Buying at Auction
We offer a complete suite of real estate sales services, to ensure that we meet our customer’s every need. From traditional sales and auctions to estate sales and foreclosures, we have experts in every field to efficiently guide you from the beginning to the end of your real estate journey. On our bidding platform, you will find, residential, luxury, investment, commercial and industrial real estate opportunities. Predominately our listings are located in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia.
See below for commonly asked questions about Real Estate Auctions. For foreclosure specific questions, please visit our foreclosures page.
Who Owns The Property?
Our properties are sold by private owners, companies, governments and banks.
Can I Inspect Before I Bid?
For most properties, yes you can inspect before you bid. However, you must call the auction agent who is managing the property to confirm. Many of our properties have advertised open houses.
What Do I Need To Do To Participate In The Auction?
To participate in an auction taking place on the premises you must bring a cashier’s check in the amount of the advertised deposit, photo ID, and your competitive spirit! You can also bid live at most of our featured auctions via our online bidding platform, which in many cases allows the use of a credit card hold in lieu of a cashier check. Please be sure to read the terms of sale or call the auction agent for more information on the auction you would like to participate in.
What Is A Buyer’s Premium?
A buyer’s premium is how Alex Cooper receives their commission. For example, if the high bid is 500K and the buyer’s premium is 6% the contract price is 530K, which includes the buyer’s premium. The buyer’s premium for each auction is advertised in the terms of sale section on the property page.
Can I finance my auction purchase?
Yes, you can secure your own financing. Although our auction properties are not sold contingent upon financing, most buyers do utilize financing.
What Types Of Properties Are Sold At Auction?
Alex Cooper sells residential, commercial, industrial, and development sites via auction.
What Happens if the property is tenant occupied?
The properties are sold subject to the existing lease and the new owner takes on the position of the previous owner. All rents are prorated to the date of closing. Many of our properties are very desirable due to the cash flow from the existing tenants. Be sure to read the terms of sale as well as a copy of the lease which is typically available in the document section of the property page.
What Happens To The Real Estate Taxes Of The Property?
Our non-foreclosure auctions are sold free and clear of monetary liens. Please refer to the terms of sale on the property page to see if the real estate taxes will be prorated from the date of sale or the date of settlement.
Where Is The Actual Real Estate Auction Held?
Alex Cooper conducts three types of real estate auctions:
- Simulcast, which offers online participation via the online bidding platform & on-premises, live on property.
- On-Premises Only, which has no online and buyers must be in person with cashier check and photo ID to participate.
- Timed Online-Only, which is an online only auction that is conducted through the Alex Cooper online bidding platform, typically opened for 5 days prior to the auction date. Each property has a three minute soft close in a Timed Online-Only auction. If a bid is received in the final 3 minutes of the auction the clock will reset to three minutes to give all bidders a chance to bid again.
What Is The Advantage Of An Auction?
An auction allows the market to compete to determine the value of a property. As a buyer, the auction format allows you to quickly purchase a property at fair market value within a set time frame. You are competing against qualified bidders who have provided an initial deposit as well as utilizing the same terms of sale. These terms include the properties being sold as-is, where-is without contingencies on financing or inspection.
When is the auction?
All details regarding timing of an auction can be found on the property detail page. A Timed Online-Only auction will be open for bidding across a 5 day period.
Who can bid at the auction?
Any qualified bidder can bid in the auction. All auctions are open to the public and anyone can bid as long as they provide an initial deposit and have provided Alex Cooper with the necessary personal information to register.
This is my first auction how do I bid?
To participate in an auction we recommend you complete your due diligence, which includes: researching sale price comparables, assessing the property’s condition, reviewing the diligence documents available on our website, which include the purchase agreement and if applicable the tenants leases.rnrnKeep in mind, you are going to be paying a buyers premium, transfer taxes, documentary stamps and settlement fees. Come up with a rough estimate of what this would cost for you at different bid prices so you are aware of the final purchase price at closing. Be prepared to wire or drop off a cashier’s check to bring your total deposit up to 10% of the purchase price in the time specified in the terms (normally 1-2 business days).
Is the physical condition of the property warranted?
No, properties are sold as-is, where-is. Seller makes no representations or warranties on the condition of the property at the time of sale. Risk of loss lies with the seller until closing in the event of a catastrophic loss. Please refer to the purchase and sale agreement in the documents section of the property page for the full terms of sale.
How long does the auction last?
A Timed Online-Only auction is typically open for 5 days. While the auction is open for bidding, you can place a bid at any time, as long as the clock has not run out. Please keep in mind, if there is a bid under three minutes the clock will reset to three minutes. We have seen auctions be extended as long as 30 minutes past their scheduled closing time.rnrnAn On-Premises Only auction or a Simulcast auction begin at a scheduled time and last typically between 5 – 20 minutes. If you are the winning bidder, please leave time to sign the purchase agreement, which takes around 15-20 additional minutes. As a reminder, the purchase agreement is available for review, prior to the auction, in the documents section on the property page.
How is the property transferred to me?
You will hire a title company that will prepare a closing statement and will perform all actions necessary to transfer the ownership. If you do not have a title company in mind, Alex Cooper can recommend a few options to you.
What does “absolute” mean?
An absolute auction means the property will sell regardless of the price. If it is not advertised as absolute it is an auction with a minimum reserve price.
What is a “reserve” auction?
All auctions are being offered subject to a minimum reserve price unless specifically advertised as absolute. Please refer to the terms of sale in the documents section of the property page.
I won, what happens next?
- After you have won an auction you will be required to sign the purchase agreement (in-person or online via DocuSign).
- Increase your deposit to the terms specified in the sale documents, which is normally 10% of the purchase price. You will typically have 1-2 days to complete this.
- You will retain a title company to transfer the title.
How soon can we settle?
Most sellers are ready to close immediately, however the terms of sale on each specific property page will state when settlement is to take place. Typically the terms will be between 30-60 days, with most properties required to close in 45 days.
When will I be given the keys?
Possession is to take place at closing. The auctioneer and seller will work to provide you with limited access to the property during the post auction period for the purpose of conducting a lender required appraisal.
When Do I Receive Title?
You will receive the title at closing.
What Happens If I Change My Mind?
The auction purchase agreement is a legal and binding document. Once you have participated in the auction, if you do not proceed with the agreement you will be in default, which include penalties such a losing your deposit, as well as being subject to the property being resold at your risk and expense.