After you create a free account, you can choose to receive custom alerts and real-time email notifications when a property is cleared for sale or the auction is postponed or cancelled.

The numbered card that bidders use to submit a bid at a live foreclosure auction.


This is the amount paid to a real estate broker and/or agent when a home is sold.

This is the amount paid to a real estate broker and/or agent when a home is sold.


Appreciation refers to the increase in the value of a property over time. Appreciation can be caused by a number of things including inflation, the increase in demand or a decrease in supply of properties. Appreciation can also take into account added value as a result of property improvements (such as upgrading a kitchen, adding a room or a pool, etc.). Appreciation is usually projected as a percentage of the property’s value over the course of a year.


The nation’s leading auction marketplace for residential bank-owned and foreclosure sale properties.


This is your free personal account. Once you create an account, you’ll receive a dashboard where all of your saved properties, searches and messages will reside.


The calendar lists upcoming auction dates, venues and other important information for live foreclosure auctions. Some live events span the course of several days so make sure to review each day’s properties for the ones you intend to bid on.


The signed agreement between the seller of a property and Auction.com.



These properties are owned by a lending institution and typically are sold through bank-owned auctions.


These properties are owned by a lending institution and are rentals with paying tenants in place.


Newly foreclosed properties are those that are posted for sale just days after they are classified as foreclosed.


These properties are owned by a lending institution and may be occupied by the former owner or tenants. The new owner takes on the responsibility of managing the occupancy state once purchased.


These properties are owned by a lending institution and do not house tenants or owner-occupants.


A beneficiary in real estate is typically the lender. When the legal ownership of property is transferred, it takes place with a deed of trust. The title is transferred to a trustee, which holds it as security for a loan between the borrower and lender. The borrower is referred to as the trustor, while the lender is referred to as the beneficiary.

  • BID

To offer an amount in an attempt to buy something, while competing with others at an auction. At Auction.com, bidding can be done online or at a live foreclosure auction. The bidder who meets the seller’s minimum price and is the highest bidder typically wins the auction.


A bid deposit of $2,500 is required to bid on bank-owned properties at Auction.com. The deposit is a hold placed on a credit or debit card. Unlike a charge, a hold authorizes Auction.com to confirm that your account is valid and that you have a significant amount of credit. Auction.com will instruct your credit or debit card issuer to remove the hold following the auction. The hold is removed regardless of the outcome of the auction.


The bid increment is the amount that the bid increases during the auction. For example, if the current bid is $50,000 and the bid increment is $5,000, the next acceptable bid amount would be $55,000.


If you see “Bid Pending Confirmation” BEFORE the property’s scheduled auction time, it was sold as a “Make an Offer Now” property. If you see “Bid Pending Confirmation” AFTER the property’s auction time, the property was sold in the auction.


Any person who acts as an agent, bringing two parties together for any type of transaction and earns a fee for his or her service. At Auction.com, broker partnerships are encouraged.


Some properties sold in bank-owned online auctions require a “Buyer’s Premium.” The premium is usually 5% of the winning bid or $2,500 whichever is greater. This fee is only required if you are the winning bidder.



A foreclosure sale can be cancelled for several reasons. Some of the more common ones include:

Capitalization Rate

The capitalization rate, or “cap rate”, is a formula used to determine the value of a real estate investment. The cap rate percentage is found by dividing the net operating income of a real estate asset (expenses minus income) by the current value of the asset. The cap rate is always calculated using the current value of the asset, rather than the purchased value of the asset.

Cash Flow

Cash flow is the flow of money in and out of a business, or in the case of a property, it’s rent generated by the monthly rent collected vs. the monthly expenses (taxes, HOA fees, mortgages, etc.). When investing in real estate, most investors look for a positive cash flow from a property.

Cash Flow Property

A cash flow property is an investment property that generates a surplus of money each month after all expenses have been paid. Cash flow properties are highly sought after by investors.

