Frequently Asked Questions

(Q) I want to hire an auctioneer. Where do I start my search and what should I know prior to making my decision?
(A) Always do your homework! The internet and word of mouth are the best places to start. Call and talk with each Auctioneer about your specific need.

(Q) What do auctioneers say?
(A) The talking you are hearing from the Auctioneer is known as the “chant”. This is roughly 600 words a minute. In between the asking price are filler words.

(Q) How do I become an auctioneer? What’s the path for starting the career?
(A) Marty says that you start by putting marbles in your mouth, one at a time and practicing the chant, then as you get better, you will spit them out, one by one, and once you have lost all your marbles you will be an auctioneer! Now on a serious note, there are wonderful schools available in Iowa and Florida. I would recommend doing a Google search and always call and talk with Marty if you really are interested.

(Q) I want to go to an auction, what should I know before I bid?
(A) The terms. These are very important aspect of each auction. Be prepared to bid to only the amount you know you can afford, sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the excitement but it is important to stay within your budget.

(Q) What is a buyer’s premium? 
(A) This is a fee that is added to your bid price to create the contract price.

(Q) What forms of payment do you accept at your auctions?
(A) Every auction is different, that is why it is important to know the terms of each auction.

(Q) What is a bank letter of credit?
(A) This is a letter that may be required at some auctions that shows you are specifically approved for a certain amount.

(Q) When do you have auctions?
(A) We sell properties on a continuous basis, signing up for our email blast is the best way to keep up with our schedule.

(Q) Are auctions only for distressed or discounted properties?
(A) Absolutely not! We have sold for WalMart for the last 17 years and I don’t believe they have any “distress” to them! We only sell about 10% of properties that are in a distressed situation, our client base is mostly private individuals, large corporations, partnership dissolvements, and estate settlements.

(Q) What time do auctions start?
(A) Most of our real estate sales start at 11am and our personal property sales start at 10am, but I would always check each individual auction terms.

(Q) Can I preview the auction property/items before bidding?
(A) Absolutely! We will always have preview times available.

(Q) What do I need to bring to register as a bidder at one of your auctions?
(A) Your government issued ID will always be standard, but again, always check the terms and conditions for each sale.

(Q) Does it cost anything to register or attend the auction?
(A) Most all of our auctions do not have a fee to attend.

(Q) Can I register online? 
(A) Yes, this will be done through the online platform provider for that auction. Always check the website for that specific information.

(Q) If I scratch my nose, stretch, or wave at a friend, will the auctioneer think I’m bidding?
(A) That can happen sometimes! Our Auctioneers are very skilled and can recognize a true bid so don’t worry about that, come and have a good time!

(Q) I cannot make it to the sale in person, can I bid online? If so, how?
(A) Most of our auctions will offer online or telephone bidding.

(Q) What if I am a Broker?
(A) We offer a Broker Participation Fee to any licensed Real Estate Broker who properly registers a client. Completed registration forms must be received at the Higgenbotham office 48 hours prior to the scheduled auction.

(Q) What is an “absolute auction”?
(A) This means the property will sell to the last and highest bidder, regardless of price.

(Q) What does “As Is, Where Is” mean?
(A) This means you are buying the property exactly how you see it, or as Marty like to always say “just like you got your mother-in-law”, as is where is.

(Q) How do I know if an auction is absolute?
(A) It will specifically say “absolute”. If this language is not present, then it would be a reserve sale.

(Q) What is a minimum bid?
(A) This is typically an announced or advertised amount that the auctioneer will start the bidding at.

(Q) Does the bidding start at a certain price?
(A) Unless there has been an advertised minimum opening bid, the Auctioneer will just let the crowd start the bidding, as we say, it is not where we start, but where we end that matters!

(Q) What does it cost to sell something at your auction?
(A) These terms are specific to each auction and can be discussed personally once we know what we are selling.

(Q) Who’s the person yelling in the audience at an auction?
(A) This person is called a “Ringperson” Their job is to help identify bidders for the Auctioneer, and can sometimes be quite entertaining!

(Q) When am I required to make payment for items that I have purchased?
(A) Immediately following the auction or when you are done bidding.

(Q) Will there be anyone onsite to watch or protect my items?
(A) Although we always do our very best to control items being taken, it is always best to keep your items with you once they have been sold.

(Q) Do you charge sales tax at your auctions?
(A) Yes, as this is a standard law, it will vary from county to county.

(Q) Do you accept consignments at your auctions?
(A) Yes, when we will hold a consignment auction, and that is maybe a few times a year.

Come and have fun, and remember, you’re only going to pay one bid more than someone else was willing to pay!