Auction – A public sale in which goods or properties are sold to the highest bidder.
Bid – An offer of payment made or tendered at an auction by a prospective buyer.
Commission – The amount the auctioneer charges in return for organising a successful sale. It is usually paid by the buyer.
Conditions of Sale – The terms under which a property is being sold at auction.
Deposit – There are two kinds of deposit payable at auctions: a registration deposit which entitles you to bid and is refundable if you are unsuccessful; and the deposit which is a percentage of the purchase price of any property you buy.
Fall of the Hammer – Signals the end of a period of bidding for a particular item or property at an auction and means no further bids for that item will be accepted.
Lot Number – The number assigned to a certain item / asset at an auction.
Order of Sale – The order in which lots at an auction will come up for sale. This will not necessarily be numerical as similar items with widely varying lot numbers may be grouped together for convenience.
Proxy – A person authorised to perform certain actions on behalf of another, like bidding on their behalf at an auction. The word may also refer to the document authorising the stand-in.
Reserve Price – A minimum price for any item / asset on auction that has been agreed on by the seller and the auctioneer. If the bids do not reach the reserve price, the seller is not obliged to go through with the transaction.
Rouwkoop – Money paid, such as a purchase deposit and the auctioneer’s commission, which will be forfeit if the buyer later defaults on the sale agreement.
Voetstoots – A terms that describes the sale of a property exactly “as is” or with all its faults, and where the seller has no legal responsibility for its condition.