Cash on Cash Return

Cash on cash return refers the annual cash return of a property divided by the amount of cash invested. When a property is purchased outright (no leverage), this is also referred to as the property’s cap rate.
When a property is purchased using leverage, this number differs from the property’s overall return, as it does not include the equity gained by the principal portion of the mortgage payment.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is defined in opposition to residential real estate. The definition of commercial properties encompasses industrial properties, medical facilities, office buildings, retail centers, and multifamily complexes. It can also refer to land that will be developed into a commercial project in the future.

A foreclosure sale can be cancelled for several reasons. Some of the more common ones include:

  • When a homeowner and lender reach an agreement so the homeowner can keep the property.
    • When a homeowner files for bankruptcy protection, this results in an automatic stay being placed on the property. The bankruptcy doesn’t stop the foreclosure, but delays it until the homeowner resolves the debt or the lender gets approval from the bankruptcy court to proceed with the sale.
    • The beneficiary (lender) can decide to cancel the sale for any reason. The lender may not be ready to sell the property; may sell it elsewhere or may get paid off by the homeowner.

Unfortunately, Auction.com is not privy to the reasons behind a cancellation.


A cancellation fee may be charged when the winning buyer does not fulfill their post-auction obligations, as per the Participation Terms. This improves the auction experience by encouraging all participants to place serious bids.


A cashier’s check is a check guaranteed by a bank, drawn on the bank’s own funds and signed by a cashier. Cashier’s checks are treated as guaranteed funds because the bank, rather than the purchaser, is responsible for paying the amount.


In many states, you will receive a Certificate of Sale at the live foreclosure auction after you pay for the property. Check you state’s procedures for details.


When a foreclosure property is “cleared for auction,” it means the sale is scheduled to go as planned. Many foreclosure sales get cancelled or postponed so we recommend checking the status of the property before going to the live auction.


If you win a property auction, the closing process includes the final steps in your transaction. The closing process may take anywhere from 30 to 60 days and the closing date will be set by the contract. Once complete, the property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.


When a hold is placed on a credit or debit card, a certain portion of the credit limit or debit balance is held for a short period of time. We require a $2,500 bid deposit to bid on bank-owned properties. The deposit, however, is really a hold placed on your credit or debit card, which is released following the auction.

  • COA

Condominium Owner’s Association


Counter bidding is a common practice used by all major auction houses. Auction.com will counter bid on behalf of the seller in order to move the price closer to the Reserve Price or Credit Bid, which is the minimum that a seller will typically accept. Once the bidding reaches that threshold, Auction.com will no longer counter bid.



Once you create a free account, you’ll have access to your own personalized dashboard where you can receive emails, create lists of saved properties and receive email alerts for a specific property or properties in certain locations. You can also manage your bids from your dashboard.

  • DEED

A legal instrument that confirms the transfer of a property’s title.


The Reserve Price is the lowest price that the seller is willing to accept. It’s up to the seller to disclose the Reserve Price. When the Reserve Price is disclosed, you can find it on the property details page.


These are homes that are either in a pre-foreclosure state or have undergone the foreclosure process and are now bank-owned properties. They also may become short-sales, in which the lender agrees to sell the home for less than what is owed on it.


Important property and legal documents that should be reviewed by interested bidders prior to the auction. Disclosure documents can be found on the property details page.


Conducting due diligence involves thoroughly investigating a property before you bid on it. It includes researching the estimated value, estimating repair costs, reviewing title reports, inspecting the property (if possible) and researching the surrounding neighborhood.


Many of our properties are occupied by former owners or tenants so be sure to check the property details page to learn as much as you can. If a property is occupied, you can still do your due diligence with the exception of seeing the inside of it. You can drive by the outside to take photos and observe the neighborhood. You can also research the schools and crime rate. But please do not disturb the occupants or trespass on the property.



A deposit placed by the bidder to let the seller know that the bidder is earnest or serious about buying the property.


Equity is essentially how much the stake in ownership on a property is worth; it is the difference between the current market value of a property and the amount owned by the owner on a mortgage (if any). As a mortgage gets paid off the owner’s equity grows.
When a property is sold, the equity is the difference between the purchase price and the sale price. The market drives the property’s equity but improving and upgrading the property can increase it.


