Glossary of Terms


  • Absentee Bid – A way to bid without attending the auction in-person: phone-in, written, or online bidding. Check with us before auction day to see what types of absentee bidding are available for a given auction.
  • Absolute or No Reserve – This term means that the asset (Either Real Estate or Personal Property) sells to the Highest Bidder, regardless of Price and Free of all Liens and Encumbrances. No Minimum Bid or Reserve Price may be allowed by the Seller in any circumstance.
  • Acreage – A parcel of land that is one acre or larger with a home or dwelling attached to the property.
  • After Sale Offers – Bids placed after an auction has closed on items that did not sell.
  • All 1 Money – All assets in the lot are sold as one bid.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – The cost of a loan or other financing as an annual rate. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay.
  • Annuity – An amount paid yearly or at other regular intervals, often at a guaranteed minimum amount. Also, a type of insurance policy in which the policy holder makes payments for a fixed period or until a stated age, and then receives annuity payments from the insurance company.
  • Application Fee – The fee that a mortgage lender or broker charges to apply for a mortgage to cover processing costs.
  • Appraisal – The act of or process of estimating value.
  • Appreciation – An increase in the market value of a home due to changing market conditions and / or home improvements.
  • As-Is – Asset is being sold in its current condition, without warranty or guarantee either expressed or implied. It is the responsibility of the Buyer to thoroughly inspect assets. ALL PURCHASES ARE FINAL.
  • Assessed Value – Typically the value placed on property for the purpose of taxation.
  • Assessor – A public official who establishes the value of a property for taxation purposes.
  • Asset – Anything of monetary value that is owned by a person or company. Assets include real property, personal property, stocks, mutual funds, etc.
  • Assumable Mortgage – A mortgage loan that can be taken over (assumed) by the buyer when a home is sold. An assumption of a mortgage is a transaction in which the buyer of real property takes over the seller's existing mortgage; the seller remains liable unless released by the lender from the obligation. If the mortgage contains a due-on-sale clause, the loan may not be assumed without the lender's consent.
  • Assumption – A homebuyer’s agreement to take on the primary responsibility for paying an existing mortgage from a home seller. 
  • Assumption Fee – A fee a lender charges a buyer who will assume the seller’s existing mortgage. 
  • Auction – The sale of property that takes place in a public forum, involving open and competitive bidding.
  • Auction Block – The designated space where an auctioneer is while conducting the auction and / or where an item is located that the auctioneer is currently selling during an auction.
  • Auctioneer – The person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction. This person may or may not auction call or cry the auction.
  • Automated Underwriting – An automated process performed by a technology application that streamlines the processing of loan applications and provides a recommendation to the lender to approve the loan or refer it for manual underwriting. 


  • Balloon Mortgage – A mortgage with monthly payments often based on a 30-year amortization schedule, with the unpaid balance due in a lump sum payment at the end of a specific period of time (usually 5 or 7 years). The mortgage may contain an option to “reset” the interest rate to the current market rate and to extend the due date if certain conditions are met. 
  • Balloon Payment – A final lump sum payment that is due, often at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage. 
  • Bankruptcy – Legally declared unable to pay your debts. Bankruptcy can severely impact your credit and your ability to borrow money. 
  • Bid – A prospective buyer's indication or offer of a price he or she will pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.
  • Bid Caller – The person who "calls," "cries," or "auctions" the property at an auction, recognizing bidders and acknowledging the highest bidder. Commonly known as the auctioneer.
  • Bid Increment – The amount by which the auctioneer increases the bidding.
  • Bidder Number – The identification number issued to each person who registers at an auction.
  • Blocked Bidder – The action of preventing a specific bidder from participating in single or future auctions, often by the seller's request.
  • Bona Fide – In good faith, without fraud. 
  • Bought-In or Passed – If there are no bids on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the reserve price, the lot is "bought-in" or "passed", meaning it is left unsold and remains the property of the owner.
  • Box Lot – A box (or beer flat) full of items to be sold together during an auction.
  • Bridge Loan – A short-term loan secured by the borrower’s current home (which is usually for sale) that allows the proceeds to be used for building or closing on a new house before the current home is sold. Also known as a “swing loan.” 
  • Broker – An individual or firm that acts as an agent between providers and users of products or services, such as a mortgage broker or real estate broker. See also “Mortgage Broker.” 
  • Building Code – Local regulations that set forth the standards and requirements for the construction, maintenance and occupancy of buildings. The codes are designed to provide for the safety, health and welfare of the public. 
  • Bull Pen – An area where the auction staff secures smaller purchases.
  • Buy-In Rate – The percentage of the total lots that were offered in a sale, but failed to sell.
  • Buydown – An arrangement whereby the property developer or another third party provides an interest subsidy to reduce the borrower’s monthly payments typically in the early years of the loan. 
  • Buyer’s Premium – A percentage added on to the final bid / hammer price to help spread the cost of the event with the people who benefit most from the opportunity to purchase; the buyer. [i.e. $ 100.00 plus 10% Buyer’s Premium ($10.00) = $ 110.00].


