How Does Auctioning a House Work in Birmingham, AL?

how does auctioning a house work

Experienced real estate investors tend to buy properties through auctions. But how does auctioning a house work, exactly?

If you want to put your property up for sale with the other Birmingham, AL houses up for auction, you need to know the basics of the auctioning process.

Read on to learn why homeowners put up their houses for auction, the types of real estate auctions that investors can engage in, and how to sell your house fast.

What Types of Houses Go up for Auction?

Almost any house is qualified to be put up for auction. More often than not, though, foreclosures are the main reason for properties being sold at auction. If your property is up for foreclosure and you want to sell it fast, consider putting it up for auction.

There are two types of house auctions in which interested property buyers can participate: live house auctions and online house auctions.

Live House Auctions

Anyone can attend live auctions for free. These events are open to the public and usually occur in county courthouses or in front of the actual property for sale.

When interested buyers gather where the auction is held, they make their offers. The process usually takes an hour to complete, making live auctions an efficient way to get a property off your hands fast.

How Live Auctions Work

If you’re interested in putting your house up for auction, it most likely will go through a live auction (or live foreclosure auction) to interested participants. This is how participating in a live auction works, and here are the steps for getting started:

  1. Submit your house to auctions: Online resources like and RealtyTrac collect data on virtually every area where house auctions occur. If you sign up for an account, you can learn more about their unique submission process.

Traditionally, a county’s courthouse or third-party foreclosure sales agent has the foreclosure sales data. You can work with local agents and auctioneers to see if your house is eligible for auctioning off.

  1. Review all your documents and details regarding the transaction: Before anything else, consider researching your property’s actual resale value. Consider getting advice from real estate agents or attorneys.

You need to consider your property’s liens, if any, which potential buyers may be put off by. Reviewing your property’s papers helps you craft a resale price.

  1. Beautify your property: Buyers won’t know what a property up for auction looks like on the inside. They can still get a decent idea of its condition when they drive by the property, however, if they can.

What you can do is improve curb appeal by cleaning up your property’s outer appearance. Clean up any fallen leaves, mow the lawn, repaint the outside, and make your property look enticing enough to buy.

  1. Look into potential bidders: At live auctions, buyers need to register to participate. They must prove that they can pay the property’s full selling price to proceed. Be sure to confirm that your potential bidders are ready with the money.
  2. Consider postponement: Foreclosure auctions might get postponed or canceled altogether. These are common occurrences that affect both you and potential buyers. Sometimes, the bank might fail to compile necessary documents in time for the auction.

Other times, you may need to call for the postponement yourself. Perhaps you have a legal battle regarding your property, which inevitably delays the auction process.

  1. Attend the live auction and get your money: Should everything go as scheduled, you can essentially get your money from the winning bidder immediately or on the next business day. The county courthouse or the officers in charge will handle the buyer’s receipt or certificate of sale.

Online House Auctions

The biggest difference between online house auctions and live house auctions is the fact that you won’t have to be physically present at the auction event.

Buyers can place their bids anywhere as long as they’re connected to the internet. And, instead of a one-day event, online auctions can last weeks. This gives you the time and convenience of selling your home without constantly having to be at the property

How Online Auctions Work

The steps to selling your house at an online auction are almost the same as selling in person:

  1. Submit your property for sale: With the same online resources mentioned above, you can put multiple properties up for auction as long as you have the necessary documents on-hand.
  2. Provide the necessary details of your property: Potential buyers looking at online auction listings look for more information on the property they intend to buy. Be sure to provide all the important information to make sure that auction goers trust your online listing.
  3. Get your money: Online auction managers move fast and will most likely contact winning bidders in two hours to complete their purchase.

Sell Your Birmingham, AL House Fast

Although auctioning off your Birmingham house is a fast way to get it off your hands, you cannot guarantee interested buyers. Auctions themselves last an hour, but you could still spend months gathering prospects.

In most live house auction cases, interested buyers cannot go inside the house to check the property for themselves. Experienced auction goers know this and will wonder whether the house is in a certain condition. This doubt gives them a reason to believe that the house up for auction might have some hidden damage and will delay the sale.

So, while auctioning off a property can be a faster way to sell your Birmingham house than listing it with a real estate agent, there are even faster ways to go about this.

We can take your property off your hands in just seven days, with a great cash offer to match. No matter the condition of your home, you don’t need to worry. We accept houses in any condition and adjust offers accordingly.

Simply give us a call at 888-724-9603 so we can craft a great offer. You really don’t have to wait for months before you sell your house!

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