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Two Types of Auctions in the United States

Today, we’re diving into the two types of auctions commonly used in the United States: absolute auctions and reserved auctions. Understanding these auction types can help you make informed decisions whether you’re buying or selling property. Let’s explore the key differences and benefits of each auction style.

Click here to watch & listen as I, Jason Deel, and Shelby Brooks, a seasoned realtor, discuss these auction types in detail.

Absolute Auctions

In an absolute auction, the property is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the final bid amount. There are no minimum bids or reserve prices, making this type of auction particularly attractive to buyers. The main advantage of absolute auctions is that they often generate a high level of interest and competition, leading to a quicker sale. Sellers can benefit from the certainty that the property will sell on auction day.

Advantages of Absolute Auctions:

  • No minimum bid or reserve price.
  • Guaranteed sale to the highest bidder.
  • High buyer interest and competition.

Reserved Auctions

A reserved auction, also known as a reserve auction or subject to owner confirmation auction, is one where the seller sets a minimum price that must be met before the property can be sold. If the bidding does not reach this minimum price, the seller is not obligated to sell the property. This type of auction offers more protection for the seller, ensuring that the property does not sell for less than its perceived value.

Advantages of Reserved Auctions:

  • Seller protection with a minimum reserve price.
  • Flexibility to accept or reject the highest bid if it doesn’t meet the reserve.
  • Often used for high-value properties or unique assets.

Sealed Bid Auctions

Another auction method worth mentioning is the sealed bid auction. In this format, bidders submit their bids in secret, this can be a reserved or absolute format.  However its important that the auctioneer disclose before bids are received which type of auction is being conducted.  This method is less common but can be useful in situations where privacy and discretion are important.

Choosing the Right Auction Type

Choosing between an absolute auction and a reserved auction depends on several factors, including the seller’s urgency to sell, the type of property, and market conditions. An absolute auction might be ideal for properties that are in high demand or when a quick sale is needed. In contrast, a reserved auction is better suited for properties that have a specific value that the seller wants to ensure is met.

The Real Estate Auction Process

Regardless of the auction type, the process of a real estate auction involves several steps:

  1. Property Preparation: This includes appraisals, inspections, and marketing.
  2. Auction Marketing: Effective marketing to attract potential buyers.
  3. Auction Day: Conducting the auction, whether it’s absolute or reserved.
  4. Post-Auction: Finalizing the sale and completing necessary paperwork.

At JD’s Realty & Auction, we specialize in both types of auctions and can help you decide which is best for your needs. Whether you’re a buyer looking for a great deal or a seller wanting to achieve the best possible price, our experienced team is here to guide you through the process.

For more information and to stay updated with our latest auctions, click here to watch & listen to my discussion with Shelby Brooks, and visit our website regularly. Happy bidding!


In this blog, we’ve covered the two types of auctions – absolute and reserved – and highlighted their unique advantages. By understanding these auction types, you can make more informed decisions in your real estate endeavors.

Reach out to us today for a FREE evaluation of your property.  visit www.jdsauctions.com/sell or give us a call at 865-264-4641