Bidding Questions & Answers
For more details around bidding, see below.
What is RealtyBid.com?
RealtyBid.com 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.
Where do these properties come from?
RealtyBid.com has agreements with over 100 national banks and mortgage servicers to provide listings to the site at greatly reduced prices. In addition, RealtyBid.com also allows listings from real estate agents, builders and major corporations.
How do I get notified about properties in my area?
RealtyBid.com 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. RealtyBid.com will not sell your information or spam you with unwanted information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Will you explain the costs involved with purchasing a property?
If you successfully win a property on RealtyBid.com, you will be responsible for the following items:
Bid Price + Internet Transaction Fee (or Buyer’s Premium) + Closing Costs
May I finance a transaction if purchased on RealtyBid.com?
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.
Is there a way to bid without staying in front of my computer?
Bid Assist™ - The Most Useful Tool on RealtyBid.com
Bid Assist™ is an automated bid system designed to enable you to bid during an auction even when you must be away from your computer.
Bid Assist™ is an easy way to temporarily “Set and Forget” bids on RealtyBid.com. When entering your bid amount on the Place a Bid form, simply enter the highest price you're willing to pay for the property in the Bid Assist™ field, and the system will do the rest.
The Bid Assist™ system will automatically bid on your behalf to the next highest bid increment above the competing bidder but will not exceed your highest bid amount entered into the Bid Assist™ system.
If someone outbids you, we'll let you know by email, so you can decide if you want to increase your maximum bid.
For example, if you are the current high bidder with a bid of $100,000 and a set Bid Assist™ of $105,000 and a competing bidder enters an offer of $102,000, the Bid Assist™ system will automatically bid $103,000 for you (assuming a bid increment of $1,000), thus maintaining your position as the high bidder.
Bid Assist™ is used as a tie breaker.
For example, consider this scenario:
- ➡️ The current high bid on a property is $100,000, and that high bidder has set a Bid Assist™ $120,000.
- ➡️ Another bidder places a bid of $120,000 (exactly matching the original bidder’s Bid Assist™ amount).
- OUTCOME: The original high bidder, who set $120,000 Bid Assist™ first, will win the tie breaker and remain as the high bidder with a new high bid amount of $120,000.
• You can tell that a competing bidder has set a Bid Assist™ if there is a blue gavel icon next to their bidder screen name.
• You can choose to carry Bid Assist™ over into Post Auction bidding, but you can ONLY set a Bid Assist™ during the Active Auction. You cannot set a Bid Assist™ during Post Auction.
• Bid Assist™ helps prevent "sniping"(the practice of placing a bid likely to exceed the current highest bid as late as possible—usually seconds before the end of the auction—giving other bidders no time to outbid) at the end of an auction.
Bidding in an auction can be exciting; however, it is a contractual obligation. When you're deciding on your maximum Bid Assist™ amount, be sure you're able and willing to pay that amount (plus any applicable fees) if you win the auction.
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. RealtyBid.com 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 RealtyBid.com 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 RealtyBid.com is to always provide a fair, level and transparent bidding environment for our consumer audience.
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.
Who determines the starting bid?
RealtyBid.com 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.
Will I have the opportunity to view and inspect the property after my bid?
Unless otherwise noted on a property’s Bid Page, 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.
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.
Are there fees associated with registering or bidding on RealtyBid.com?
There is no fee to register on RealtyBid.com, but a $250 bid deposit is required to bid on an online auction. Additionally, when you win a property, you are required to pay a 5% deposit or $2,000 whichever is greater, unless stated otherwise on the property’s bid page.
What is a Bid Deposit?
To bid on a property on RealtyBid.com, a bidder must submit a $250 bid deposit. This bid deposit is a hold placed on a credit or debit card. This hold allows RealtyBid.com to confirm that your account is valid and that you are placing a bid with sincere intent to purchase if you are the winner of the property. The hold will not appear as a charge on your credit card or bank statement unless you are the winning bidder and fail to complete the contract execution process.
Why do I have to place a Bid Deposit?
