Have you ever wondered what questions to ask when hiring an auctioneer? Maybe you are looking to sell your home, a collection of antiques, or surplus items from your business. The possibilities with auctions are literally endless.

We’ve already discussed how to prepare for your search; but, what questions do you ask an auctioneer once you’re ready? Here are five broad questions to ask when you have an auctioneer on the phone or meet for an appointment.

Is the auctioneer a member of the National Auctioneers Association?

To ensure a quality and consistent experience, ask your potential auctioneer if they are a National Auctioneer Association or NAA member. NAA Auction Professionals have the education and ethics to help you sell anything. And, NAA members are part of the largest global network of auctioneers. They bring the collective knowledge and experience of around 3,000 members to bear on your project. Additionally, auctioneers might be members of state auctioneer associations and/or groups related to different asset classes.

Do they follow a code of auction ethics or practices?

Members of the National Auctioneers Association voluntarily agree to follow the NAA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Ask them what that means for you as a seller and for bidders and buyers. A code of ethics and standards of practice help ensure the auctioneer treats you fairly. It also assures that all fees and expenses are discussed upfront and recorded in an auction contract. 

What is their education and experience in selling at auctions? What is their experience with your particular asset?

While each property, collection, and item is unique, there are fundamentals to the auction process that remain critical. Ask your auctioneer for a broad outline of past auction results and business history. Members of the National Auctioneer Association regularly attend profession-specific education. They are happy to share their educational designations and commitment to continuous professional improvement.

How interested will the bidding public be in your property, asset, or collection?

An auctioneer will help establish realistic and reasonable expectations on the amount of interest your auction will command. It is difficult to always accurately predict what an asset might sell for at a public auction. The right auctioneer for you will help you understand the market. 

Do they have the time and labor available?

Auctioneers of all sizes and types have a certain amount of capacity or ability to handle your auction adequately. It is essential to ask any auctioneer if they have the time and labor available. So, if all other criteria are relatively equal when comparing auctioneers and auction companies, this might be the determining factor.

Asking these five questions will help you make an informed decision and will improve your auction results. Auctions are a great way to sell items for fair market value. With these steps, you will help ensure a smooth and transparent process. 

Find an auctioneer near you.

How to Hire an Auctioneer: Preparing for your Search