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Auctioneers have lots of questions about contracts. We’ve suggested there are basically three (3) types of auctioneer-related contracts: (1) auctioneer/seller contracts, (2) bidder/auctioneer contracts and (3) buyer/seller contracts.

As well, we wrote that these contracts have three (3) essential ingredients: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/the-essential-elements-of-any-contract/.

The most discussed auctioneer-related contract is likely the auctioneer/seller (a.k.a. consignment/listing contract.) These types of contracts generally denote auctioneer and seller responsibilities (rights and duties) in regard to the situation — and the particular situation matters most. The most basic delineation is, “Are we talking about real and/or personal property?”

For real property, there are a variety of circumstances including (but not limited to:)

    Residential
    Commercial
    Industrial
    Agricultural
    Multi-Parcel
    Multi-Property
    Onsite
    Offsite
    Online only
    Live only
    Online prior ending with live
    Simulcast
    Single sealed bid
    Multiple sealed bid

For personal property there are a variety of circumstances including (but not limited to:)

    Estate/Guardianship
    Benefit/Charity
    Firearms
    Vehicles
    Intellectual property
    Livestock
    Commercial
    Industrial
    Agricultural
    Onsite
    Offsite
    Auction house/gallery
    Deliver and/or pickup
    Online only
    Live only
    Online prior ending with live
    Simulcast
    Single sealed bid
    Multiple sealed bid

Further, one must know if we’re talking about an activity such as licensed or unlicensed, direct or subcontract, agent/sub-agent, forced sale, court-ordered, receivership, consignee/consignor, consignee/auctioneer … one auction event, periodic auctions, repeated auctions, or on a schedule … the list goes on.

As well, are you working as a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company or corporation? If a business entity, what position do you hold? Is insurance/bonding in the business entity’s name and/or your name personally?

Additionally, states (or the federal government, courts or other state or local political subdivisions) may dictate what details that contract must contain. Certainly, every state has real estate license law which dictates real property contract requirements. On the other hand, only some states have requirements for licensed personal property auctions.

What’s the take-home here? While you can get some other auctioneer’s contract to help you develop your own, make sure you seek attorney counsel before your contract (any contract) is finalized. It would appear no two auctioneers’ contracts would be necessarily exactly the same …

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.