Q: What is an Auction?
A: In the State of Tennessee, “Auction” means a sales transaction conducted by means of oral or written exchange between an auctioneer and members of the audience. This exchange consists of a series of invitations for offers for purchase of goods or real estate made by the auctioneer and offers for purchase made by members of the audience culminating in the acceptance by the auctioneer or most favorable offer made by a member of the participating audience.

Q: What are the different types of Auctions?
A: See "Types of Auctions" page.

Q: What qualifications do I need to bid at an auction?
A: Different auctions have different requirements. All auctions require the bidder to provide proper, valid identification. Many real estate auctions or other auctions involving valuable property may require prior financial approval, indicating the bidder’s ability to pay.

Q: How do I bid?
A: In order to bid on an item, or on real estate, simply get the auctioneer’s attention and indicate to him or her your intention to bid on the item up for sale. Holding your hand or your bid card up, making eye contact and nodding in the affirmative, and/or speaking up are some of the different ways to bid. It is usually possible to get the attention of one of the auctioneer’s staff, called a ringman. These are individuals who assist the auctioneer during the auction recognizing bids and bidders in the audience.

Q: What is a Buyer’s Premium?
A: A Buyer’s Premium is a cost incurred by the buyer, which is a percentage of the final winning bid amount for that lot.  
For example, if a bidder attends an auction that has a 10% buyer’s premium, and he or she is the highest bidder on a property for $100,000, when the gavel falls the 10% buyer’s premium is added to that price to get the final sales price of $110,000, plus any applicable tax.
Note: Not all auctions include a buyer’s premium. Be sure to check the "terms section" of every auction.

Q: What is a “Lot”?
A: A Lot is what is being offered for sale by the auctioneer. It could be a parcel of real estate, a painting, a group of chairs, etc.

Q: What does “times the money” mean?
A: “Times the Money” is a phrase and method that the auctioneer uses to sell a particular lot. For example, if a lot of three parcels of real estate is being offered at “times the money,” a bidder is offering a bid with the understanding that, although the bid is reflecting an offer to buy one parcel, he or she will be buying all three parcels at the winning bid amount times three.

Q: What does “selling choice” mean?
A: “Selling Choice” means that if several items are being sold in a lot, the winning bidder has the choice of taking one or more (or all) of the items in that lot times the winning bid amount.
For example, if there are four tracts of land being offered for sale, the bidders are bidding on the right to choose which tract(s) they want to buy at that winning bid amount.
The novelty of “selling choice” is that there may be one or more things about the lot that are particularly desirable. Unless you are the winning bidder, then you run the risk of having someone else choose the tract(s) that you wanted!