  • CAI – Certified Auctioneers Institute. The professional designation awarded to practicing auctioneers who meet the experiential, educational, and ethical standards set by the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute.
  • Cash-out Refinance – A refinance transaction in which the borrower receives additional funds over and above the amount needed to repay the existing mortgage, closing costs, points, and any subordinate liens. 
  • Catalog – If we have a catalog available to you, be sure to get one. It can help you to know the description and the order of the items being sold.
  • Certificate of Authenticity (COA) – An additional document created by an artist or artist's estate to be sold with their works. It typically includes the artist's information and/or signature and identifies the materials, processes, and techniques used to create an object.
  • Certificate of Deposit – A document issued by a bank or other financial institution that is evidence of a deposit, with the issuer’s promise to return the deposit plus earnings at a specified interest rate within a specified time period. 
  • Certificate of Eligibility – A document issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) certifying a veteran’s eligibility for a VA-guaranteed mortgage loan. 
  • Chain of Title – The history of all of the documents that have transferred title to a parcel of real property, starting with the earliest existing document and ending with the most recent. 
  • Choice – A method of sale whereby the the successful high bidder wins the right to choose a property or properties from a grouping of similar or like-kind properties. After the high bidder's selection, the property is removed from the group, and the second round of bidding commences, with the high bidder in round two choosing a property, which is then removed from the group and so on, until all properties are sold.
  • Clear Title – Ownership that is free of liens, defects, or other legal encumbrances. 
  • Clerk – The person who is responsible for the accounting and paperwork at an auction sale.
  • Close – The predetermined time that an online only auction and the lots within will end. Bidding can either end immediately "Hard Close" or be extended "Soft Close." 
  • Closing – The process of completing a financial transaction. For mortgage loans, the process of signing mortgage documents, disbursing funds, and, if applicable, transferring ownership of the property. In some jurisdictions, closing is referred to as “escrow,” a process by which a buyer and seller deliver legal documents to a third party who completes the transaction in accordance with their instructions. 
  • Closing Agent – The person or entity that coordinates the various closing activities, including the preparation and recordation of closing documents and the disbursement of funds. (May be referred to as an escrow agent or settlement agent in some jurisdictions.) Typically, the closing is conducted by title companies, escrow companies or attorneys. 
  • Closing Costs – The upfront fees charged in connection with a mortgage loan transaction. Money paid by a buyer (and/or seller or other third party, if applicable) to effect the closing of a mortgage loan, generally including, but not limited to a loan origination fee, title examination and insurance, survey, attorney’s fee, and prepaid items, such as escrow deposits for taxes and insurance. 
  • Closing Date – The date on which the sale of a property is to be finalized and a loan transaction completed. Often, a real estate sales professional coordinates the setting of this date with the buyer, the seller, the closing agent, and the lender. 
  • Co-Borrower – Any borrower other than the first borrower whose name appears on the application and mortgage note, even when that person owns the property jointly with the first borrower and shares liability for the note. 
  • Collateral – An asset that is pledged as security for a loan. The borrower risks losing the asset if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the loan agreement. In the case of a mortgage, the collateral would be the house and real property. 
  • Collusion or Marrying – The illegal practice among two or more buyers who collectively agree not to bid against each other so that they can win lots at lower prices. This unethical practice, which allows a small group of individuals to dominate a certain market, is often difficult to prevent.
  • Commission – The fee charged to the seller by the auction company for providing services, usually a percentage of the gross selling price of the property plus any additional services established by contract, in the listing agreement, prior to the auction.
  • Commitment Letter – A binding offer from your lender that includes the amount of the mortgage, the interest rate, and repayment terms. 
  • Comparables – An abbreviation for “comparable properties,” which are used as a comparison in determining the current value of a property that is being appraised. 
  • Competing Bids – Before and during a sale, an auction house accepts competing bids for a lot from absentee bidders, phone bidders, online bidders, and in-person bidders.
  • Concession – Something given up or agreed to in negotiating the sale of a house. For example, the sellers may agree to help pay for closing costs. 
  • Consignor – The owner who is transferring property to an auction house to act as agent on his or her behalf for sale.
  • Contingency – A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a home inspection contingency; the sales contract is not binding unless and until the purchaser has the home inspected. 
  • Cooperative (Co-op) Project – A project in which a corporation holds title to a residential property and sells shares to individual buyers, who then receive a proprietary lease as their title. 
  • Counter-Offer – An offer made in response to a previous offer. For example, after the buyer presents their first offer, the seller may make a counter-offer with a slightly higher sale price. 
  • Credit – The ability of a person to borrow money, or buy goods by paying over time. Credit is extended based on a lender’s opinion of the person’s financial situation and reliability, among other factors. 
  • Credit History – Information in the files of a credit bureau, primarily comprised of a list of individual consumer debts and a record of whether or not these debts were paid back on time or “as agreed.” Your credit history is called a credit report when provided by a credit bureau to a lender or other business. 
  • Credit Report – Information provided by a credit bureau that allows a lender or other business to examine your use of credit. It provides information on money that you’ve borrowed from credit institutions and your payment history. 
  • Creditor – A person who extends credit to whom you owe money. 


