How Do Auctions Work?

Do you have questions about the auction process? We’re here to help!

Q: I have never bid at an auction before, how does it work?

A: For those who have never attended a Real Estate auction before, the following will provide you with some tips and an idea of what to expect.  It is more simple that you think.

First, Do Your Homework!

Since all real estate sold at auction is sold “AS IS”, you need to inspect the property and become as familiar with it as much as you can.

Attend one of the Open Houses.  Usually for residential properties that are Not Leased, the Open House dates will be on the two Sunday afternoons before the Auction Date from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m.  Please don’t show up at 3:50 and assume you have enough time to thoroughly inspect the property.

Talk to a realtor to find out what they think the value of the property is.

Look Online.  Check out sites such as,, for values of surrounding properties and become familiar with the current market around the property you are looking at.  You may also want to go the Assessor’s website and look the tax appraisal and other pertinent information about the property.

On our website, , you need to read all the detail about the property, then read all the Terms and Conditions of the auction for that property.  Each property is a little different and will have different Terms and Conditions.

Go to your bank.  You will need to bring a cashier’s check as part of your non-refundable Bid Deposit.  Some properties have a fixed amount such as investment properties that have a minimum Bid Deposit of $2,500.00.  Other properties will have a Bid Deposit of 10%.  In this case, you will need to know the maximum amount that you will be bidding and bring 10% of that number or an amount close to it.  We will accept a business or personal check for the difference if more is required.

Second, Attend the Auction.

Our Multi-Property Real Estate Auctions are held in our Auction Center, located at 2133 Whitten Road, Memphis, TN 38133 (across street from Family Leisure and Bumpus Harley Davidson).

Every property that is auctioned requires that you pay a non-refundable Bid Deposit if you are the winning bidder.  Check out the Terms and Cond

You should plan to arrive at the Morris Auction Center about 30 minutes prior to the auction.  You will be required to fill out a one page registration form to obtain a bidder number and an auction information packet.  Grab a seat and we typically provide some snacks and soft drinks for your convenience.

Once it is time for the auction to start, the auctioneer will read the Terms and Conditions of the sale.  The auctioneer will then present the first property and open the bidding.

The auctioneer will call for bids.  The number one question we get is at what price do you start the bidding?  The answer is simple: That is up to you.  We ask everyone to give us an opening bid; some do, some don’t.  The auctioneer will start at the highes t opening bid that he has.  He will decide what the next bid increment will be. If you wish to bid, you just notify the auctioneer of your bid by raising your hand or bid card.  Winking, minute hand gestures are discouraged since the auctioneer does not want to miss your intent to bid.

The auctioneer will continue to call for bids until there is no advance in the bidding.  Assuming there are no additional bids, he will then cry SOLD and the bidding is officially closed for that property.

Please keep in mind while you are bidding that the final price is your bid PLUS a 10% Buyer’s Premium.

If there is a Reserve (minimum price that the Seller has set as acceptable to them prior to the auction), the auction will declare that the Reserve has been lifted if the bidding advances above the reserve or if the Seller decides during the auction to accept the highest bid achieved so far.

Please keep in mind that the auctioneer will post the high bid subject to Seller approval if the Reserve has not been met or the Seller has not lifted the reserve.

Once you are declared to be the highest bidder on any property, you will go into the Contract Room and sign a sales contract.  You will also pay the predetermined bid deposit.  Bid deposits must be in the form of cashier’s check ONLY.  Once the seller signs the sales contract, you will be given a copy of the contract and the name of the closing attorney who will be in contact with you regarding the timing and location of the closing.


NAA Auctioneer
Arkansas Auctioneers Association
Tennessee Auctioneers Association
Mississippi Auctioneers Association
Memphis Area Association of Realtors

Contact Us Today!

Want to have an auction? Need to consign items in our next auction? Interested in some of our Property For Sale? Please feel free to contact us to discuss your specific needs.

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