Don’t miss this years Convention! Many changes this year! Watch for information and registration!
As the person in charge of seeing to the sale of your family’s personal property, you have to find a positive answer to the question, Should I have an Estate Sale or an Auction.
We took a look at the National Estate Sales Association website and found that there are all Pro’s and a lack of Con’s when it comes to Estate Tag Sales.
Often referred to as a “tag sale” or “conducted garage sale”, these types of sales may be a solution for those who are not moving from their home, those with heavy furniture items in a multi-unit residence or those who need money or room quickly. For those who are leaving or have left their home, even a multi-day estate sale cannot sell all that an auction can in a few hours. Reputable auction companies know this as a basic principle and therefore do not compete against their own industry by conducting estate sales. Beware of any auction company that offers to conduct an estate sale for you. It should be taken as a sign that they are conflicted in their professional interest by what is best for them and not best for their clients.
Each year we receive approximately a dozen Monday morning telephone calls from unhappy estate sale clients. Many are panicked and angry. All are disappointed. Not only are they faced with poor financial results from the previous days of an estate sale, their overall, most important goal is still not accomplished. The ever-present leftover items that did not sell still have to be dealt with. Add in other factors like a fast-approaching move-out date and estate sale clients end up with more stress than when they began the process of searching for a reputable estate sale service.
Sadly, after an estate sale has been conducted, we cannot help those estate sale clients because the time to conduct a successful auction has passed. Even if time is not a factor, the quality of the remaining merchandise certainly is. The sentence we use most often is, “If the estate sale crowd did not buy it after daily price knockdowns, the auction crowd certainly will not, either.”
WHAT’S WRONG WITH AN ESTATE SALE?
* Value assessment and pricing is usually done by just one or two people. Pricing is a guessing game based on either obsolete price guides and reference books, worldwide market prices like eBay and the good old fashioned “stab in the dark” method of guesswork. Estate sale companies may tout they use the “fair market value” criteria when pricing items but that, in no way, guarantees it will sell, and isn’t that what a seller needs – their items sold?
Consider the paraphrased definition of “fair market value” is ‘the price at which something will sell for as long as neither the buyer or the seller has a compulsion to sell or buy the item in question.’ When a potential seller is contemplating an auction or an estate sale, they most certainly do have a compulsion to sell.
Additionally, buyers must agree with the opinion placed on the price tag or the merchandise does not sell. Pricing further becomes a slippery slope with a costly downside. If something is priced too high at an estate sale, people will walk away and not buy. If something is priced too low, it sells immediately leaving the estate sale client wondering if it was priced too low and money was lost. Unlike a retail store with a stockroom of merchandise, there can be no correction of price after it sells.
* Many estate sale companies are not registered businesses. Therefore, they cannot obtain business liability insurance. Every seller is exposed to substantial risk and liability by allowing any uninsured business (plumber, electrician, etc.) to conduct business on their property. Allowing the general public to come onto and into their home for multiple days at an estate sale is the same scenario. Proper insurance is key—for both the estate sale company and the homeowner. Most home insurance policies become null and void after the home has been unoccupied for a certain period of time. Insurance companies may reject claims placed for liability if someone is conducting a business on the property.
* Generally, the public is granted complete and unsupervised access to all levels, all rooms and all locations of the seller’s home on sale days. Many estate sale companies are understaffed during sale days. This is crucial as more than a dozen people may be allowed to walk through a home, opening closet doors and cabinets and exploring all nooks and crannies. Additionally, many family members do not like the idea of strangers meandering through a loved one’s home for several days. Some estate sale companies have had to ban purses, fanny packs and backpacks from the public on sale days due to theft.
* Estate sales are an unregulated industry void of any state licensing and registration requirements. In North Carolina there are no specific laws protecting a seller and their family using an estate sale company. Critical issues like requiring a written contract documenting a seller’s expenses, sales commission, receipts for sales and a timeline for paying the seller are just a few of the topics where sellers have zero protection.
Remember, estate sale companies handle all of your money first. Unlike many other North Carolina businesses that handle other people’s money, the estate sale industry has no such requirement. Even if an auction company conducts your estate sale the rules of maintaining an escrow account do not apply because they are not doing an auction – they are doing an estate sale.
* Only a limited number of people, generally 5-20 at a time, are allowed to even look at items for sale during an estate sale. Potential buyers have been known to line up outside a home as early as 4 a.m. on sale days to get an admittance number and then have to stand in line for hours waiting just to look at your items in your home. Some estate sale people call that a part of the estate sale “experience.” We have also discovered many times the best items are sold prior to the sale days to estate sale employees or their list of preferred buyers giving items NO public exposure. Not exposing a seller’s items to the most people possible is poor business and a ticket to failure.
Most importantly, at estate sales, whoever sees something FIRST and buys it, is the winner – NOT whoever has the most money.
* Two, three or four-day estate sales do not create any sense of urgency and excitement. Why do in two, three or four days what an auction can do in hours? Plus, the savvy public is aware the term “estate sale” often is misused by those holding a simple rummage sale. People have a tendency to put off attending any multi-day event thinking, “I’ll go there later.” The public also knows the best items are sold on the first day so there is no reason to hurry to the later sale days. Additionally, it is human nature to keep driving past a long line to get in to anywhere and estate sales are no exception.
* Most estate sales begin on a Thursday or Friday – a move that benefits dealers only, not the buying public. That means the general public, who traditionally will pay more for items than a dealer will because they are not in business, have to wait until 1-2 days later to shop at what dealers have left behind. It is to the benefit of the estate sale company to begin sales during the business week to eliminate selling on two consecutive weekends and to allow dealers first pick with no public competition.
