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How can I place a bid?

First step is to register for the auction on the auction page (click the register button).

Confirm your identity with a major credit card and you will be enabled to bid on any property in the auction.  Your credit card will not be charged.  For property valued over $500,000, your registration is subject to auctioneer approval as you must provide evidence that you are a qualified buyer (proof of funds for cash buyer or mortgage pre-approval letter).  The Auctioneer and or listing broker will set your bid limit based on your funds available to close.  So do NOT try and register and place a bid with ten minutes left in the auction as it takes time to review your documents.

You must bid more than the highest bid or starting bid by an amount equal to the minimum bid increment.  If the current high bid is $100,000 and the bid increment is $5,000 your bid must be equal or greater than $105,000.  The system will show you the minimum bid required at each price point.
Please view the auction terms and conditions and purchase contract available on the property details page of your desired home. Auction terms and conditions and purchase contracts vary by property and auction event. If you are interested in more than one property, please view the individual documents for each.

I input the high bid amount and status still says ‘Outbid’?

If the current winning bidder has set a maximum bid amount above their current bid amount, the auction system will bid on their behalf until their maximum bid amount is exceeded by the required bid increment.  So you will have to keep bidding until the other maximum bid is exceeded to become the winning bidder.  As the winning bidder you can also set your own maximum bid to protect your winning status against other bidders.

What if I want to Buy it Now?

You may make a purchase offer on a property before online bidding starts during the pre-auction marketing period if noted on the auction detail page.  Contact the listing broker (shown on the auction detail page) to submit an offer or use our online form.  Offers must be accepted by the seller prior to commencement of the auction.  If the seller wishes to accept your offer, the property will be removed from the auction.

Should I get pre-qualified before the auction?

Yes. Reviewing your financing options prior to selecting a property to bid on is important. In order to bid with confidence, every buyer should be pre-qualified for any financing you will need before the auction.  For property over $500,000, all bidders must show proof of funds or a pre-approval letter BEFORE they can place a bid. Rates vary by lender and by individual borrower financial information.  Only certain assets are designated with a financing contingency.  If no financing contingency is offered, you may be at risk of losing your earnest money deposit if you can’t obtain a loan and fail to close.

What if I want to use my own lender?

You are welcome to use your own lender, in which event you should obtain a pre-approval letter (not a pre-qualification) to present when you register.  Failure to achieve loan approval and close the transaction within the specified time frame may result in the forfeiture of the buyer’s deposit in accordance with your purchase contract. Back to top

What if I want to buy multiple properties?

The auctioneer will set your maximum bid allocation. Contact us to be set up as a VIP investor buyer.  There is no limit to the number of homes you can buy, but there is a maximum purchase allocation which will suspend your bidding if you have winning bids over your maximum purchase limit.

Attending an Open House or Property Preview

You should attend the open house (residential) or property preview during one of the scheduled event days.  Dates and times are listing on the auction detail page.  Private showings upon request via the listing broker.
Should I inspect the property prior to bidding at the auction?

Absolutely. In order to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of a property, it is recommended to visit and inspect the property prior to the auction and to also view any property information and disclosure documents you decide are necessary. Do your inspections ahead of time. It is recommended to schedule an inspection of the property by contacting the listing agent.  Property condition inspection contingencies are only offered when stated on the auction detail page.

Listed are a few additional steps to being an informed bidder:

  • Bring your broker or agent to the scheduled property preview
  • Complete an inspection performed by a licensed and bonded inspector during the property preview if no contingency exists

When will the transactions close?

The closings are expected to occur within 30-45 days of the auction event. At closing and upon payment of the purchase price and closing costs, you will receive insured title to the property. Please view the auction terms and conditions and purchase contract available on the property details page of your desired home for more information.

What if I change my mind? Can I cancel the transaction?

Once the auctioneer has announced you are the high bidder AND you and the seller of the property have both signed the purchase contract, you have agreed to purchase the property. There is no rescission or “cooling off period” once you and the seller have both executed the purchase contract. Termination of the contract could result in a loss of the earnest money deposit and the purchase contract terms shall determine the buyer rights to terminate.  They vary by state and by auction terms.  That is why it is important for you to conduct all of your research and inspections prior to bidding on the property, including the purchase contract.  Please review the auction terms and conditions and purchase contract on the property details page of your desired home for more information.

 How long will each auction last?

Generally online bidding is open for 2-5 days.  Bidding end dates in multiple asset auctions are staggered by property by a couple minutes so buyers can bid on multiple properties effectively.  If multiple bids are placed in the final minute of bidding, the online auction will automatically extend by five minutes in order to allow last second bidders to compete until a winner is established.

How do I know if I won?