  • Debt – Money owed from one person or institution to another person or institution. 
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio – The percentage of gross monthly income that goes toward paying for your monthly housing expense, alimony, child support, car payments and other installment debts, and payments on revolving or open-ended accounts, such as credit cards. 
  • Deed – The legal document transferring ownership or title to a property.
  • Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure – The transfer of title from a borrower to the lender to satisfy the mortgage debt and avoid foreclosure. Also called a “voluntary conveyance.” 
  • Deed of Trust – A legal document in which the borrower transfers the title to a third party (trustee) to hold as security for the lender. When the loan is paid in full, the trustee transfers title back to the borrower. If the borrower defaults on the loan the trustee will sell the property and pay the lender the mortgage debt.
  • Default – Failure to fulfill a legal obligation. A default includes failure to pay on a financial obligation, but also may be a failure to perform some action or service that is non-monetary. For example, when leasing a car, the lessee is usually required to properly maintain the car. 
  • Delinquency – Failure to make a payment when it is due. The condition of a loan when a scheduled payment has not been received by the due date, but generally used to refer to a loan for which payment is 30 or more days past due. 
  • Depreciation – A decline in the value of a house due to changing market conditions or lack of upkeep of an asset or a company's depreciation schedule.
  • Down Payment – A portion of the price of a home not borrowed and paid up-front in cash.
  • Due-on-Sale Clause – A provision in a mortgage that allows the lender to demand repayment in full of the outstanding balance if the property securing the mortgage is sold. 