Bid deposits play an important role in helping RealtyBid.com remain transparent and fair. RealtyBid requires bid deposits to ensure our bidders are serious and legitimate. Bid deposits give all bidders assurance that those who are bidding against them are valid, well-intentioned potential buyers. Bidding against competing bidders who have no intention of buying a property and who have not had to demonstrate their intent with the placement of a bid deposit can result in genuine bidders dropping out of bidding early or inaccurately being informed that they did not win a property. Bid deposits make online bidding safer for everyone, and RealtyBid.com is proud to have one of the lowest bid deposit requirements in online real estate bidding.
When will the Bid Deposit be released?
The bid deposit hold will be released after the auction on which a bidder is bidding has been completed, unless the bidder is the winner of the property. In that case, the bid deposit hold will be released after full execution of the property purchase contract (this includes receipt by RealtyBid of earnest money and all required and applicable purchase documents, including proof of funds, corporate resolutions, etc.). If you are bidding on more than on property, the bid deposit will be held until the conclusion of the final auction on which you are bidding, unless you have won a property for which the sales contract has not yet been fully executed. In other words, you must have no active bids and no active, non-executed sales contracts pending in order for your bid deposit to be released.
What if RealtyBid has released my hold but my credit card or bank statement is still displaying a pending transaction?
Your RealtyBid bid deposit will not appear as a charge on your statement or account but may appear as “pending.” Once RealtyBid releases a bid deposit hold, it will be the policy of the credit card company or bank that determines how quickly the “pending” designation is removed. Some banks may take a day and some may take a few days. You can check your profile page on RealtyBid.com to ensure that it states that you have no hold remaining with RealtyBid and then contact your financial institution to find out how long it will take for the pending designation to be removed on their end.
What if I’m bidding on multiple properties? Do I have to place a separate Bid Deposit for each property?
No, you do not have to place separate bid deposits for each property on which you are bidding. You can bid on multiple properties at the same time with one deposit. If you are bidding on multiple properties on RealtyBid.com at the same time from one account, only one bidder deposit is required. Your bid deposit is valid for all the properties you are bidding on from your individual account as long as the hold is active.
Does RealtyBid.com charge a cancellation fee?
If you, as the winning bidder, do not complete the contract execution process for the property that you won, RealtyBid will retain your $250 bid deposit as a cancellation fee.
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.
- What computer system is required for bidding?
Why am I having trouble logging in with the correct login information?
Can I use RealtyBid.com to complete a Short Sale?
Yes, RealtyBid.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Does RealtyBid.com assign listing agents to the properties?
No, the agents are already assigned by the Seller when they are sent to RealtyBid.com.
What are the different Auction Types on your website?
RealtyBid offers a variety of auction types and displays them separately in order to accommodate our buyers. The bidder requirements, fees, closing documentation, and even sale location may vary, depending upon the auction type. Our current auction offerings include:
- Online Auctions – REO - “Traditional” REO online auctions that most buyers are familiar with. A lender has foreclosed on a property and now holds title (hence the name REO, which stands for Real Estate Owned). The lender is now trying to sell the property to a third party. The buyer is typically responsible for their own closing costs, and title will usually be clear at closing. An Internet Transaction Fee, or “ITF”, will be assessed based upon the purchase price of the property, and is generally calculated as a percentage of the sales price, although sometimes a flat fee is assessed for lower-valued properties. This fee will be disclosed on the property page, so that the buyer is aware of the ITF prior to bidding.
- Online Auctions – CWCOT – Properties that have gone to foreclosure sale and reverted (sold back) to the bank, but the bank does not hold title. CWCOT stands for Claims Without Conveyance of Title and is a government program established by HUD, whereby the bank forecloses on a property and then tries to sell it to a third party prior to a deadline established by HUD. If they do not meet this deadline, the property will be conveyed to HUD and removed from RealtyBid’s site. There are no ITFs for CWCOT Online Auctions, and any outstanding liens or encumbrances may be the responsibility of the buyer. Accordingly, title may be conveyed via a Quit Claim Deed, although many buyers are able to get a Special Warranty Deed if they are willing to pay the additional cost at closing. Buyers may also be responsible for some closing costs or outstanding fees that are not associated with a traditional REO purchase.
- All Online Auctions – Includes both REO and CWCOT in the search results. Whether an auction is REO or CWCOT will be displayed above the property address in the search results and on the property page.
