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Common Questions

Bidding Questions & Answers

1. What is is an online bidding site for real estate that allows for open, visible competition among real estate buyers looking for great deals in real estate.

2. Where do these properties come from? has agreements with over 100 national banks and mortgage servicers to provide listings to the site at greatly reduced prices. In addition, also allows listings from real estate agents, builders and major corporations.

3. How do I get notified about properties in my area? has an Email Notification system to notify you if a property is listed in your area. This is a completely free service. All you have to do is sign up for Free Email Notifications. will not sell your information or spam you with unwanted information.

4. Will I be responsible for liens or back taxes owed on the properties?

Unless otherwise noted on a property's Bid Page, Buyers will not be responsible for back taxes, liens or title-related issues for the property purchased. Unless otherwise stated, the Seller will convey insurable title to the Buyer upon closing; otherwise, the Buyer has the right to cancel the purchase with a full return of their deposit.

5. What is the duration of the bidding process?

The bidding process is selected by the seller and will last 7, 14 or 21 days. There is a countdown clock on the bid page indicating how much time is left to bid. If the property does not reach its reserve price, the property will remain on the site for up to seven additional days for post bidding.

6. Is the reserve price disclosed to the public?

The reserve price is a confidential number, but once the reserve price is met, the Bid Page will indicate to the public that the reserve price has been met.

7. If I am the highest bidder, do I automatically win the property?

If you are the highest bidder on a property at the end of bidding and the reserve price has been met, you should receive a Purchase Agreement to sign via email. The purchase is not fully approved until the Purchase Agreement is also signed by the Seller. If you are the highest bidder for a property and it did not meet its reserve price, the Seller has the sole and absolute discretion to review all offers and accept or reject any of those offers. The Seller is not obligated to negotiate with the highest bidder or give any special rights to that bidder.

8. What happens at the conclusion of bidding?

If the property has met or exceeded its reserve price at the conclusion of the bidding, an email will notify the winning bidder that (upon final seller review and acceptance) the contract process will begin. The email will give instructions as to that specific process.

If the property has not met its reserve price, the property will remain on the site for up to seven additional days for post bidding. During the Post Bid process, bids are relayed to the Seller on a daily basis, so it is important to get your bids in early. The Seller reserves the right to accept any bid during the Post Bid process. There is a countdown clock posted on the Bid Page during the Post Bid period, but there is NO guarantee that the property will remain up for that entire time. In fact, most acceptances will come during the first few days after the conclusion of active bidding, so it’s important to place your post bid in a timely fashion.

9. Am I guaranteed the property if it reaches the Reserve Price?

All bids require a final review process by the Seller. Most of our Sellers are large financial institutions that also must obtain final approval by a management committee. The reserve price is a guide, and in 98% of cases where the bid meets or exceeds the reserve price, the deal is accepted, but there is NO guarantee that a bid will be accepted. There is no guaranteed “deal” on a property until the Purchase Contract has been signed by both Buyer and Seller.

10. Will you explain the costs involved with purchasing a property?

If you successfully win a property on, you will be responsible for the following items:
Bid Price + Internet Transaction Fee (or Buyer’s Premium) + Closing Costs

11. May I finance a transaction if purchased on

Yes, many of our properties are financed; however, there is no contingency for financing, so you need to have your financing in place prior to placing a bid for a property.

12. Is there a way to bid without staying in front of my computer?

BidAssist™ is an automated bid process designed to assist with bidding even when you are away from your computer. It is also useful if you are bidding on several properties and want to ensure all of your bids are placed properly during the close of the bidding. To use BidAssist™, determine the top price you're willing to pay for a particular property. When submitting your bid, enter into the BidAssist™ box the maximum amount you'd be willing to pay. The BidAssist™ system then compares your bid to those of the other bidders. The BidAssist™ system places bids on your behalf, using only as much of your bid as is necessary to maintain your high bid position. BidAssist™ only bids one bid increment at a time against an opposing bidder and will bid up to your maximum amount.

If you are a property’s high bidder and are logged in, you will have the opportunity to “update” your BidAssist. When applicable, the “Update BidAssist” button is available just below the “Place Bid” button on each Bid Page. By using the link "Update BidAssist," you can raise, lower or end your BidAssist. Please note that if you choose to end the use of BidAssist, our system will stop bidding for you but CANNOT delete bids that have already been made for you using your previously chosen BidAssist amount.

If the bidding for a property is moving rapidly and you try to place a bid that is lower than the current leading bid, but your BidAssist™ amount is higher than the leading bid, your bid will be taken at the next available bid increment above the current leading bid. For example, if the current leading bid is $100,000 and you place a bid of $99,000 with a BidAssist™ amount of $105,000, the computer will reject the $99,000 but will accept and place your bid at the next bid increment of $101,000 (assuming a bid increment of $1,000). You will then be protected up to your maximum Bid Assist™ amount of $105,000 against any other bidders.

BidAssist™ is used as a tiebreaker. For example, if two bidders end in a tie for a property, the bidder who placed the bid first through BidAssist™ will be declared the winner because the BidAssist™ was the first bid placed and has priority over the other bidder; however, if your BidAssist™ pushes another bidder to their maximum BidAssist™ amount, you will be required to top that bidder's amount by the next bid increment. The system will not allow you to just match another bidder's maximum bid unless both BidAssist™ amounts are exactly the same. In this rare case only, the first BidAssist™ amount entered into the bidding system wins.