When the lender releases the home purchase funds around the same time that the deed is recorded to reflect the new ownership. Escrow opens when the buyer and seller sign a sales contract, commonly called a real estate purchase agreement.


The Estimated Credit Bid appears on the property details page when available. Buyers have to bid above this amount to win the auction. The Credit Bid is a bid placed by the beneficiary or lender, and is usually the amount owed to the beneficiary. By law, the beneficiary is allowed to place a Credit Bid during the auction.


This is the total estimated debt, plus court-imposed fees, unpaid interest and legal costs owed by the homeowner at the notice of foreclosure sale.


The Est. Resale Value (ERV) is derived from an automated value provided by a third-party. It’s based on comparable sales of similar properties that are very well maintained and with no deferred maintenance. The Est. Resale Value (ERV) is critical because it helps investors calculate the difference between the “as-is” value, or price they pay for a property and the resale value, the price they can potentially get when they sell the property. It gives investors an estimate of their profit margin after all necessary repairs are made.



This is the final amount due when you buy a home at a foreclosure sale. It typically includes the remaining amount owed on the mortgage; accrued interest; attorney fees and advertising fees. There’s also the possibility that you may have to pay liens, taxes and other costs. That’s why it’s imperative to do a thorough due diligence investigation before you bid on a property.


Financing is the act of providing funds or capital to a person or business with the expectation that the money will be paid back. Financing is available on some of the properties listed on Auction.com. Check the property details page to see if financing is available on the properties you’re considering purchasing.


These properties are generally sold at live auctions. A foreclosure sale occurs when a lender attempts to sell a property to recover the balance of a loan.


A deed in which the seller guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to the buyer.



When you purchase a property at a foreclosure sale, you typically can’t gain possession until you have a clear title, the deed is transferred into your name and the home is vacant. If the property is occupied, you may want to contact a real estate attorney for assistance.


  • HOA

Homeowners’ Association

  • HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


This is a standard form which is used to itemize services and fees charged to the borrower by the lender or broker when applying for a loan for the purpose of purchasing or refinancing real estate.



You can search for properties that allow interior access so you can see the inside of the home before you bid on it. Start by typing in the location where you would like to buy. Click on “All Asset Types” and go to “Bank Owned & Newly Foreclosed.” Then, in the box on the right, click on “Access Available” and you will see all of the homes that will allow you inside.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

The IRR of an investment is the point at which the net value of investment expenses equals the net value of asset income. These are both calculated at the current value of the investment and not the purchased or future value of the property.
The internal rate indicates at what point an investment could be considered profitable. If an IRR is above a pre-defined number it is an acceptable investment. It also establishes the growth potential of an investment.

Investment Location Manager (ILM)

HomeUnion® Investment Location Managers (ILMs) are the boots on the ground in our each of our investment zones. These individuals have long histories in their local real estate markets and serve as HomeUnion®’s local point of contact.
ILMs provide data on their local markets, vet properties, acquire the property on behalf of the investor, provide inspection prior to purchase, and provide local oversight for the entire investment process. Investment Location Managers are brokers who work exclusively for HomeUnion® so there is never any conflict of interest.

IRA Investing

IRA investing refers to using your IRA or retirement account to invest in property. Returns on property purchased with an IRA are generally tax-deferred. However, returns must go back into the IRA account, and cannot be spent prior to retirement.
IRA investing allows people to transfer funds to a self-directed IRA to purchase real estate. It also is possible to obtain a mortgage using the funds in an IRA account, so any type of investment property that you might ordinarily purchase with cash or a mortgage can also be purchased using an IRA.




  • LAND

Property or real estate, not including buildings or equipment.


Any person(s) that rents or leases property to an occupant.


A lease is a contractual agreement between a tenant and landlord that spells out the terms of tenancy. This includes length of time for occupancy, monthly rent to be paid, responsibilities and rules. At Auction.com, you can bid on tenant-occupied rental properties that already have a lease in place.


A limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities.

Leasing Fee

A leasing fee is paid to the property manager when they sign a lease with a new tenant. If a tenant renews their lease there is a re-leasing fee.

Leveraged Return

A leveraged return is the return calculated on an investment that takes advantage of a mortgage. It is calculated by subtracting the expenses incurred by the property (including the interest payment on the mortgage) from the income produced by the property and dividing that by the initial investment amount.
Calculation: Income – expenses (including interest payment) / initial investment amount

This differs from the cash on cash return because it includes the principal pay down as part of the return.

While slightly riskier, using leverage is advantageous to investors as it provides higher returns, enables them to diversify across multiple properties. For example, an investor can purchase one property for $100,000. The same investor can get four properties of $100,000 each, by putting down $25,000 on each property.

  • LOG-IN

When you sign into your account.


When you sign out of your account.



With Make an Offer Now, you can submit your offer for select properties online. These offers must meet the minimum bid amount, but should also reflect your highest and best offer. If the offer is accepted, the property will sell proceed to sell.


A manufactured home in the United States is typically a home built in a factory that complies with HUD code standards. These standards were developed in 1976 so manufactured homes in the U.S. have been built after that year. Manufactured homes can be placed on private land or in a community with other manufactured homes and mobile homes.


A mobile home in the United States is typically a home built in a factory prior to 1976 before the HUD code was established. Mobile homes can be placed on private land or in a community with other mobile and manufactured homes.


A mortgage is a legal agreement that allows an individual to borrow money from a lender to buy property. Once the mortgage is paid off, the agreement becomes void.



These are properties on Auction.com that recently became available for auction, usually days after the property became bank-owned.



This is where a buyer participates in an online auction by placing bids.


This is the estimated dollar amount that starts the auction.


This is a term specific to properties won in foreclosure sales in North Carolina. The Outbid Period is a 10-day period in which someone can place a higher bid than the previous bid, usually 5% or $750 higher, whichever is greater. Each time a new high bid is placed through the county clerk, the 10 days start over. This process continues until no new bids are placed and the 10 days runs out.



A foreclosure sale can be postponed for several reasons. Some of the more common ones include:

  • When a homeowner files for bankruptcy protection, this results in an automatic stay being placed on the property. The bankruptcy doesn’t stop the foreclosure, but delays it until the homeowner resolves the debt or the lender gets approval from the bankruptcy court to proceed with the sale.
    • The beneficiary (lender) can postpone the sale for any reason. It could be simply that the lender is not ready to sell the property.

Unfortunately, Auction.com is not privy to the reasons behind a postponement.


Your profile is established when you create your account. It contains your name, physical address, phone numbers, email address and password.


A document that demonstrates that a bidder has the funds available to purchase a property. All bidders will need a Bidder Qualification Form and be prepared to provide a recent (within the last 60 days) bank or brokerage account statement.


This is the page on Auction.com where you can start your due diligence. It contains photos of the property; square footage; characteristics of the home; property reports and how to register for an auction or information on a live event. To get to the property details page, type in the location where you would like to buy property, then when you see the homes in your preferred location, click on a photo and you will be taken to the property details page.


This report summarizes neighborhood schools, crime and environmental factors affecting the property. When available, the report can be found on the property details page.


This report provides additional information about the property, neighborhood and may offer comparable sales. But it’s not an appraisal and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.


This information tells you if the property was cleared for sale or if the auction has been postponed or canceled. The property status can be found on the Property Details Page directly above the address.


Available in select online auctions, the bidder can set a specific bid amount before the auction starts, which will be automatically placed during the auction.

  • PUD

A planned unit development (PUD) is a residential community governed by a homeowner’s association. PUDs can consist of single-family homes, condos and commercial property, such as stores and restaurants. If you purchase a property within a PUD, you’ll most likely have to pay HOA dues to cover amenities such as a pool, playground or park. The dues can also be used to pay for security, landscaping and street lights.