- Live Foreclosure Sales – Foreclosure sales that are conducted at the county courthouse. RealtyBid markets the sale for our Sellers and has local trustees that conduct the sales on or near the local county courthouse steps. Specific sale location is provided on each property page in the Trustee Sale Details section, along with sale bidding requirements. The foreclosing attorney information is also provided in case buyers have additional questions. Please note that buyers are responsible for conducting their own due diligence prior to the sale (although RealtyBid can provide additional fee-based services upon request), and typically must have cash on hand at the time of purchase. There are no ITFs or transaction fees due to RealtyBid at the time of, or as a result of, any live foreclosure sale purchase. Depending on the loan type of the property being foreclosed upon, if the property does not sell third party at the live foreclosure sale, it may then be listed on RealtyBid’s website as a CWCOT Online Auction property, so be sure to check back post-sale.
- Local County Online Foreclosure Sales – Foreclosure sales that are conducted by the county online through a county-affiliated website. RealtyBid market the property for our Sellers and provides a link to the county foreclosure website where bidders can register and place bids once the sale is active. As with live foreclosure sales, buyers are responsible for conducting their own due diligence prior to the sale (although RealtyBid can provide additional fee-based services upon request), and typically must provide funds to close at the time of purchase. There are no ITFs or transaction fees due to RealtyBid at the time of, or as a result of, any local county online foreclosure sale purchase. Depending on the loan type of the property being foreclosed upon, if the property does not sell third party at the county online foreclosure sale, it may then be listed on RealtyBid’s website as a CWCOT Online Auction property, so be sure to check back post-sale.
What does "Occupied" mean for me? Can I view it?
It is unlawful to trespass on any property if it is Occupied, so there is no way to view it. A property being Occupied is one reason Sellers may ask for “Cash Only” offers, as a lender would require an inspection and appraisal, which are not possible if the property is Occupied. If the property is vacant and the Seller has added a lockbox, RealtyBid may provide the lockbox code to a bidder’s representative real estate agent. A licensed real estate agent must email a request for the lockbox code to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the name of the real estate company they work for and their license number. Once this request has been received and the license information validated, the agent will be provided with the lockbox code, and they can help you gain entry to view the property.
What Happens if it’s still Occupied When I Close?
If a property is Occupied at closing, it will be the new buyer's responsibility to evict the tenants. RealtyBid recommends that you contact a real estate attorney in your area to educate yourself on the eviction laws in your area before you place a bid.
Why Doesn't the Seller Evict?
The Seller may be in the process of eviction while the property is at auction, but if they receive a sales contract, they will stop the eviction process and the new buyer is responsible for the eviction once the sale of the property is closed. It is important to remember not to contact or disturb the tenants until you have closed on the property. RealtyBid recommends that you contact a real estate attorney in your area to educate yourself on the eviction laws in your area before you place a bid.
Will I Get Clear Title?/Can I Get Title Insurance?
Title to an asset may be conveyed to the Buyer via quitclaim deed or its equivalent and with no express or implied warranties of title. Buyers are strongly encouraged to do their due diligence prior to placing a bid or attending a local or online county foreclosure sale. Although most Sellers will attempt to ensure clear title by the closing date, that is not always the case. Buyer may be able to obtain a special warranty deed, at Seller's discretion, if Buyer purchases an owner's title insurance policy.
Do I have to pay closing costs?
Closing costs will vary depending upon the type of property purchased. For instance, closing costs for live trustee auction and online county foreclosure auction properties will be different than those included in an online REO transaction. In most post-foreclosure transaction, the Seller will pay for all municipal services and public utility charges, including past due taxes, HOA liens, and municipal/utility liens, through the day of possession by the buyer. The Seller will also prorate property taxes and HOA fees, if applicable, through the day of closing. There may be exceptions to these rules, which will be indicated on the individual property page in the disclosures section.
The buyer is responsible for the premium for the owner’s title insurance policy, if purchased. The buyer will also pay the cost of all notary fees, conveyance and recording costs, all document preparation and recording fees, survey, title fees, and attorney’s fees, as well as any recordation tax and any state or local transfer tax. Should the buyer purchase title insurance, the seller will convey title as a special/limited warranty deed; otherwise, title will be conveyed via quitclaim deed. Title will not be conveyed via general warranty.