BidAssist™ is now active for the highest bidder after bidding ends if that bidder has chosen to carry over BidAssist™ into the Post Bid phase. For many properties, if the property's reserve price is not met prior to the conclusion of bidding, a Post Bid period will ensue. Post Bidding activity for the property can be monitored at that property's Bid Page under “View Post Bid History. “It is the bidder's responsibility to monitor the activity on the website regarding Post Bids during that time. For the highest bidder at the conclusion of the bidding, the BidAssist™ feature will remain active and protect that bidder to his maximum amount even during the post bid period if he so chooses. This feature is only activated during the initial bidding period if, when a bid is placed, the bidder checks the box to indicate that he wants his BidAssist™ to remain in effect during the Post Bid process. This required box reads:
"Would you like to carry your BidAssist into Post Bid negotiations if you are the High Bidder at the end of the auction and the reserve price has not been met?"

13. Can I wait until the last five minutes to place my bid?

Yes, you can wait until the end of the bidding if you want to, but we highly recommend against waiting that long. You could have computer problems, Internet connection delays, etc. We recommend you place a bid at least two hours before the end of bidding, and we strongly encourage the use of BidAssist . We hear cases every week where a bidder waited until the end to place a bid, did not use BidAssist, and lost a property due to not timing the final bids correctly. BidAssist is the best feature on this website to help make sure you do not overpay for a property, and it will also help ensure that you don’t get beat at the end of bidding when you were willing to pay more money to secure a property. is not responsible for bids that do not make it to the site due to a bidder waiting until the last few minutes of bidding. With BidAssist, placing “last minute” bids is not necessary.

The countdown clock on should be considered accurate but not exact. Many processes can affect what actual time a user sees on their screen such as computer processor speeds, internet connection speeds, etc., so please do not wait until the last few minutes of an auction to place a bid. It is highly recommended that if you intend to place a bid, you should do so early to get a feel for the bidding process, and you should also use BidAssist, a feature designed to allow the computer to bid for you at the end so you are assured of getting your bids placed. If you choose to wait until the last few minutes or seconds of the countdown clock to place your bid and your system lags or your bid does not get placed, RealtyBid bears no responsibility for re-offering the property or causing your bid to be placed for you. If it is determined that there was a system issue that may have prevented a bid from being placed, RealtyBid reserves the right to review all bids and possibly re-open the bidding on a property. This determination will be made on a case by case basis and is at the sole discretion of the company. The intent of is to always provide a fair, level and transparent bidding environment for our consumer audience.

14. Are there any safeguards to prevent “sniping” in the closing moments?

Sniping occurs when a bidder waits until the last few seconds of bidding and times his bid to prevent other bidders from having time to react. The BidAssist feature is designed to protect a bidder in the closing seconds of the bidding, so please learn about BidAssist and use it. It is the most used feature on the site.

15. Who determines the starting bid? has several formulas for generating the starting bid for a property. These formulas factor in the list price, reserve price and location to arrive at a starting bid below the reserve price.

16. Will I have the opportunity to view and inspect the property after my bid?

Yes, you can view the property and have the property inspected after your bid is accepted; however, there is no contingency for inspection, so you should view the property prior to placing any bids. If you default on a property due to property condition AFTER you win the property, you will forfeit your deposit, or you will be charged a $500 default fee. DO NOT BID unless you are sure you are satisfied with the condition of the property.

17. How do I view a property prior to bidding?

To view a property, please contact the property’s listing agent, whose contact information is located on the property’s Bid Page. If the agent is not responsive, please contact RealtyBid’s Customer Service Department, whose contact information is also listed on the Bid Page.

18. Is there a fee to register to bid or to place a bid?

No, there are no fees associated with registration or bidding. The only time a fee is required is when you win a property. At that point, a 5% deposit or $2,000 whichever is greater, is required, unless stated otherwise.

19. As an Agent representing a Buyer, will I be compensated?

Yes, you will be paid the Buyer Agent fee indicated on the property’s Bid Page, unless stated otherwise on the Bid Page.

20. What computer system is required for bidding?

To fully enjoy the use of all features on, please make sure your computer system meets the following requirements:

  1. Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher or Firefox 1.5 or higher
  2. Adobe Flash Player 8 or higher
  3. Javascript enabled
  4. Adobe Reader
  5. If you are a Mac user, try the Firefox browser.

21. Why am I having trouble logging in with the correct login information?

If you are certain that the login information is correct, you may have an issue with your firewall or pop-up blocking software. This site uses pop-up windows and secured servers to gather and process information. Please check your browser settings to ensure pop-ups are allowed and that features such as JavaScript and Flash are not being blocked.

22. Can I use to complete a Short Sale?

Yes, can assist you with achieving a high number of bids at the best market price. Multiple bids will go a long way in proving to the lender that you have worked to obtain the highest price prior to submitting an offer for a short sale.

23. Can I monitor multiple properties from a central location on the site?

Yes, if you are a registered bidder on the site, you can place properties in your My Properties folder and monitor those properties from a single page. Those properties will stay in your My Properties folder for a period of six months.

24. How will I know when the “active” bidding will end?

There is a countdown clock on the property bid page that will let you know how much time is left for bidding. When the clock reaches zero, the active bidding ends. There are no time extensions. If the property has met its reserve price, it is declared Sold, subject to final review. If the property has not met its reserve price, a Post Bid period may begin.

25. How do I know if I’m outbid?

If you are outbid for a property, you should receive an email notification indicating that you have been outbid. You should also receive an alert in your My Alerts folder within your bidder account. In addition, you can always look at the Bid Page under the countdown clock to see the current leading bidder.

26. If I bid on a property and it is no longer on, do I still have to pay the Internet Transaction Fee, or Buyer’s Premium?

Yes, if the property is purchased within 30 days of being on

27. What happens to a property if the reserve is not met by the end of the Post Bid Period?

The property is removed from the website and returned to the Seller. That property is typically put back on the market through a retail marketing effort.

28. Does assign listing agents to the properties?

No, the agents are already assigned by the Seller when they are sent to