The Auction Process

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Tom's Auction's auction management  process culminates into an auction event,  but actually dose involve over 100 separate steps from beginning to end, all coordinated by us. You are provided with your auctions details keeping you aware of the step by step auction and marketing activities at all times. This carefully orchestrated strategy takes between 4 and 8 weeks depending upon the property type and your time needs. Your auction is an accelerated marketing program rather than simply an auction.

We will review your property personal or Real,  and make an on the spot assessment of your current need, we will  provide recommendations, and a plan tailored to meet your needs.

Click here to get information about your free consultation.

We can begin implementation of the accelerated marketing plan immediately upon receiving your written authorization.

We gather all available information which we will use to prepare property files and marketing materials. 

Your property is exposed to the market through a combination of direct mail, newspaper ads, signage, industry and neighborhood networking, advanced Internet marketing techniques, and other means. When possible, we will combine your property with others to expand the marketing reach.

An informed buyer is a better buyer. We make is easy for bidders to obtain full product knowledge. Ad and signage call-ins receive brochures promptly via mail, fax, e-mail, or world-wide-web. Property information is packaged for bidder review. Preview periods enable bidders to inspect property prior to auction.

Listing brokers accelerate the sales of their assets through auctions, while selling brokers earn generous commissions by registering buyers.

The auction event is handled smoothly and professionally by our auction day team. The tempo is upbeat, and bidding excitement is contagious as the auctioneer chants the price upwards. Contract signing and earnest money collection are handled quickly and efficiently to reinforce the buying decision.

On real estate transactions, our follow-up system assures that the contract speeds toward a successful closing, usually within 30 days of the auction.

Auction Process

Potential buyers of real estate or personal property through auctions have the opportunity to scoop up a tremendous deal, so it’s not surprising that our auctions are often standing-room only.

To participate in an auction, first we encourage you to inform yourself about your potential purchase. The vast majority of the time, property is sold “as-is,” which means we guarantee only clear title. While we provide a lot of information on our website and in hard copy through Bidder’s Information Packets, it is the buyer’s responsibility to find answers to their questions. Our auctioneers are happy to show you the property in advance of the auction and answer what questions they can, but rely on inspectors and experts so you fully understand what you are buying!

Another crucial part of the process for buyers is the timeline. Once the contract is signed the day of the auction, buyers have 30 days to close. Time is of the essence. The contract obligations are not contingent on the buyer’s ability to receive funding. The contract will be included in the Bidder’s Information Packet. Please read it closely!

Auctions are, in general, held on site. To participate, potential buyers must register in advance of the public, outcry auction. To register, bring your driver’s license as well as a cashier’s check made out to yourself. The terms and conditions of each auction are slightly different; in general, the check will be in the amount of either $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000, depending on the appraisal of the property.

Out-of-town buyers can bid by phone and wire funds into an escrow account. Just ask the auctioneer for details.


At the end of the auction, the winning bidder will meet with our auctioneers to sign the contract for the property and submit a 10 percent down payment for the purchase. This down payment will consist of the cashier’s check, signed over to Elliot Paul & Company Auctions, with any remaining funds paid with a personal check. Buyers have 30 days to close on the property, as time is of the essence!


Buyer/Broker/Agent Program

Tom's Auctions & Appraisals welcomes broker participation! Any licensed real estate broker is eligible to earn commission equal to twenty percent (20%) of the net commission provided their clients have been registered with the office of the auctioneer. The prospect must be registered in writing with Tom's & Auctions & Appraisals and countersigned by the broker/salesperson. The registration must be received 24 hours prior to the auction by US Postal Service, Facsimile at (757) 539-2498 or email at RealEstateSold@tomsauctioncom. The broker/salesperson MUST attend the auction with their prospect and register at the auction site, and broker/salesperson acting as principals are excluded from receiving commission. Broker/salesperson must be procuring cause. Commission will be paid at the successful closing of each transaction. If you are a broker and have any questions, please feel free to call the auctioneer overseeing the auction your client is interested in at (757) 617-9647.


Online Bidding Process

On occasion, prospective buyers can bid online in advance of the auction. To learn more, contact the auctioneer overseeing the auction of interest.

  2. BIDDER REGISTRATION: The auction is open to the public and your attendance is welcomed. To register for the property, you must display a cashier’s check in a specified amount to bid. Upon being declared the top bidder, the cashier’s check will be applied as a partial deposit and the deposit must be increased to ten percent (10%) of the total contract price of the property due immediately upon signing the contract in the form of a personal check. All cashier’s checks much be made payable to yourself. Please come prepared to participate in the auction.
  4. PROPERTY INSPECTIONS: All bidders are encouraged to personally inspect the real estate being offered. The property will be sold in “AS-IS” condition.
    The buyer will be responsible for all closing costs including, but not limited to documentary stamps, title insurance and all other closing costs. In most cases, real estate taxes for the current year shall be the responsibility of the buyer. No representation is made with respect to suitability for any intended purpose or use.
    Please inspect the property and records prior to making any bids.
  6. CONTRACT DEPOSIT, PAYMENT: Bids may not be retracted once accepted by the auctioneer. All deposits shall be paid on the day of sale. The successful bidder agrees to sign the purchase contract immediately following the auction.
    The purchase contract is available for inspection and review. The terms are not negotiable upon being declared the winning bidder.
  7. FORM OF AUCTION: Please be advised that the auctioneer shall offer the property to be  sold subject to the owners confirmation, to the highest bidder regardless of price. Neither the seller nor his representatives are allowed to bid.
  8. BROKER PARTICIPATION INVITED: Any licensed real estate broker is eligible to earn commission equal to twenty percent (20%) of the net commission provided their clients have been registered with the office of the auctioneer.