* Ironically, some estate sale companies hold silent bid auctions during your estate sale or sell your possessions on their eBay account. Any type of auction held on your property that is not conducted by a licensed auctioneer or you, the actual owner, is illegal in North Carolina. It is also illegal to have an estate sale company sell your items on an online auction website, like eBay, without having an North Carolina auctioneer license number posted in the listing. Any illegal act taking place on your property may put you in a liability corner should a disgruntled buyer feel they have been treated unfairly.
* Many estate sale companies suggest donating the many unsold items after an estate sale for tax benefits. Trust us, there will be many unsold items after a multi-day estate sale. We receive calls from owners on Monday morning pleading with us to finish what the estate sale company started. It’s more stressful work for the seller to track down an organization and wait for a truck with no guarantee the charity will even accept the items. A donation receipt is financially worthless at tax time unless the owner itemizes on their tax return. This is almost always the situation when dealing with an older person’s estate.
We suggest checking with a tax advisor even then because the actual cash benefit may pale in comparison to the receipt. Many have trouble with the idea of giving away items that should have sold for cash.
* Many estate sale companies have buyout clauses that allows them to buy unsold items that did not sell for the prices they put on the price tags. Many estate sale companies also double as a resale shop owner, flea market booth holder or online reseller. Always ask, “Do you own or lease a space at a shop, flea market or sell online?” Then, you must determine if there is a conflict of interest between yourself and the estate sale company.
* Many estate sale companies charge guaranteed minimum sale fees. Another growing trend we are seeing is estate sale companies charging a minimum fee of $1500.00 and higher to do a sale. In other words, they get the first $1500.00 spent at an estate sale no matter what the entire multi-day sale brings. If a sale only brings in $2000.00, the seller gets $500.00 of that. Plus, the estate sale company may also get the rights to buy the unsold merchandise at a discount on top of that.
* Estate sale companies that do use written contracts can have them signed by anyone working for them. That opens the door of who is responsible person or party, the owner or the signer of the contract?
How Auctions Are Different
* Prices are decided by the masses in a live, competitive bidding process. This leaves the opinions of value up to the masses instead of one or two. We suggest starting bids but it’s the public who decides where to start and, best of all, where to end.
* Public access on auction day into homes is limited to the auction areas and approved rooms (washroom) and only with an employee nearby. With rare exception, all auction items are outside of a home. Large items like pianos and pool tables may not be brought outside and are sold inside but only with supervision during preview time. Unless a home is for sale, we restrict the public’s access to the inside.
* All auctioneers in North Carolina must pass a state test to be licensed, issue written contracts, maintain an escrow account for auction proceeds and complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years. No options. It’s the law.
* Our auctions are open to the public. All who attend have an equal opportunity to buy at the same time when an item is on the auction block. There are no pre-auction day sales to friends or colleagues. Auction day is sale day. A bidder who arrives when our viewing period starts has no more opportunity to buy over a bidder who arrives seconds before the bidding starts.
At an auction it is the customer who offers the most money, not the customer who happens to see the item first, that wins. That is where the excitement is!
* 99% of our auctions are held on Saturdays so that more of the general public can attend. One of the strengths of an auction is assembling a mixture of buyers. dealers, investors, collectors and end-users make up a strong buying market that can generally only be assembled on a weekend.
* The word “AUCTION” is an “action” word. The human eye gravitates to the word “auction.” It brings the feeling of “right now!” to the mind. The public knows auctions start at a designated time and end only when everything is sold – no matter when that is. The pursuit of a potential good buy where the public decides the price in a unique and exciting manner is a powerful lure.
* With some rare exceptions, if something does not sell at our auction, it’s not worth donating.
*Auctioneers are not a reseller. We do not own, lease or share space with an antique or resale shop, hold a booth at antique malls or flea markets nor run an eBay store. There are no lines of impropriety for us to blur. We rarely have any items of value left after an auction so there is nothing of value to buy! We also never offer to buy items directly from a client as that is the largest conflict of interest in the auction world.
* We have no minimum commission guaranteed fees. We live and die off of our judgment and commissions. This is where experience counts. We would much rather walk away from a potential auction than to risk doing one where we make more money than the seller does.
* All required auction contracts are signed by an auctioneer. Not only is it a state law to have a licensed auctioneer sign contracts but it’s the right thing to do.
We Know Each Seller’s Situation Is Different
There may be scenarios where neither an auction or an estate sale is practical. Because there is only one chance to settle an estate, it is vital to gather the facts before a decision is made.
By Matt Price, Price Auctions & Estates
As storage facilities and estate sale professionals are finding out, things are not bringing in as much money as they were in the past. The cause is a combination of things. First, an economy that is steamrolling through and amazingly, it does not seem to be ending. The plain truth is that people are buying new than second hand, and it is reverberating
Second, storage facilities are packed to the rafters, and consignment shops have a hard time finding places for everything being brought in, and specialty shops are having a hard time competing as it seems that the competition to sell second hand goods becomes a do, or as more rampant than not, die situations.
Third, weekends are slammed packed with yard sales throughout the United States, as many are finding that they can try to get a buck or two out of things that are having a difficult time getting estate sale companies to come and take things. A recent survey by EstateSales.net, many companies are turning away jobs because of the economy and their inability to meet expectations.
While many of the companies know that the reason that they are in businesses is because of Death, the other reasons people turn to estate sale liquidations are Downsizing (Right Sizing), and Divorce. The number who are asking for assistance are due to Death, with Downsizing and Divorce in close second and third, respectively.
The report, goes on to say that many companies turned down sales for a variety of reasons. Commonly, was that too few items available for the sale, and a close second was due to items having too little value. Some of the other reasons were due to scheduling (some want the sale to be held in less than 30 days so they can close on the house) or due to family or other drama in which the Executor was doing their due diligence, but families were attempting to assign more sentimental values than what the markets will absorb.