You will receive an email confirming your winning high bid (check your junk mail folder if you have spam protection).  The property should also show up in your online bidding tab on your Zetabid “My Profile” page where your bidding status for each property will be displayed.  Additionally, the high bidder is shown on each property.  Remember, all winning bids are subject to seller confirmation and a mutually executed purchase contract.

Can I set a maximum bid and have the system bid for me?

Yes.  You may set your maximum bid on each property and the system will defend you bid against competing bids automatically.  Maximum bid use will increase your bid automatically on your behalf up to the maximum you set.  If a competing bidder outbids your current bid, than the system will place a bid greater (by the minimum bid increment) than the competing bid and keep you in a winning status.  The system will repeat the process automatically outbidding new competing bids until your maximum is met.  It is smart to use this feature so you don’t lose an auction if you have internet issues.

What happens if I have the highest bid?

The high bid is not a final sale (or a binding contract) of the property but only an OFFER by the bidder to purchase the property from the property seller. No property sales are final at auction until there is a mutually acceptable written purchase contract between the property seller and the high bidder.  Purchase contracts, addenda and disclosure information is available for review prior to the event on the property detail page of every home. Please review contracts or contact us with questions before the event so we can guide you through the process efficiently.

You will be send a contract to sign electronically within 24 hours of the auction.  If you don’t sign the contract within 48 hours your bid will be deemed withdrawn the auction team will re-auction the home or sell to the second place bidder

What is the high bid amount?

The high bid amount is the dollar amount of the bid that the auctioneer announces as the highest bid. Although the auctioneer may announce that the property is “Sold,” the high bid remains subject to the seller’s approval.

What is the buyer’s premium?

The Buyer’s Premium is not a real estate commission; it is the fee that Zetabid charges bidders for bringing the Property to auction, and is separate from any commissions paid to real estate brokers by the sellers. It is a standard practice utilized by most major auction companies. The Buyer’s Premium is a percentage of the high bid amount that gets added to the high bid amount to determine the Total Purchase Price. A minimum buyer’s premium of $2,500 will be added to all properties with a high bid   Buyer Premiums are different by auction type.  The actual buyer premium will be shown on the property detail page and on the bid detail page in addition to the auction terms and conditions.  The Buyer’s Premium is typically financed as part of the purchase price.

What is the earnest money deposit?

The Earnest Money Deposit is the amount of money that, the high bidder, must deposit with the escrow/closing agent on auction day. The Earnest Money Deposit is equal to 3% of the Total Purchase Price regardless of the amount you finance. This is not the down payment. For example, if the Total Purchase Price is $300,000 then the Earnest Money Deposit required is $9,000 ($300,000 x 3% = $9,000). The Earnest Money may be forfeited if you do not close the transaction..

How do I pay the earnest money deposit?

For online auctions, generally we request you wire the funds to the designated closing agent once the contracts are signed. For onsite auctions, we typically have the closing agent attend and you will sign over your cashier’s check and write a personal check for the balance.

What if I have a real estate agent or broker?

We welcome agents and brokers and offer a commission of the high bid amount as compensation. Your agent must be named on your registration.. Commissions will not be paid to brokers who are purchasing a home for themselves as a principle owner.  Percentage of commission is show on the auction detail page.

If I am the high bidder, can I assign my contract to someone else?

No. The purchase agreements are not assignable.

Can I conduct inspections after the auction?

Yes and No  See terms and conditions.  Some homes are ‘as is’ only and some offer a 7 day inspection contingency.

How do I prepare for the auction?

Log on to www.zetabid.com to search for auction properties. Be sure to read all of the property disclosures on the property details page including the Auction terms and conditions and the purchase agreement.  Contact a lender to get pre-qualified for a home loan and find out how much you can afford.  Attend one or more of the scheduled Open Houses and thoroughly inspect all homes you are interested in bidding on.
Register for the auction online.

What is the reserve price?

A reserve price is an unpublished minimum selling price. However, the seller has the right to accept or reject all offers, in the seller’s sole discretion. The starting bid is not the reserve price. Many offers below the reserve price end up being accepted by the Seller.  Sellers of real estate require reserves due to the complex nature of mortgage ownership and approvals necessary to sell assets at a loss.

What information do I need to provide for an “all-cash purchase?”

You must provide proof of funds in a recent bank or asset statement showing the funds available in the account in which you will be using to finance the purchase. No cash or credit cards will be accepted on auction day.

Can I bid if I am not a US citizen?  

Yes, anyone can bid! The registration and bidding process are the same for all bidders

I registered for the website, but why can’t I bid?

You must register for the specific auction event regardless if you have an account with us from prior events.  Also, for homes over $500,0000 the auctioneer must approve your registration.

I forgot my password, how do I get back in?

On the sign-in page, click on “Forgot Your Password?” and follow the instructions Your password will be automatically emailed to your user email address.

How much is the credit card deposit?  

The credit card authorization is $1 to verify identity.  There is no actual charge.


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