A quitclaim deed conveys the seller’s rights and interests in a property to the buyer. It does not, however, provide any warranties or covenants to the buyer. Many properties on Auction.com have a special warranty deed option which allows the buyer to purchase title insurance and receive a special warranty deed instead of a quitclaim deed.


A QR code (quick response code) is a type of barcode that is used to provide easy access to information through a smartphone. Our app’s new QR Code feature was developed to help our customers expedite check-in at registration. Simply pre-register on the app and use the QR Code that is generated to check in at our in-person auctions.



An individual who sells and rents buildings for a client. Real estate agents are welcome to help their clients buy property with Auction.com.


A Receipt of Sale, also known as a Certificate of Sale, is typically given to buyers at a live foreclosure auction after the buyer pays for the property. But this practice varies from state to state. Check you state’s procedures for details.


A redemption period is a specific period of time during which foreclosed homeowners can buy back or “redeem” their property. If you purchase a property in a redemption state, you will not be able to evict the homeowner or tenant during the redemption period. Check your state’s guidelines to see if it offers a redemption period.

  • RENT

The amount of money a tenant pays a landlord to occupy a property, typically paid each month.


A property that is rented out each month by a tenant. You can bid on tenant-occupied rental properties that already have a lease in place at Auction.com.


The reserve price is the lowest price that the seller is willing to accept. The reserve price is set when the listing is created. This minimum price must be met by the buyers in order for the property to sell.


Any non-commercial property such as single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, fourplexes, triplexes, duplexes and manufactured homes.


A real estate loan that is secured by a residential property. There are two types: Performing (the owner is paying their mortgage) and Non-Performing (the owner has stopped paying their mortgage).

1% Rule

The one percent rule refers to the rent to expense ratio an investment property must have in order to be profitable. While there are a number of expenses to keep in mind, the rent on an investment property must be at least 1% of the purchase price to have a positive ROI and be considered a favorable investment asset.

Real Estate Owned (REO)

A Real Estate Owned or REO property is one owned by a lender, usually a bank. Lenders generally only take title of properties after an unsuccessful selling attempt at a foreclosure auction. Lenders often attempt to remove any liens or extraneous expenses before trying to sell the property. REO properties can often be purchased below market value making them a great interest to investors.


Rehabilitation refers to the repairs that need to be done to make an asset tenant-ready. Prior to purchase, properties are given a primary inspection by our ILMs to ensure that extensive repairs are not necessary.
Rehabilitation can include minor fixes such as paint and lighting upgrades but can also extend to more large-scale repairs such as roof replacement and plumbing upgrades. Should such large-scale upgrades be necessary, the investor will be notified prior to purchase and can choose to forego the purchase. Rehabilitation costs are generally included in the purchase price.

Turn-key Properties are rent-ready, and do not need any rehabilitation.

Remote Investing

Remote investing empowers investors to own property that is geographically removed from their own primary residence. Traditionally real estate investors tend to purchase property that is “in their backyard” so they can keep an eye on their investment. This generally means that the investor is also a landlord and must keep up with the daily maintenance of the property.
Remote investors purchase property in areas that have favorable returns. Remote investing allows investors to take advantage of lower property costs or higher rents that may not be available near their primary residence.

Retail Investors

Retail investors, also know as an individual investors or small investors are investors that buy and sell investment assets for their personal account. Retail investors are defined in opposition to institutional investors. Retail investors generally invest at significantly lower amounts than institutional investors.



When a homeowner owes more on their mortgage than the home is worth, the lender may agree to accept less than the amount owed. A short sale gives the owners a chance to walk away from their mortgage and the bank a chance to alleviate the expensive and time-consuming process of foreclosure.


An amount of money held by a landlord during the term of a lease to cover non-payment or any potential future damages to the property.


The beneficiary or owner of a property who transfers ownership to the buyer in return for a payment.


When real estate is purchased under a separate entity rather than as an individual. Types of entities include partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC) and corporations. Auction.com requires the entity to provide legal documentation as part of bidding process.