  • Earnest Money Deposit – The deposit to show that you’re committed to buying the home. The deposit usually will not be refunded to you after the seller accepts your offer, unless one of the sales contract contingencies is not fulfilled. 
  • Easement – A right to the use of, or access to, land owned by another. 
  • Encroachment – The intrusion onto another’s property without right or permission. 
  • Encumbrance – Any claim on a property, such as a lien, mortgage or easement. 
  • Equity – The value in your home above the total amount of the liens against your home. If you owe $100,000 on your house but it is worth $130,000, you have $30,000 of equity. 
  • Escrow – An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate. 
  • Escrow Account – An account that a mortgage servicer establishes on behalf of a borrower to pay taxes, insurance premiums, or other charges when they are due. Sometimes referred to as an “impound” or “reserve” account. 
  • Estate Auction – The sale of property left by a person at his or her death. They can involve the sale of personal property and / or real property.
  • Estimate – The price range (from low to high) given to a lot by auction house experts, which reflects what the lot might sell for at auction.
  • Eviction – The legal act of removing someone from real property. 
  • Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing – The traditional kind of listing agreement under which the property owner appoints a real estate broker (known as the listing broker) as exclusive agent to sell the property on the owner’s stated terms, and agrees to pay the listing broker a commission when the property is sold, regardless of whether the buyer is found by the broker, the owner or another broker. This is the kind of listing agreement that is commonly used by a listing broker to provide the traditional full range of real estate brokerage services. If a second real estate broker (known as a selling broker) finds the buyer for the property, then some commission will be paid to the selling broker. 
  • Exclusive Agency Listing – A listing agreement under which a real estate broker (known as the listing broker) acts as an exclusive agent to sell the property for the property owner, but may be paid a reduced or no commission when the property is sold if, for example, the property owner rather than the listing broker finds the buyer. This kind of listing agreement can be used to provide the owner a limited range of real estate brokerage services rather than the traditional full range. As with other kinds of listing agreements, if a second real estate broker (known as a selling broker) finds the buyer for the property, then some commission will be paid to the selling broker. 
  • Executor – A person named in a will and approved by a probate court to administer the deposition of an estate in accordance with the instructions of the will.
  • Expert – A general term used to refer to professionals that have extensive or authoritative knowledge and / or skills in a particular field.


  • Fair Market Value – A term frequently used by appraisers referring to their judgment and opinion about an object's likely sale price if offered by a willing seller to a willing buyer. Since the auction process is open to all bidders, a sale at auction is considered to be a measure of Fair Market Value.
  • Fair Warning – A warning sometimes given by the auctioneer that the hammer is about to come down on a lot. The fair warning offers one last chance to increase the bidding. If there are no subsequent bids, the auctioneer's hammer falls and the sale is completed.
  • Final Selling Price – Hammer Price plus Buyer's Premium.
  • Flood Insurance – Insurance that compensates for physical property damage resulting from flooding. It is required for properties located in federally designated flood hazard zones. 
  • Floor or Auction Floor – The physical space where bidders congregate to place their bids with the ring men or auctioneer.
  • Foreclosure – A legal action that ends all ownership rights in a home when the homebuyer fails to make the mortgage payments or is otherwise in default under the terms of the mortgage. 
  • Forfeiture – The loss of money, property, rights, or privileges due to a breach of a legal obligation. 


  • Gavel – Another name for the auctioneer's hammer used to close the bidding.
  • Good-Faith Estimate – A form required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) that discloses an estimate of the amount or range of charges, for specific settlement services the borrower is likely to incur in connection with the mortgage transaction. 
  • Grading – The process of determining the physical condition of an item that is to be sold.
  • Ground Rent – Payment for the use of land when title to a property is held as a leasehold estate (that is, the borrower does not actually own the property, but has a long-term lease on it). 


  • Hammer Price – Price established by the last bidder and acknowledged by the auctioneer before dropping the hammer or gavel. Be sure to read the Sale Terms to find any additional fees that may be associated with the purchase of any given item.
  • Hard Close – When no additional bids will be accepted after the hammer falls at an in-person auction or after the original amount of bidding time has concluded in an online only auction.
  • Hazard Insurance – Insurance coverage that compensates for physical damage to a property from fire, wind, vandalism, or other covered hazards or natural disasters. 
  • Home Inspection – A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. The inspection should include an evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation and pest infestation. 
  • Homeowner’s Insurance – A policy that protects you and the lender from fire or flood, which damages the structure of the house; a liability, such as an injury to a visitor to your home; or damage to your personal property, such as your furniture, clothes or appliances.
  • Homeowner’s Warranty (HOW) – Insurance offered by a seller that covers certain home repairs and fixtures for a specified period of time. 


  • In-Person Auction – An auction that is held in a physical space with bidders present.
  • Income Property – Real estate developed or purchased to produce income, such as a rental unit. 
  • Inflation – An increase in prices. 
  • Inquiry – A request for a copy of your credit report by a lender or other business, often when you fill out a credit application and/or request more credit. Too many inquiries on a credit report can hurt your credit score; however, most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquiries from auto or mortgage lenders within a short period of time. 
  • Inspection or Preview – A designated time for any potential buyers to physically take a look at each asset prior to the auction's completion. Buyers should do their own due diligence prior to bidding on any asset.
  • Installment – The regular periodic payment that a borrower agrees to make to a lender. 
  • Insurance Value – The cost to replace an item, which depends on the current worth of the item.
  • Internet Bid – During a simulcast auction, bidders may participate via the internet. An auction assistant monitors the incoming bids on a computer and relays the bid information to the auctioneer.
  • Investment Property – A property purchased to generate rental income, tax benefits, or profitable resale rather than to serve as the borrower’s primary residence. Contrast with “second home.”


