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If there’s been one consistent message I’ve tried to deliver over the past 10 years or more — it’s that when auctioneers are selling “high-valued” assets, attention to laws, rules, and “what you should do or not do” versus “what you can do or don’t have to do” is in your interest.

There’s no question that reopening the bid outside of the law (or at all,) misrepresenting property, non-disclosure of material information, false advertising, aberrant one-sided auction terms, capriciously registering bidders, and the like cause buyers (and also sellers) to consider legal recourse.

Auctioneers can avoid all of this unnecessary risk and many do. However, avoiding it when selling high-valued items is even more critical, as the potential litigants (plaintiffs) typically have lots of time, money, resources, and patience.

I’ve taught courses on reducing auction risk, auction law (including case law,) and auction disaster prevention and recovery. Our complete course list and related services can be seen here: https://teachingauctioneers.com/.

Besides this platform and our related classes, there is an abundance of information helping auctioneers realize behaving better benefits them. I would direct you to the National Auctioneers Association and their podcast (https://auctionadvocate.buzzsprout.com/) and blog (https://howauctionswork.com/) as two such examples.

My impression is that most all auctioneer malfeasance results from bad habits and is unintentional — uninformed — behavior. As such, it takes an affirmative effort to learn proper procedures to avoid problems later … and ignorance of all this information is a poor (and unacceptable) defense.

As we’ve repeatedly noted, losing in court is the worst, winning in court is better, but staying out of court is best. Avoiding lawsuits or settling is clearly best. https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/auctioneers-you-want-win-in-court-or-stay-out-of-court/.

Lastly, getting involved in the National Auctioneers Association and your state auctioneer association and further taking any required or elective classes can help you as an auctioneer be a better auctioneer. The more you know, generally speaking, the more you can focus on your business versus unnecessary legal issues.

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, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.