Some of the more notable companies such as Everything But the House have gone into bankruptcy mode as the income derived from sales relating to Consignments and Estates have dried up. Almost to the point where they are required to liquidate their businesses. This has led to many to wonder what is going to happen to their household full of antiques and collectables.
I traveled to Selma, North Carolina considered the Antiques Mecca of the Eastern Seaboard, and spoke to one of the owners of a few shops in the area, and spoke to Michelle Collier, a Antique Aficionado who owns a store in Goldsboro, NC. With the changing economics of their stores, they found that much of the furniture takes longer to move than normal. An example was an antique Pie Chest that 20 years ago would bring in a premium of upwards to $3,000. “Antiques are just not moving like they used to. The Pie Chest sold for less than what we paid for it in order to move it. The price $75.
At one of the stores had a tag on a Six legged sideboard with inlay around the keyholes. The drawers are beaded and the drawer slides are mortised through the back. The item was exquisite and was a sturdy piece. The original price on it was $1,200, and the tag was marked down from the original tag to almost 80% off at $240. I was told it has sat in the same spot for more than 2 years.
One owner says “We have a lot of folks come in and browse, but they are buying smalls, and have interest in the items, but are not buying.”
It is not limited to the antiques markets. Commercial Equipment is also suffering impacts from the explosive economy. Two Door Deep Freezers, Refrigerators and Stainless prep tables are also having a hard time going across the auction block for premium pricing. An example is a Stainless Steel Commercial Deep Freezer that sells for more than $2,300 sold recently for $60. A four burner Atosa Gas Countertop Range normally $532.00 sells for $80 at auction. A under counter Ice Maker with 88 lb Storage bin new is $1,540 sells for $50.
Reverting back to Estate Sales and special collections, nearly any engineered furniture that is commonly bought at big box stores (Pressboard) is lucky to get an offer, or the offers are so low that many companies use it in their wood fire stoves. There have been stories from the Washington Post and a few other news outlets that say Beanie Babies, Precious Moments, and many other “Collectables” are worth thousands. When a person who has any of those items take them to consignment stores, they either do not take them, or are told to place them in the rubbish. They simply are no longer marketable.
Franklin Mint, Danbury Mint, and other items that are or were limited run have lower pricing depending on location. That $300 item that mom or dad bought years ago is going for $5 in box lots. Train sets by Lionel keep their value, as long as they are not re-released. Norscott came up with a Caterpillar Train Set that was seen at an Estate Sale for $10. Purchased by an Auctioneer, he recently sold it for $250.
The markets change so fast that it is impossible to place a good estimate on pricing, as the average of them gives a ballpark figure, but not actual value. Estate Sale clients go to eBay as the bellwether of what a good price is, however, unless they are taking the average of all of the good sales (not offers accepted – eBay never posts that information) then the items that are listed for sale are likely to be more sentimental value than actual market value.
As the world changes from a true recyclable society to a throwaway society, the landfills continue to become mountains of excess, with Storage Facilities becoming mausoleums of items that we have sentiment for, but have no longer a practical use. Many families who are stuck in the conundrum of what to do with a massive estate, take the personal property to a storage facility and then never pay the bill or have no intention of paying the bill after the first free month.
It’s not just in your area. Business Insider reported that millennials and Gen Xers are uniquely resistant to the influx of furniture, kitchenware, and general stuff that comes with their parents’ downsizing.
At the end of the day, the important thing to take from this? No one wants the family china. New restaurateurs don’t want your used stuff. Backlogs of “stuff” flooding the market makes it near impossible to market it to someone else. It’s the generational cycle.
What’s next? “Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home….” Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith
Membership & Benefits
Listed below are just some of the benefits of affiliating
Coming Soon – Online Application & Payment
Educational programs, offered at the annual convention in January, Mid-year Seminar in June, and Continuing Education in the spring and fall are guaranteed to educate, inform and entertain.
These programs draw on the experience and knowledge of the
Annual NC State Champion Auctioneer Contest
The annual Auctioneers Association of North Carolina Grand Champion Contest is held in conjunction with the January Convention. This event is a public relations asset to the auctioneers, and for the past 20 years has proven to be a showcase of some of North Carolina’s best auctioneering talent.
It is much more than a bid calling contest – we are looking for the best representation in North Carolina’s Auction Industry.
Each contestant is rated for the First Place prize Championship trophy, and the title “North Carolina Grand Champion Auctioneer”.
The Auctioneer, the quarterly magazine of the AANC, keeps the membership informed of upcoming events, highlights association activities, contains articles on various aspects of the auction profession by noted auction professionals within North Carolina and across the nation and keeps the AANC member abreast of important legislative updates.
An important note to fiduciaries:
Auctioneers have are hired daily in order to sell items inside and outside of estates. They are fiduciaries just like an Executor of a will. Consider these important facts before making your decision:
- An Auctioneer can sell all of the art and collectibles in your client’s estate, unlike estate tag companies who may purchase the items for less than pennies on the dollar. Most of the time they will typically sell the less expensive objects in bulk, or offload them to auctioneers catering primarily to dealers.
- Approximately 75% of items at auctions sell to retail collectors, the highest percentage by far of all major auction houses.
- Collectors rarely buy in bulk, but tend to buy exactly what they want and are willing to pay much more than dealers. Many Estate Tag Companies will discount it well below auction pricing to get rid of it rather than sell it at top dollar.
- Unlike most Estate Tag Companies, Auctioneers focus most of their marketing directly to private collectors through direct mail and the Internet.