  • Judgment Lien – A lien on the property of a debtor resulting from the decree of a court. 
  • Junior Mortgage – A loan that is subordinate to the primary loan or first-lien mortgage loan, such as a second or third mortgage. 


  • Knocked Down – An auction house term for the hammer coming down and ending the bidding, as in, "The lot was knocked down at $100,000."


  • Lease-Purchase Option – An option sometimes used by sellers to rent a property to a consumer, who has the option to buy the home within a specified period of time. Typically, part of each rental payment is put aside for the purpose of accumulating funds to pay the down payment and closing costs.
  • Liabilities – A person’s debts and other financial obligations. 
  • Liability Insurance – Insurance coverage that protects property owners against claims of negligence, personal injury or property damage to another party. 
  • Lien – A claim or charge on property for payment of a debt. With a mortgage, the lender has the right to take the title to your property if you don’t make the mortgage payments. 
  • Line – Any grouping of items to be sold in order. There may be multiple lines running simultaneously in a given auction. In the case of multiple lines, two or more auctioneers will be selling different items at the same time. If it says there will be more than one line, it is a good idea to bring a couple of friends to bid on items in separate lines.
  • Liquid Asset – A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash. 
  • Liquidation – The selling of all items owned by a business.
  • Loan Origination – The process by which a loan is made, which may include taking a loan application, processing and underwriting the application, and closing the loan.
  • Loan Origination Fees – Fees paid to your mortgage lender or broker for processing the mortgage application. This fee is usually in the form of points. One point equals one percent of the mortgage amount. 
  • Lot – An individual object or group of objects offered for sale at auction as a single unit.
  • Lot Number – The specific number assigned to a lot in an auction. Auction, and their corresponding catalogs, typically proceed in numerical sequence by lot number.


  • Manufactured Housing – Homes that are built entirely in a factory in accordance with a federal building code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Manufactured homes may be singleor multi-section and are transported from the factory to a site and installed. Homes that are permanently affixed to a foundation often may be classified as real property under applicable state law, and may be financed with a mortgage. Homes that are not permanently affixed to a foundation generally are classified as personal property, and are financed with a retail installment sales agreement. 
  • Market Value – The current value of your asset based on what a purchaser would pay. An appraisal is sometimes used to determine market value. 
  • Marrying or Collusion – The illegal practice among two or more buyers who collectively agree not to bid against each other so that they can win lots at lower prices. This unethical practice, which allows a small group of individuals to dominate a certain market, is often difficult to prevent.
  • Maturity Date – The date on which a mortgage loan is scheduled to be paid in full, as stated in the note. 
  • Maximum Bid – In an online or simulcast auction, when a bidder enters a bid that is higher than the asking bid. A maximum bid will not be realized until a lot is naturally bid up to the maximum bid amount. In the case of an online maximum bid being the exact amount of a bid received in-person, the auctioneer will nearly always acknowledge the in-person bid over the online maximum bid.
  • Modification – Any change to the terms of a mortgage loan, including changes to the interest rate, loan balance, or loan term. 
  • Mortgage – A loan using your home as collateral. In some states the term mortgage is also used to describe the document you sign (to grant the lender a lien on your home). It also may be used to indicate the amount of money you borrow, with interest, to purchase your house. The amount of your mortgage often is the purchase price of the home minus your down payment. 
  • Mortgage Broker – An individual or firm that brings borrowers and lenders together for the purpose of loan origination. A mortgage broker typically takes loan applications and may process loans. A mortgage broker also may close the loan. 
  • Mortgage Insurance (MI) – Insurance that protects lenders against losses caused by a borrower’s default on a mortgage loan. MI typically is required if the borrower’s down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price. 
  • Mortgage Lender – The lender providing funds for a mortgage. Lenders also manage the credit and financial information review, the property and the loan application process through closing. 
  • Mortgagee – The institution or individual to whom a mortgage is given. 
  • Mortgagor – The owner of real estate who pledges property as security for the repayment of a debt; the borrower. 
  • Multifamily Properties – Typically, buildings with five or more dwelling units. 