    a) The prospect must be registered in writing with Tom's Auctions & Appraisals and countersigned by the broker/salesperson. The registration must be received 24 hours prior to the auction by US Postal Service, Facsimile at (757) 539-2498 or email at

    b) The broker/salesperson MUST attend the auction with their prospect and register at the auction site.

    c) Broker/salesperson acting as principals are excluded from receiving commission.

    d) Broker/salesperson must be procuring cause.

    e) Commission will be paid at the successful closing of each transaction.

  10. CONDUCT OF AUCTION: The method and order of sale shall be at the sole discretion of the auctioneer. The auctioneer may change or modify the Terms and Conditions of this auction by announcement at the podium. Any such announcement shall take precedence over printed material or oral statements made. Bids may be accepted ONLY from bidders who have duly registered in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of sale. Bidders arriving at the auction site without the required deposit may not be permitted to participate in the auction. The auctioneer’s decision relative to bidding increments, order of sale and any
    disputes between bidders will be final. The auctioneer shall have the right to cancel or withdraw the property at its sole discretion.
  12. BUYERS PREMIUM: A ten percent (10%) buyer’s premium will be added to the high bid made and taken and included in the contract price.
  14. CLOSING: The purchase contract provides for payment of the balance of the total purchase price to be made no later than thirty (30) days from the auction date. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
  1. MISCELLANEOUS: Please be advised that this auction will be Video recorded to provide a permanent record of this auction event.
  2. AUCTION BROCHURE: All information contained in the auction brochure, newspaper advertising, bidder information or supplied either in writing or verbally by staff members was derived from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. Buyers shall rely on their own information, judgment and inspection of the property and records.
  3. PREVIEWS: Bidders are encouraged to preview the property. Contact our office for details.
  4. BIDDER INFORMATION: Due diligence and additional information is available to bidders upon request. Please contact the auction company.

Types of Auctions

There are many settings in which an auction can be conducted. Some of these venues go back hundreds or thousands of years, many have come about only in the past dozen years. All can be effective in their own way, and there is no single best way to conduct the actual auction.

Perhaps the oldest recognized method of conducting auctions is the onsite auction. This method was reportedly used by Roman officers disposing of assets seized during military campaigns, in order to raise money for continued operations. In fact, the word auction derives from the Latin “auctio”, meaning “to drive up (the price)”. Onsite auctions are still widely employed to sell single assets, directly at the property location. A similar type is the offsite auction, where an asset may be sold in another location, such as the county courthouse, usually in the context of a foreclosure. Sometimes this is also done in a courtroom – a typical example will be a Section 363 auction under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws.
Another widely used variant of this is a caravan auction, where a number of assets are sold site to site under a single marketing umbrella. Many times a situation where the seller has many scattered small assets will warrant this type of auction, as it is often likely that the greatest interest will be from neighbors of the various assets. Sometimes if there are several assets in a single neighborhood or area in the mix, one asset will be selected as the sale site for all of them.
A typical format we have seen in the past 30 to 40 years is the ballroom auction, where many assets from a market area (and sometimes multiple market areas) are sold in sequence in one afternoon or evening. These have the advantage of being able to offer a number of diverse assets on an individual basis in a very short period of time. This format is similar and probably grew out of agricultural tent auctions where multiple parcels of land may be sold to a crowd assembled under a tent.
In the past few years we have seen the development of several online auction formats.

The most common form of online auction is the online only auction. Perhaps the most familiar form of this has been popularized by eBay over the past dozen years. This is usually known as a timed online auction. Bidding ends when the bid deadline is reached, although most timed online formats now have bidding “autoextends” where the bid deadline is automatically extended for, say, 5 minutes if there are any bids placed at the deadline, with bidding concluded when 5 minutes passes with no additional bidding.
Another variant of the online auction is the live online or webcast auction. This is simply a more modern version of the “satellite” auctions of a few years back where bidders in a remote ballroom were able to bid through closed circuit TV and cameras set up at both the auction facility and the remote facility. In this format, online bidders have an audio feed, a bidding interface with images of the assets being sold in real time, and sometimes a video feed. The auctioneer is able to see and accept bids through the online interface, most often through an online facilitator, who acts as a ringperson, taking online bids and relaying them to the auctioneer in much the same way as an onsite ringperson would do.
Often, the live online or webcast auction will be conducted in conjunction with an onsite or ballroom auction, where the auctioneer is able to accept bids both from onsite and from online bidders.