Simply put, if you are liquidating a major estate and do not get a proposal from an AANC Member, you are likely to cost your clients a
Worldwide Internet presence translates into realizing the highest prices at auction for your consigned property. This means your material will be viewed by far more qualified bidders, multiples more, when consigned to an AANC member auctioneer.
North Carolina auctioneers utilize leading online bidding platforms and host a wide variety of top quality auction houses. Member Auctioneers are there to help people acquire wonderful items and when they are ready, at an appropriate time of their choosing, assist them in selling via the multiple platforms available.
Check the Auctioneers Association of North Carolina website for a member auctioneer near you.
Probate of Real Property
Since a home is often a person’s largest asset, Probate of Real Property (“real estate”) in North Carolina and South Carolina is a necessary component of handling assets and debts in the event of a loved one’s passing. This can be a complex process if the family is located out of state or unfamiliar with how the process works. A professional probate attorney can help families navigate through the legal paperwork and proceedings necessary to transfer titles, settle distribution of property, and satisfy outstanding debts.
Is probate the same in every state?
Probate is the legal process of executing the decedent’s will, verifying their assets, and then ensuring that all assets are appropriately transferred and debts are paid. The rules that govern each state are different, so the property that is subject to probate in one state may not be subject to probate in another state. It is important that people understand the requirements for the specific state that they are dealing with so that they know exactly what forms must be completed and which assets are affected. Probate in NC and SC is carried out in the court system of the county in which the decedent was a permanent resident at the time of death. However, Real Property passes under the laws of the state in which it is located, not the state of domicile of the decedent. Both probate Attorney and Real Estate Auctioneer specializing as a Certified Estate Specialist can make the confusing and often difficult decisions easy to understand.
Probate of Real Property in North Carolina
Unlike South Carolina and many other states, real property in North Carolina does not typically pass through probate. When a decedent dies intestate (without a Will), title to the decedent’s non-survivorship real property is vested in his or heir heirs as of the time of death [G.S. 28A-15-2(b)]. When a decedent dies testate (with a Will), upon probate of the Will, title to the decedent’s non-survivorship real property becomes vested in the devisees of the will. Title relates back to the date of the decedent’s death [G.S. 28A-15-2(b)]. A personal representative cannot pay for upkeep of real property after death, except when authorized by the clerk or by Will. A common mistake many executors make is paying for utilities, cable, internet, mortgages, lawn services, and other expenses out of the Estate account. Since real property vests in the heirs, these expenses are not to be paid out of the probate estate.
Probate of Real Property in South Carolina
In South Carolina, Real Property is a probate asset and passes through a decedent’s estate. A deed of distribution is required for the Executor to transfer title of the real property
Is a probate attorney necessary?
While some people may choose to take on this task themselves, for more complex estates or for those who are unfamiliar with the system, legal assistance can prove valuable and save them time and money. In addition, since each state has its own requirements and guidelines, navigating the intricacies of the system can become even more challenging if faced with probating an estate with real property in different jurisdictions.
By Anne Nouri, Washinton Post
Whether you are baby boomer who is downsizing, someone faced with a divorce or with the loss of a loved one, there will come a time to decide how to handle the selling of personal assets that are no longer needed.
There are many options, and the most common is to conduct an auction or estate sale. Both methods can help achieve the same result of selling through the assets, yet it is important to first answer a few key questions to help narrow your search process.
- Are there any special or more valuable items in the home to be sold? A collection perhaps: art, stamps, coins, jewelry, antiques, wine, etc.
- What is your timeline to move out of the property?
- Is the convenience of the process more important or financial gain from selling through the items?
In North Carolina, Estate Sale legally means Auction, so for this portion, it is considered a “Tag Sale” or a “Yard Sale.”
Pros of an estate sale:
- Quick setup (one to three days).
- Quick on-site sale (one to three days).
- Ease of sale for general household items.
Cons of an estate sale:
- Strangers walking through the property.
- No state or national licensing, education, ethics, insurance or regulatory requirement for estate sale companies.
- Necessary price reductions on Days 2 and 3 as items are picked through.
- In some cases, the first two days people walk
through,and only show up on the last day to buy everything at 90% off.
- Estate sale company purchases the remaining items for pennies at the end of the event.
- Sellers don’t receive an itemized receipt of what each item sold for unless above a certain amount.
- Owner and family cannot attend the sale.
A method of selling property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Items sell to the highest bidder. Depending on the size of the project and the auction company that you choose, auctions can be conducted on-site, online or within a gallery. An auction isn’t strictly a method to sell more valuable items — the entire content of a home can be sold at auction.
Pros of an auction:
- Competitive bidding allows for prices to increase with higher demand.
- Online auctions can bring a larger pool of buyers, whether local, national or international.
- Helps with seller privacy and keeps crowds from coming to the home.
- Buyers can preview items online and bid live to win the item.
- For a gallery auction, items are transported and sold off-site at a sale at an auction gallery.
- Items can be marketed to a larger pool of buyers and collectors specific to the asset type who are local, national and international.
- Higher sell-through rate than an estate sale.
- There are licensing, ethics, education, insurance and escrow account requirements by most states.
Cons of an auction:
On-site oronline auction can take a sizable time commitment (one to three days for cataloguingand seven to 14 days for online auction bidding).
- Gallery auctions incur a cost to move the items.
- On-site auctions can take 20 to 30 days for marketing and setup.
Where do you find auction companies?
Auctioneers.org, the National Auctioneers Association and your local State Auction Association website.
northcarolinaauctioneers.org the Auctioneers Association of North Carolina website is a great start locally.
It’s important to select an auction company that is associated with local and national organizations to ensure they are keeping up with the latest education, code of conduct and trends.