  • National Auctioneers Association – An association of individual auctioneers united to promote the mutual interests of its members; formulate and maintain ethical standards for the auction profession; promote the enactment of just and reasonable laws, ordinances, and regulations affecting auctions selling; make the public more aware of the advantages of the auction method of selling; and generally improve the business conditions affecting the auction profession. 
  • Negative Amortization – An increase in the balance of a loan caused by adding unpaid interest to the loan balance; this occurs when the payment does not cover the interest due. 
  • No Reserve or Absolute – This term means that the asset (Either Real Estate or Personal Property) sells to the Highest Bidder, regardless of Price and Free of all Liens and Encumbrances. No Minimum Bid or Reserve Price may be allowed by the Seller in any circumstance.
  • Non-Liquid Asset – An asset that cannot easily be converted into cash. 
  • Note – A written promise to pay a specified amount under the agreed upon conditions. 


  • Offer – A formal bid from the home buyer to the home seller to purchase a home. 
  • On-Site Auction – An auction conducted on the premises of the property being sold.
  • Online Only Auction – A timed auction that is automated and takes place solely online. The opening bid, duration of the auction, whether the auction will be a soft close or a hard close, and bidding increments are set by the auctioneer ahead of time. Bidding generally starts when an auction is posted and will start closing at each item's predetermined closing time. See "Hard Close" and "Soft Close."
  • Open House – When the seller’s real estate agent opens the seller’s house to the public. You don’t need a real estate agent to attend an open house. 
  • Opening Bid – The first bid offered by a bidder at an auction.
  • Original Principal Balance – The total amount of principal owed on a mortgage before any payments are made. 
  • Origination Fee – A fee paid to a lender or broker to cover the administrative costs of processing a loan application. The origination fee typically is stated in the form of points. One point is one percent of the mortgage amount. 
  • Owner Financing – A transaction in which the property seller provides all or part of the financing for the buyer’s purchase of the property. 
  • Owner-Occupied Property – A property that serves as the borrower’s primary residence. 


  • Paddle or Bidder Card – An object displaying the number assigned to a bidder when he or she registers at the auction. To place a bid, simply raise your paddle until the auctioneer acknowledges you. If you win the auction, your paddle number is recorded alongside your bid. To pay for your purchases, you will need to bring your paddle to the cashier.
  • Passed or Bought-In – If there are no bids on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the reserve price, the lot is "bought-in" or "passed", meaning it is left unsold and remains the property of the owner.
  • Personal Property – Movable property; belongings exclusive of land and buildings.
  • Phone Bid or Telephone Bid – A bid placed over the phone with an auction house staff member who is present at the auction and can bid on the buyer's behalf.
  • Planned Unit Development (PUD) – A real estate project in which individuals hold title to a residential lot and home while the common facilities are owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association for the benefit and use of the individual PUD unit owners. 
  • Point – One percent of the amount of the mortgage loan. For example, if a loan is made for $50,000, one point equals $500. 
  • Power of Attorney – A legal document that authorizes another person to act on one’s behalf. A power of attorney can grant complete authority or can be limited to certain acts and/or certain periods of time. 
  • Principal – The amount of money borrowed or the amount of the loan that has not yet been repaid to the lender. This does not include the interest you will pay to borrow that money. The principal balance (sometimes called the outstanding or unpaid principal balance) is the amount owed on the loan minus the amount you’ve repaid.
  • Promissory Note – A written promise to repay a specified amount over a specified period of time. 
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement – A document that details the price and conditions for a transaction. In connection with the sale of a residential property, the agreement typically would include: information about the property to be sold, sale price, down payment, earnest money deposit, financing, closing date, occupancy date, length of time the offer is valid, and any special contingencies. 



