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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Auctioneers and standard form contracts


Many auctioneers get supplies (bid cards, settlement sheets, signs, for example) from various companies including

N.A.S.H (National Auction Supply House), Keifer Auction Supply and Missouri Auction School.

Additionally, and our topic today, some auction supply houses sell auction contracts — for example, auction listing contracts, auction consignment contracts and the like. We recommend that no auctioneers use any of these standard form contracts as their contracts when conducting business.

However, these standard form contracts have some value. It may be a good idea for a beginning auctioneer to take one of these standard form contracts to an attorney to start the conversation about creating any necessary contracts for that auctioneer’s particular business.

Every auctioneer needs to use written auction contracts particular to his or her business (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation) and jurisdiction. As we wrote a few years ago, it is always a good idea to use a written contract … https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/auctioneers-always-written-contracts/

Further, for that attorney helping draft contracts, it is important that he or she knows what particular contract terms are required (or prohibited) by state law including possibly auctioneer/auction license law. For example, in preparation for an upcoming auction law seminar in Arkansas, we noted that in that state, eight particular things need to be in any personal property auction contract per state law: https://static.ark.org/eeuploads/auctioneer/study_guide_2016.pdf

Another place beginning (and/or tenured) auctioneers can get contract ideas is from other auctioneers. This is one of the many benefits of membership in state auctioneer associations and the National Auctioneers Association where auctioneers regularily share such material with other members.

As we’ve argued for years, care should be taken to ensure that any of your contracts do not contain any manifestly unreasonable terms and/or conditions. We wrote a treatise regarding this issue here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/auctions-that-are-manifestly-unreasonable/

More importantly, real property contracts (listing, buyer/agent, sales/purchase) are regulated in nearly every jurisdiction in the United States. Auctioneers selling real property (real estate) must be sure to use proper paperwork. Too, personal property contracts can’t be (shouldn’t be) used for real property nor vise versa.

If you desire a list of possible issues to address in your personal property contract, we made such a list. You are free to take this compilation to your attorney when he or she prepares your particular contract: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/the-29-things-that-should-be-in-an-auctioneers-contract-with-a-seller/

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again … as an auctioneer always enter into a written contract every single time you are engaged in bid calling or other material part of an auction event. We previously wrote about some of the possible issues lacking a written contract as an auctioneer: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/hiring-an-auctioneer-without-a-written-contract/

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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