What questions do I ask an auction or estate sale company?
Do they have a properly written contract?
A properly written contract should outline responsibilities of each party, fees, timeline for the sale and timeline to receive payment. Avoid potential problems and make sure to sign and receive a copy of your contract.
What is the experience level of the company for the type of items you will be selling?
If your sale includes collections, the company should have the experience to value and market the items properly.
Does the company hold appraisal designations or does someone on their staff?
For an estate sale, pricing is everything. One person cannot be an expert in everything; however, it is critical they have the proper training (Master Personal Property Appraiser, Graduate Personal Property Appraiser, International Society of Appraisers, American Society of Appraisers) to be able to research items. Priced too low, the item is quickly picked up and additional margin is lost. Priced too high, it will not sell and later will be discounted. At an auction, research would be conducted to provide information about the piece to help buyers outbid one another for maximum sales results. The pricing opinion is no longer as important as the auction process will help set the market value.
When will payment be made to you after the sale?
Every company has a different timeline. Make sure your contract states the number of days after the sale when you will be paid. Estate sale companies do not have any laws to follow, while auction companies are required to settle payments within 30 days in most states.
Is there a minimum sale requirement?
If your sale does not meet a certain minimum, there could be additional fees. Companies should disclose that upfront.
What is the commission amount?
Many sellers base their decision on selecting a company by the lowest commission percentage. This is generally the wrong approach, as sellers need to understand that they need to select the company who will help them realize the highest sales total. For example, if Company A sells the home content for $10,000 with a 30 percent commission and Company B sells the same content for $16,000 at a rate of 40 percent, the seller would receive $2,600 more with Company B even though the commission was higher.
What marketing budget and platforms do they use?
A marketing budget will help your sale be publicized to the right audience of buyers. It is important to compare where and how your marketing budget is spent. This is where the experience and training of the company being interviewed is critical. An email list is not enough to attract a broad range of buyers to help you achieve the most for your items.
Do they have a current certificate of insurance?
It is important to verify that the company has liability insurance. Ask for a copy of a recent insurance certificate to be attached to your signed contract copy.
How are sales documented?
Does the company have a tagging, invoicing and point of sale system for the sale of your items? When you receive the sales results, will you be provided an itemized report or just a total? Most states require itemized sales reports from an auction company, but an estate sale company can run its reporting as it wishes.
What happens to the items that do not sell?
Will the company help donate, or resell later the remaining items? Some companies offer to purchase the remaining items for pennies on the dollar.
When work is done properly, sellers can profit nicely by conducting an auction or estate sale. It is an excellent resource to help offset the cost of the move. But sellers must take the time to ask the right questions before selecting the right firm to help them.
The last thing anyone ever wants to read in the paper a month after their sale is that an item not properly priced at their auction or estate sale was purchased and resold at an auction for 10 times more.
Anne Nouri is a Realtor, auctioneer and appraiser with Sorelle Realty and Prime Auction Solutions, licensed in Virginia, Maryland and Washington assisting sellers, families and law firms with the sale/purchase of real estate, personal property as well as appraisal reports for insurance, estate and donation needs. She can be reached at Anne@PrimeAuctionSolutions.com.
About 1 in 4 online adults are on Twitter. While the concept of writing in 140-character snippets may seem a bit unusual, the format forces you to condense details into bite-sized chunks. Check out 4 easy steps to writing pithy tweets that ultimately drive traffic to your landing page.
1. Create a Twitter account.
This is of course the first step, if you haven’t already established your nonprofit’s Twitter presence.
You’ll want to select a Twitter “handle” (or username), profile image and cover image that reflect the rest of your organization’s graphics and branding. Your Tweets should also be set to “public” so anyone can view the information, whether or not they are following you on Twitter or even have an account.
2. Get concise – channel your inner Hemingway.
It can be tricky to convey an entire idea in one succinct sentence. However, keep in mind you’re able to include links without eating into your character count. So you can write a quick snippet – “New auction item announcement: Trip to Ireland!” – then link to your landing page, online auction, catalog and more. Twitter will automatically shorten the URL.
3. Utilize hashtags.
While Facebook events rely on personalized invitations to gain traction, Twitter hashtags (on public tweets) allow you to reach anyone in the world. Simply put, the hashtag or pound symbol makes any following word or phrase searchable. People can use the Twitter search function to find tweets containing keywords like #charityauctions or #napavalley, for example.
Create a special hashtag for your event, such as #HopeGala2016, and include in all your marketing materials: print flyers, wrist bands, bid cards, the landing page, a photo booth background… anything from your event with high amounts of visibility. Then encourage attendees to use the hashtag when posting pics before and during your event.
4. Attach photos and videos.
Just like a Facebook post, visual content is king on Twitter.
This is how a text-only Tweet appears in people’s feeds:
This otherwise exciting, premium item (the Churchill Downs VIP Experience) looks kind of bare, right?
Now add a picture and suddenly you’re transported right into the action:
Again we don’t recommend including a link directly to our Winspire packages. Instead, download one of the beautiful hi-res images that comes with each package reservation, then attach to your tweet.
An effective advertisement combines both text and visuals to make a bold and memorable statement.
Finally, a huge advantage to virtually all social media networks is that posts are mobile responsive. Studies show 80 percent of social media time is now spent on mobile devices. So if you upload or post from a computer, rest assured your text and photos on Facebook and Twitter will automatically resize and look great to donors on mobile.
We hope this post has given you concrete examples for promoting your auction items on the two biggest social outlets today. In upcoming posts we’ll look at utilizing the other big networks, including LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.