  • Ratified Sales Contract – A contract that shows both you and the seller of the house have agreed to your offer. This offer may include sales contingencies, such as obtaining a mortgage of a certain type and rate, getting an acceptable inspection, making repairs, closing by a certain date, etc. 
  • Real Estate Professional – An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. The real estate professional is paid a percentage of the home sale price by the seller. Unless you’ve specifically contracted with a buyer’s agent, the real estate professional represents the interest of the seller. Real estate professionals may be able to refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers, but are generally not involved in the lending process. 
  • Real Property – Fixed property, principally land and buildings.
  • Recorder – The public official who keeps records of transactions that affect real property in the area. Sometimes known as a “Registrar of Deeds” or “County Clerk.” 
  • Recording – The filing of a lien or other legal documents in the appropriate public record. 
  • Registering for Auction – The act of accepting the Terms and Conditions in order to participate in an auction.
  • Remaining Term – The original number of payments due on the loan minus the number of payments that have been made. 
  • Removed Lot or Withdrawn Lot – A lot that has been removed from a sale prior to an auction.
  • Rescission – The cancellation or annulment of a transaction or contract by operation of law or by mutual consent. Borrowers have a right to cancel certain mortgage refinance and home equity transactions within three business days after closing, or for up to three years in certain instances. 
  • Reserve – The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a property to be sold at auction. Also know as the reserve price.
  • Results – Soon after every auction, the selling prices, known as the results, are posted online. We do not include any buyer's premiums in our results.
  • Retirement Auction – An auction where the seller is liquidating selected assets that were previous used to conduct their business.
  • Right of First Refusal – A provision in an agreement that requires the owner of a property to give another party the first opportunity to purchase or lease the property before he or she offers it for sale or lease to others. 
  • Ring Man – A person designated to notify the auctioneer that a bid has been placed. It as at the auctioneer's discretion to accept the bid.
  • Runner-Up Bidder or Under Bidder – A term sometimes used to describe someone who bid the second highest amount, just below the winning bid, at auction. In the case of choice lot offerings, the under bidder is offered the opportunity to purchase a lot at the same price as the high bidder if there are any remaining lots in the choice offering.
  • Rural Housing Service (RHS) – An agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which operates a range of programs to help rural communities and individuals by providing loan and grants for housing and community facilities. The agency also works with private lenders to guarantee loans for the purchase or construction of singlefamily housing. 


  • Sale-Leaseback – A transaction in which the buyer leases the property back to the seller for a specified period of time. 
  • Sealed Bid – A method of sale where confidential bids are submitted to be opened at a predetermined place and time. Not a true auction in that it does not allow for reaction from the competitive market place.
  • Secured Loan – A loan that is backed by property such as a house, car, jewelry, etc. 
  • Securities – A financial form that shows the holder owns a share or shares of a company (stock) or has loaned money to a company or government organization (bond). 
  • Security – The property that will be given or pledged as collateral for a loan. 
  • Seller – Entity that has legal possession, (ownership) of any interests, benefits or rights inherent to the real or personal property being sold.
  • Seller Take-Back – An agreement in which the seller of a property provides financing to the buyer for the home purchase. See also “Owner Financing.” 
  • Servicer – A firm that performs servicing functions, including collecting mortgage payments, paying the borrower’s taxes and insurance and generally managing borrower escrow accounts. 
  • Servicing – The tasks a lender performs to protect the mortgage investment, including the collection of mortgage payments, escrow administration, and delinquency management. 
  • Settlement – The process of completing a loan transaction at which time the mortgage documents are signed and then recorded, funds are disbursed, and the property is transferred to the buyer (if applicable). Also called closing or escrow in different jurisdictions. See also “Closing” 
  • Settlement Statement – A document that lists all closing costs on a consumer mortgage transaction. 
  • Simulcast – When a live auction is also being offered simultaneously on an online bidding platform.
  • Single-Family Properties – One- to four-unit properties including detached homes, townhouses, condominiums, and cooperatives, and manufactured homes attached to a permanent foundation and classified as real property under applicable state law. 
  • Smalls – Items that can be carried single-handedly, typically glassware and collectibles.
  • SMS Alerts – Alerts sent via text message to your mobile device to relay important information regarding an auction and / or items in an auction.
  • Soft Close – This applies to Online Only Auctions. Not all items close at the same time. Depending on the number of lots in the catalog, so many lots will close every few minutes. If a bid is received within a given amount of time of an item closing, the bidding time will be extended.
  • Specialist – Generally refers to a person who is an expert in a specific subject and / or field of collecting.
  • Starting Price – The lowest price a seller will accept for the sale of his or her item (unless a reserve price exists). Auction bidding generally starts at this price.
  • Subordinate Financing – Any mortgage or other lien with lower priority than the first mortgage. 
  • Survey – A precise measurement of a property by a licensed surveyor, showing legal boundaries of a property and the dimensions and location of improvements. 