These are the legal documents required when property is purchased by a separate entity on Auction.com.

  • SFR

SFR is an acronym for Single Family Residence.


The beginning price for an available property to be bid on at an auction.


When a property is sold “subject to,” it means the property is being sold “subject to” the seller’s approval.


When a property is sold “subject to the seller’s confirmation,” the sellers don’t accept the bid right away so the sale is subject to their confirmation, meaning they have a set period of time to either accept or reject the offer.

Self Directed IRA (SDIRA)

A SDIRA or Self Directed Individual Retirement Account is type of account that provides tax benefits to money deposited for retirement. Any income from the account is taxed at the tax bracket the account holder reaches upon retirement, which is often much lower than their pre-retirement tax bracket.
The only difference between a SDIRA and a typical IRA account is the type of investments the account holder is permitted to make. In addition to traditional stocks and bonds a SIDRA can be used to invest in alternative investments such as real estate, tax liens, and notes.

The money in the account can be invested just as the funds in any standard account can as long as the dividends are returned to the account. Funds cannot be accessed until the account holder reaches retirement. Additionally, all asset expenses must be paid for using funds from the account.

A SDIRA has the ability to hold a mortgage though the terms differ from traditional mortgages. This loan, called a non-recourse loan, is often at a higher rate than a traditional mortgage. It does allow investors to leverage their funds to create a greater ROI.

Single Family Rentals (SFRs)

A single family rental, or SFR is a free-standing residential property designed to house one family that was purchased by an investor and rented to a tenant. SFRs are defined in opposition to a multi-family property, though properties up to a fourplex are sometimes classified as SFRs as well. Properties with more than four units are defined as multi-family properties. Single family properties generally appeal to families, so from an investment perspective, can be seen as more stable. Families tend to want to stay in one place for longer, especially when they have children. HomeUnion® offers fully managed SFRs investments across a wide variety of markets in the US.

Solutions Manager

HomeUnion® Real Estate Solutions Managers are our investors’ primary point of contact. The Solutions Managers have a number of functions, including: assessing investors’ investment goals, guiding them to assets that meet those goals, facilitating the interaction between ILMs and clients, and overseeing the entire investment process.



Any person(s) legally allowed to occupy a rental property as part of a lease or rental contract.


A property that is leased or rented by tenants.


A full title report shows exactly what is on the title and indicates if there are any liens for items like unpaid taxes or homeowner association dues.


The final amount of money due from the winning bidder. This amount is comprised of the winning bid amount plus a Buyer’s Premium (if applicable).

Turn Key Property (TKP)

A turnkey property, or TKP is a property that has been purchased, rehabbed and rented to a tenant and is now for sale to another investor. Turnkey properties usually cash flow from the moment the investor purchases it since the property is already rented.



This term refers to properties won in foreclosure sales in North Carolina. The upset bid is a bid that is placed within 10 days after the end of the auction. Each subsequent bid must be 5% or $750 higher than the previous bid. Each time a new high bid is placed through the county clerk, the 10 days start over. This process continues until no new bids are placed and the 10 days runs out.



A value-based bid means that the beneficiary of the property, typically the lender, has provided or is expected to submit a bid based on the current market value and below the total estimated debt.


This is the site of the live foreclosure auction. On Auction.com, most live auctions are held at county courthouses or hotels.


A VIP Buyer is an investor who buys multiple properties per year at Auction.com. As a VIP Buyer, you are entitled to many privileges, such as having the bid deposit waived and receiving priority service when you win an auction. Learn more about the VIP program.

Vacancy Provision

The money that investors set aside to prepare for future vacancy is called a vacancy provision. It is a percentage of the monthly rent. The average vacancy provision is 6% for vacancy and 6% for maintenance.



This is a deed that guarantees a clear title to the buyer of the property.





The basic purpose of zoning is to divide a municipality or county into residential, commercial and industrial districts (or zones) that are – for the most part – separate from each other.


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