A procedure that allows a bidder to participate in the bidding process without being physically present. Generally, a bidder submits an offer on an item prior to the auction. Absentee bids are usually handled under an established set of guidelines by the auctioneer or auction company. The particular rules and procedures of absentee bids are unique to each auction company.
A person (or entity) that is not present at the auction but submits, in advance, a written or oral bid that is the top price they will pay for a given asset.
An auction where the property is sold to the highest qualified bidder with no limiting conditions or amount. The seller may not bid personally or through an agent. Also known as an “auction without reserve.”
Accounting of Sale
A report issued to the seller by the auctioneer or auction company detailing the financial aspects of the auction.
Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate (AARE)
The professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to qualified real estate auctioneers who meet the educational and experiential requirements of the Institute and who adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. In order to be designated with the AARE, auctioneer-scholars are required to complete 42 classroom hours, a detailed written auction summary report, proof of at least 10 real estate auctions, and 24 hours of continuing education every three years.
A person who acts on behalf of another individual or entity.
American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)
The American Bankruptcy Institute is the largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues.
America Society of Appraisers (ASA)
The American Society of Appraisers is an international organization of appraisal professionals and others interested in the appraisal profession. ASA is the oldest and only major appraisal organization representing all of the disciplines of appraisal specialists.
A written or oral statement, independently objectively and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser, prepared in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards, setting forth an opinion of defined value of an adequately described asset, as of a specific date, supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information.
Appraisal Foundation, The
A not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of professional valuation, established by the appraisal profession in the U.S. in 1987. Since its inception, the Foundation has worked to foster professionalism in appraising. It is authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.
An auctioneer who is in training, operating under the supervision of a licensed or experienced auctioneer.
Selling the property without warranties as to the condition and/or the fitness of the property for a particular use. Buyers are solely responsible for examining and judging the property for their own protection. Otherwise known as “As Is, Where Is” and “In its Present Condition.”
A method of selling property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also known as “public auction” or “auction sale.”
A method of selling property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also known as “public auction” or “auction sale.”
The podium or raised platform where the auctioneer stands while conducting the auction. “Placing (an item) on the auction block” means to sell something at auction.
Auction Listing Agreement
A contract executed by the auctioneer and the seller which authorizes the auctioneer to conduct the auction and sets out the terms of the agreement and the rights and responsibilities of each party.
An individual who contracts with sellers for the auction method of marketing property. In the case of real property, the individual may not actually conduct the sale but is directly responsible for all aspects of marketing the property.
The method of marketing assets utilizing the auction method of sale.
The plan for pre-auction, auction-day and post-auction activities.
The price of a property obtained through the auction method of marketing.
Auction Subject to Confirmation
(See “Reserve Auction”)
Auction With Reserve
An auction in which the seller or his agent reserves the right to accept or decline any and all bids. A minimum acceptable price may or may not be disclosed and the seller reserves the right to accept or decline any bid within a specified time.
Auction Without Reserve
(See “Absolute Auction”)
The person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction. This person may or may not actually call or “cry” the auction.
An auction of one or more properties conducted in a meeting room facility.
Bank Letter of Credit
A letter from a bank certifying that a named person is worthy of a given level of credit. Often requested from prospective bidders or buyers who are not paying with currency at auctions.
Benefit Auction Specialist (BAS)
A professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute designed to teach professional auctioneers the planning techniques that create successful benefit auctions. BAS auctioneers learn marketing skills and create a business strategy to build their clientele and profits. In order to be designated with the BAS, auctioneer-scholars are required to complete 21 classroom hours, a detailed written auction summary report, proof of at least six benefit auctions and 24 hours of continuing education every three years.
A prospective buyer’s indication or offer of a price they are willing to pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.
A form executed by the high bidder confirming and acknowledging the bidder’s identity, the bid price and the description of the property. Also known as “Memorandum.”
Individuals of a live auction team whose primary responsibility is to accurately interpret and effectively communicate buyer participation to their auctioneer. They should also be qualified to assist prospective bidders with the necessary information to make a better informed buying decision. Also known as “ringmen”, “bid spotters” or “groundsmen.”
The person who actually “calls,” “cries” or “auctions” the property at an auction, recognizing bidders and acknowledging the highest bidder. Commonly known as the auctioneer.
The unlawful practice whereby two or more people agree not to bid against one another so as to deflate value. See “Collusion”.
The number issued to each person who registers at an auction.
The package of information and instructions pertaining to the property to be sold at an auction event obtained by prospective bidders at an auction. Also referred to as “bidder packet” or “due diligence packet.”
A method of sale whereby the successful high bidder wins the right to choose an asset or assets from a grouping of similar or like-kind assets. After the high bidder’s selection, the asset is deleted from the group, and the second round of bidding commences, with the high bidder in round two choosing an asset, which is then deleted from the group and so on, until all assets are sold. Also known as “Buyer’s Choice.”
Bookkeeper or Clerk
The individual responsible for the accounting and paperwork at an auction sale.
An arrangement for third-party brokers to register potential bidders for properties being sold at auction for a commission paid by the owner of the property or the auction firm.
A real estate broker who represents the buyer and, as the agent of the buyer, is normally paid for his/her services by the buyer.
An advertised percentage of the high bid or flat fee added to the high bid to determine the total contract price to be paid by the buyer.
A series of on-site auctions advertised through a common promotional campaign.
The costs involved in holding a property that is intended to produce income (either by sale or rent) but has not yet done so, i.e., insurance, taxes, maintenance, management. Also known as “holding costs”.
Catalog or Brochure
A publication advertising and describing the property(ies) available for sale at public auction, often including photographs, property descriptions and the terms and conditions of the sale.
A Latin term meaning “let the buyer beware.” A legal maxim stating that the buyer takes the risk regarding quality or condition of the property purchased, unless protected by warranty.
Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI)
The professional designation awarded to practicing auctioneers who meet the experiential, educational and ethical standards set by the NAA Education Institute. In order to be granted the CAI designation, auctioneer scholars must have been practicing full-time auctioneers for at least two year (prior to attending the institute), attend all three years of CAI with more than 120 classroom hours, complete all special projects and complete 24 hours of continuing education every three years.
Certified Estate Specialist (CES)
A professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to help professional auctioneers understand how to properly conduct and deal with the settling of estates. The course also educates professional auctioneers on working with family members and dealing with lawyers and accountants. In order to be designated with the CES, auctioneer-scholars are required to complete 21 classroom hours and complete 24 hours of continuing education every three years.
An individual employed by the principal auctioneer or auction firm to record what is sold and to whom and for what price.
The unlawful practice whereby two or more people agree not to bid against one another so as to deflate value or when the auctioneer accepts a fictitious bid on behalf of the seller so as to manipulate or inflate the price of the property.
The fee charged to the seller by the auctioneer for providing services, usually a percentage of the gross selling price of the property established by contract (the listing agreement) prior to the auction.
Conditions of Sale
The legal terms that govern the conduct of an auction, including acceptable methods of payment, terms, buyer’s premiums, possession, reserves and any other limiting factors of an auction. Usually included in published advertisements or announced by the auctioneer prior to the start of the auction. Also known as “Terms & Conditions”.
Conference and Show (C&S)
Annual conference and exposition of the National Auctioneers Association. Also known as “International Auctioneers Conference & Show”.
Continuing Education Units (CE’s or CEU)
A measure used in continuing education programs, particularly those required in a licensed profession in order for the professional to maintain the license.
An agreement between two or more persons or entities which creates or modifies a legal relationship.
A real estate broker who registers a prospective buyer with the auction company, in accordance with the terms and conditions for that auction. The broker is paid a commission only if his prospect is the high bidder and successfully closes on the property. Also known as a “participating broker”.
Sequence of key tasks to be done by auction contractor or other designated parties on specified dates, leading to desired goals.
The representation of opposing principals (buyers and seller) at the same time.
The process of gathering information about the condition and legal status of assets to be sold.
Education Institute (EI)
NAA members are selected by the NAA Board of Directors to be Trustees of the Education Institute and carry out the association’s mission of continuing education to NAA members.
The sale of property left by a person at his or her death. An estate auction can involve the sale of personal and/or real property.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency created by the Congress to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system by insuring deposits, examining and supervising financial institutions for safety and soundness and consumer protection, and managing receiverships.
Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB)
The FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the U.S. and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
The FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the U.S. and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.
Graduate Personal Property Appraiser (GPPA)
The professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to qualified property appraisers who meet the educational and experiential requirements of the Institute and who adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. In order to be designated with the GPPA, auctioneer-scholars are required to complete 35 classroom hours, a detailed written appraisal report and proof of at least two affidavits of appraisals. This designation also requires 24 hours of continuing education every three years.
Price established by the highest bidder and acknowledged by the auctioneer before dropping the hammer or gavel.
Intellectual Property (IP)
IP is a term referring to a number of distinct types of legal monopolies over creations of the mind, both artistic and commercial, and the corresponding fields of law. Under IP law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; words, phrases, symbols and designs.
International Auctioneer Champion (IAC)
Annual contest hosted by the National Auctioneers Association at its Conference & Show for bid-calling auctioneers. Each year, one female and one male auctioneer is declared the winner of the IAC.
International Society of Appraisers (ISA)
The ISA is a not-for-profit, member-driven association formed to support ISA member needs and serve the public by producing highly qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in professional personal property appraising.
See “Auction Listing Agreement”.
A real estate broker who has a listing on a property and cooperates with the auction company by allowing the auction agreement to supersede their listing agreement.
Livestock Marketing Association (LMA)
The LMA is an association committed to the support and protection of the local livestock auction markets and the livestock marketing industry.
The highest price that a property will bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.
Master Personal Property Appraiser (MPPA)
A professional designation awarded by the NAA Education Institute to help professional auctioneers learn the responsibilities of appraising assets. Designees are taught to conduct a complete and appropriate appraisal, as well as taught to know the various factors that affect the value of appraised items. MPPA designees specialize in one or more of the following areas: antiques & estates, plant machinery & equipment, construction & agricultural equipment or small business valuation. In order to be granted an MPPA designation, the auctioneer must already be credentialed with the GPPA.
Also referred to as a “Bidder Acknowledgment,” or “Broker Acknowledgment,” the memorandum is signed by those parties either on the auction floor or in the contract room.
Minimum Bid Auction
An auction in which the auctioneer will accept bids at or above a disclosed price. The minimum price is always stated in the brochure and advertisements and is announced at the auctions.
A group of properties offered through a common promotional campaign. The properties to be auctioned may be owned by one seller or multiple sellers.
Properties owned by multiple sellers, offered through a common promotional campaign and auctioned in a single event.
Multiple Listing Services (MLS)
The MLS is a suite of services that enables brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers); facilitates cooperation with other broker participants; accumulates and disseminates information to enable appraisals; and is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of property listing information to better serve broker’s clients, customers and the public.
National Association of Realtors (NAR)
The core purpose of the NAR is to help its members become more profitable and successful.
National Auctioneers Association (NAA)
An association of individual auctioneers united to promote the mutual interests of its members; formulate and maintain ethical standards for the auction profession; promote the enactment of just and reasonable laws, ordinances and regulations affecting auction selling; make the public more aware of the advantages of auction selling; and generally improve the business conditions affecting the auction profession.