  • Tax –State and City (if applicable) Sales Tax will be charged on purchases in Nebraska unless you provide Jack Nitz & Associates with a Resale Tax Number and fill out Form 13. Tax is not charged on titled vehicles, food or currency. You may fill out a Form 13 for Ag Equipment that qualifies. See Our Bidder Guide for Ag Tax Exemption Qualifications & Guidelines.
  • Tax Exempt I.D. Number – The number given to you by the state in order to prove that you do not have to pay sales tax on a given property.
  • Tax Sale – Public sale of property by government authority due to nonpayment of property taxes.
  • Taxes and Insurance – Funds collected as part of the borrower’s monthly payment and held in escrow for the payment of the borrower’s, or funds paid by the borrower for, state and local property taxes and insurance premiums. 
  • Telephone Bid or Phone Bid – A bid placed over the phone with an auction house staff member who is present at the auction and can bid on the buyer's behalf.
  • Termite Inspection – An inspection to determine whether a property has termite infestation or termite damage. In many parts of the country, a home must be inspected for termites before it can be sold. 
  • Terms and Conditions – The legal statements that govern the conduction of an auction, including acceptable methods of payment, terms, buyer's premiums, possession, reserves, and any other limiting factors of an auction. These can be found online under the listing of an auction and / or heard in-person before the auction begins.
  • Third-Party Origination – A process by which a lender uses another party to completely or partially originate, process, underwrite, close, fund, or package a mortgage loan. See also “Mortgage Broker.” 
  • Tie Bids – When two or more bidders bid the exact same amount at the same time. In an in-person scenario, it is at the auctioneer's discretion as to whose bid he will accept. In an online only auction, the software recognizes whose bid came in first to within fractions of a second. In a simulcast auction, when an in-person bidder bids at the same time as an online bidder, the tie goes to the in-person bidder.
  • Title – The right to, and the ownership of, property. A title or deed is sometimes used as proof of ownership of land. 
  • Title Insurance – Insurance that protects lenders and homeowners against legal problems with the title. 
  • Title Search – A check of the public records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and to identify any liens or claims against the property.
  • Tract – A large piece of land that is designated or identified as a distinct unit for legal, administrative, or surveying purposes.
  • Transfer Tax – State or local tax payable when title to property passes from one owner to another. 
  • Two- to Four- Family Property – A residential property that provides living space (dwelling units) for two to four families, although ownership of the structure is evidenced by a single deed; a loan secured by such a property is considered to be a single-family mortgage. 
  • Types of Payments Accepted – This can range from cash only to cashier's checks or personal checks and credit / debit cards. You will need a positive ID, such as a driver's license or other government ID, when you register for the first time.


  • Under Bidder or Runner-Up Bidder – A term sometimes used to describe someone who bid the second highest amount, just below the winning bid, at auction. In the case of choice lot offerings, the under bidder is offered the opportunity to purchase a lot at the same price as the high bidder if there are any remaining lots in the choice offering.
  • Underwriting – The process used to determine loan approval. It involves evaluating the property and the borrower’s credit and ability to pay the mortgage. 
  • Unsecured Loan – A loan that is not backed by collateral. 


  • VA Guaranteed Loan – A mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 


  • Walk-Through – A common clause in a sales contract that allows the buyer to examine the property being purchased at a specified time immediately before the closing, for example, within the 24 hours before closing. 
  • Warranties – Written guarantees of the quality of a product and the promise to repair or replace defective parts free of charge. 
  • Where-Is – Any item that will not be moved by the auction company without the applicable fee that is disclosed in the Terms and Conditions of the auction.
  • White Glove Sale – An auction in which each lot is sold, creating a 100-percent sell-through rate.
  • Withdrawn Lot or Removed Lot – A lot that has been removed from a sale prior to an auction. 


  • X $ (Times the Money) – This term means that whatever the final bid/hammer price is of that asset, that final bid is taken times the amount of assets (ie. $ 100.00 x 4 assets = $ 400.00).