates in the sale process.
Auction reduces the time the property is on the market.
Auction eliminates numerous and unscheduled showings.
Auction takes the seller out of the negotiation process.
Auction is an aggressive marketing program that increases potential interest in and awareness of a property.
Seller is able to obtain liquidity.

How can I be sure that I am getting a fair price?

The only genuine measure of value of real estate is what someone else is willing to pay for it. An appraisal is merely an informed opinion. It is not an offer to buy. The real measure of value of real estate, at any given time, is what it will bring under competitive bidding from informed and motivated buyers. Back to top

I have property to sell, what expenses am I responsible for?

Adverting is the only cost to our sellers. When a seller signs our service contract there is a pre-determined advertisi