Ritchies Realty Frequently Asked Questions

What is a real estate auction?
Real estate auctions are an effective and efficient way of selling property. By auctioning your property you avoid lengthy negotiations and exuberant fees. The auctioneer announces and advertises the sale of the property, and on the day of the auction buyers attend the live auction, or bid by proxy.

Why haven’t I heard of real estate auctions?
Real estate auctions are still new to Canada. In most countries it is a very popular way to sell property. In Australia, for example, some statistics place a quarter of all homes as being sold by auction. Real estate auctions are also popular in many US states.

Why real estate auctions?
Real estate auctions benefit both buyers and sellers. Sellers can sell their property faster, without having to worry about carrying costs (such as taxes and maintenance) or lengthy negotiations. They also don’t have to pay two sets of agents (both the buyer’s and seller’s agents), or suffer the anxiety of waiting for offers to arrive. Sellers get excellent results quickly and efficiently. Buyers get great value for their money, and also avoid lengthy negotiations that can drag on for months. Because the auction is a fair and open market, where all the bids are known, both buyers and sellers can appreciate the level of transparency and immediacy that auctions provide.

How does the auction method provide better value for buyers?
Ritchies Realty is very selective with the property we accept. We inspect property and form valuations ourselves which may not always meet the valuation set by the seller or the agent’s appraiser. We do not accept property that we feel does not provide good value. Our offering is carefully selected, and is not a free-for-all MLS-style listing service. Additionally, we offer many properties without a “reserve bid”, which means the property has the potential to sell for what the market dictates it is worth, not an arbitrary value.

Does the auction include the contents of the home?
Generally, unless the home is from an estate, trustee or liquidation, the home contents are not included. The auction notice will note if the contents are also available for sale. When the contents are also available for sale they are almost always separated from the sale of the home and sold as separate lots, not a single parcel lot.

Are there any guarantees or warranties?
The auctioneer only acts as an agent to connect a buyer and a seller for the purpose of selling the property. All properties are sold as-is and the auctioneer makes no claims about condition. We encourage all potential buyers to personally inspect the property with the appropriate professionals or tradespeople before bidding on the property.

What are the terms of the sale?
While payment terms vary from seller to seller, we require all buyers to make a deposit the same day that they successfully win their bid. The initial deposit is generally 10% of the total purchase price of the property. After the deposit, sellers generally request closing within 30 days of the auction. Failure to complete payment within the seller’s closing period can result in a cancellation of the sale and a forfeiture of the deposit as damages.

What is an online real estate auction?
Like our live real estate auctions, the auctioneer will announce and advertise the sale of the property. The property will then be available for bidding on ritchies.com for a period of 3 - 5 days. When the auction concludes, the auctioneer will declare the highest bidder to be the winner of the home. They will be contacted within one business day to discuss payment and relevant title information.

What if I am outbid at the last moment?
Our state-of-the-art online bidding system prevents you from being “sniped” by another bidder. Sniping is a term used for bidders that wait until the very last moment before the close of an auction and bid one increment above the highest bidder in order to win the item. Our system will continue to allow bids until there are no bids for a period of 30 minutes. Each bid extends the closing time of the auction to 30 minutes after that bid.

What if I know how much I want to bid in total? Can I leave a maximum bid?
Yes. Our online bidding system will automatically bid on your behalf against other bidders up to your maximum bid. It will attempt to win the property for you for the lowest amount possible.


Have questions that aren't answered here? Contact us anytime by email at realty@ritchies.com or by phone at 416-364-1864.

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