National Auto Auctioneers Association (NAAA)
Founded in 1948, the National Auto Auction Association represents more than 317 auto auction companies, both domestic and international, with more than 8.9 million units sold each year.
A charge paid by the owner of property offered at a reserve auction when the property does not sell.
An auction conducted on the premises of the property being sold.
The first bid offered by a bidder at an auction.
Other Real Estate Owned (OREO)
Real property owned by a banking institution that is not directly related to its business. In balance sheet terms, OREO assets are considered non-earning assets for purposes of regulatory accounting. OREO is most frequently a result of foreclosure on real property as a result of default by the borrower who used the property as collateral for the loan. Most items in this category are available for sale.
See “Cooperating Broker”.
Specified date and time property is available for prospective buyer viewing and audits. Also known as “Open House” or “Inspection”.
Real Estate (RE)
Real estate, also known as real property, is a legal term that encompasses land along with improvements to the land, such as buildings, fences, wells and other site improvements that are fixed in location — immovable.
Real Estate Owned (REO)
REO is a class of property owned by a lender, typically a bank, after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction. A bank will typically set the opening bid at a foreclosure auction for at least the outstanding loan amount. If there are no bidders that are interested, then the bank will legally repossess the property. As soon as the bank repossesses the property, it is listed on their books as REO and is categorized as an asset (non-performing).
A real estate broker who does not have a listing on a property but refers the auction company to a potential seller for an auction. Usually earns a flat fee commission for referring product to an auction company.
A process used in real estate auctions where a bidder has the opportunity to combine several parcels of land previously selected by other bidders, thereby creating one larger parcel out of several smaller parcels. This process is often used in conjunction with bidder’s choice.
The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a property to be sold at auction. Also known as “reserve price”.
The person designated by the auction company who is responsible for organizing the details of an auction. Also known as “project manager”.
A method of sale where by confidential bids are submitted to be opened at a predetermined place and time. Not a true auction in that it does not allow for reaction from the competitive marketplace.
Entity that has legal possession (ownership) of any interests, benefits or rights inherent to the real or personal property.
Subject to Confirmation
See “Reserve Auction”
Public sale of property at auction by governmental authority due to nonpayment of property taxes.
Terms and Conditions
The printed rules of the auction and certain aspects of the Purchase & Sale Agreement that are read and/or distributed to potential bidders prior to an auction sale.
When two or more bidders bid exactly the same amount at the same time. This must be resolved by the auctioneer.
A sale at auction by a trustee.
The UCC, first published in 1952, is one of a number of uniform acts that have been promulgated in conjunction with efforts to harmonize the law of sales and other commercial transactions in all U.S. states.
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)
USPAP can be considered the quality control standards applicable for real property, personal property, intangibles and business valuation appraisal analysis and reports in the U.S. and its territories. USPAP was first developed in the 1980s by a joint committee representing the major U.S. and Canadian appraisal organizations.
US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
A unique law enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.
Failure to reach the reserve price or insufficient bidding.
Any successful business needs a good business plan roadmap.
That roadmap is essentially a written description of your goals and the steps you will take to reach those goals.
Shawn Terrel, CAI, AARE, recommends developing a five-year plan with measurable elements each year. Terrel is President of United Country Auction Services, where he oversees the management and operations of the largest integrated real estate and auction company in the United States. He is also Lead Auctioneer and a Broker for United Country in Kansas City, Missouri.
“A good business plan will answer two questions,” Terrel said. “Where do you want to go? And how do you want to get there?”
Developing a plan need not be time-consuming or cumbersome. Even a hand-written plan on a piece of legal paper will suffice, Terrel said. “You just need something to hold you accountable,” he added.
Business plan: Creation process
To create the plan, business owners should develop a mission statement, or a summary of the organization’s purpose, values, and goals. Ask yourself: How would the world or my community differ if my company did not exist?
“Define your purpose and your vision. Be true to your guiding principles,” Terrel said. “Look into your heart and think about why you got into the auction business.”
Next, a vision statement should provide strategic direction and outline what you want to achieve in the next five years.
Remember to be flexible because change is inevitable. In the past 10 years, technology has changed. Client expectations have changed. The real estate market has changed. To reach your goals, you might have to change.
“Your business cannot stay sedentary because clients are more demanding than they ever have been,” Terrel said. “Change is difficult for a lot of people. When you start to change or modify your business, it can make people very uncomfortable.”
Changing tactics is relatively simple, according to Terrel. A change of strategy, however, should be taken more seriously. A strategy involves what products or services you offer, and what markets you offer those products and services change.
“Every company has its own DNA. It is typically not a good idea to follow others’ strategies just because something they are doing looks good.”
To outline your goals, Terrel recommends using a two-by-two grid with the personal and professional goals on one side, and financial and non-financial goals on the other.
Examples of personal, non-financial goals are to spend more time with family or become involved in a cause that is important to you. A personal financial goal could be to get out of debt or purchase a home.
A professional, non-financial goal could be to build a proprietary technology, transition the company to a paperless system or become known as a subject matter expert. A professional financial goal could include purchasing more franchises or owning rather than renting a storefront.
Once you have written goals, Terrel said, develop ways to measure them each year.
“Business planning starts with the endgame. Look down the road five years,” he said. “Then reel it back and look at each year.”
Next, create a priority grid with five business elements: marketing, sales, operations, technology and training. Prioritizing strategic and tactical initiatives will help you reach your goals.
When developing the plan, it is important to remember to be honest about where you are and where you want to be.
“A good business plan will draw emotions out of you. You are thinking about what you have accomplished so far in life and what you want to do with the balance of your life,” Terrel said. “I want to be here in five years. This is how I am going to get here. Be very open and honest.”