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You can buy at Auction!

Review properties on the NYSAuctions.com website (site contains the maximum information) or in the printed brochure (summary information). Your first stop for Auction info is the website listing or brochure summaries. Does one or more of the properties interest you? Read the complete terms and conditions of auction carefully, especially with regard to bidder eligibility, financing, bid deposits, closing deadlines, purchase and sale agreement provisions, and contract termination policies. It is assumed that you will be paying cash for all purchases due to the typical 30-day closing requirement. Some people do use financing to complete their transaction—but remember, this is a NO CONTINGENCY purchase and you must close the transaction by the final date specified. (If you don’t already know how much you can afford to invest, find out. Ask a mortgage company or your banker to pre-qualify you for financing. You may want to actually apply for a loan before the auction; just determine a ballpark figure you intend to spend and see if you can comfortably borrow the amount based on your income –NOT counting on a property appraisal to satisfy your lender. Remember that there is NO contingency in the Terms & Conditions agreement, and the Purchase and Sale Contract for your inability to obtain financing.

Attend pre-auction bidder seminars.

These events let you learn about the auction process, ask questions, and obtain detailed property information packages. They are free of charge. Times, dates and locations of these Bidder Seminars are advertised in the auction brochure.
Attend the open house or showing. If one or more of the properties listed interests you, check the posted showing schedule and attend an open house. All auctioned real estate is offered “as is and where is,” which means what you see, and maybe don’t see, is what you get. If you’re seriously interested, have an inspector or contractor look over the property with you. Determine what the property is worth to you “as is”—if this amount is within your price range, then this is your working bid. Check around the neighborhood, talk to the respective town/city assessor, code enforcement officer, zoning officer, along with adjacent property owners, local businesses, etc. Determine the short and long term potential of the property. You may want to adjust your bid accordingly.

Before you go to the auction, prepare.

Have your maximum bid set in your mind. Be sure you know where and when the Auction is scheduled. Be sure you follow the auction company’s instructions for bidder registration.

Auction registration is usually scheduled two hours before the auction.

There may be a line, but don’t worry. The auctioneer wants all the bidders to participate—the registration staff will efficiently move you through the process and assign you a bidder number. You will be required to provide positive identification (photo driver’s license or passport), Social Security Number and if you are purchasing for a business, you will have to provide a Certificate of Incorporation, a Federal ID number and a corporate or partnership resolution stating that you are “authorized to bid at the auction for the purpose of purchasing tax foreclosed real estate,” at bidder registration. If you are bidding on behalf of someone else, you will need their full name, address and Social Security Number, at bidder registration. Like a credit card, your bidder registration number identifies you as an eligible buyer—don’t lose it! When registering, ask for the order in which the properties will be offered –usually in ascending number order. Ask if there are any additions or deletions from the Auction, or if any updated information about the properties is available. Then relax. You’re prepared. You know what you want to buy and how much you’re willing to pay. Seating is usually on a first come, first served basis. Choose a seat with a clear view of the podium and/or screens on which the auctioneer will display photos and/or catalog numbers of the properties. Seats near the aisles are most convenient.

Listen carefully to all announcements made before the auction.

Announcements take precedence over written materials. This is how the auctioneer corrects, updates, adds or deletes information before the bidding starts. Introduce yourself to one of the bid assistants (known as a ring person) who is working the section of seating you have chosen. These men and women work for the auction company. Their job is to assist you during the auction, relay bids to the auctioneer, and answer your questions. Tell the bid assistant the property(ies) in which you’re interested, and give them an opening bid—not your top price—but a reasonable start. When that property comes up for auction, the assistant will look to you for your bids. Several people may be bidding at first, but as the price increases, most will drop out. Each time a bid is recognized somewhere else, you must decide whether or not to continue bidding. If your answer is yes, hold your bid number card or your hand in the air. Do not hesitate to call out to the bid assistant or to the auctioneer if you don’t think they’ve noticed you. Make your decisions obvious.

Scratching your nose or pulling your ear only works in the movies.

Professional auctioneers do not want you to “accidentally” buy something. They want you to be happy with your purchase(s).

If you say “No”, mean it.

When you have reached your limit, simply tell the bid assistant or auctioneer “No” the next time you’re asked to raise the bid. If you say no, they may say “Sold” to someone else, and then it’s too late for you to change your mind. If you say “No”, mean it.
If you are declared the successful bidder... you will be asked for your bidding number. You will be asked to proceed to the contract table to sign the contract and to turn over your deposit money. Remember, you can always bid from any part of the room, even if you are signing contracts or completing other paperwork. Leave the Auction assuming that you will own the property and get your final payment arrangements in order ASAP.

Important note: Auction sales are not contingent upon financing

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