About Auction.com

If you’re looking to purchase a new property, you may have heard about Auction.com, which claims to allow you to buy and sell residential and commercial property in an online auction format. In fact, Auction.com claims to have sold more than $25 billion of residential and commercial real estate since opening its doors in 2007.

But when it comes down to it, can Auction.com really help you find your next real estate purchase, or is it just a way to scam you out of your hard-earned money? We sifted through the facts, and here’s what we found out.

How Auction.com Works

At its most basic, Auction.com claims to be a real estate marketplace that uses “world-class marketing and cutting-edge technology” to help bring buyers and sellers together in an easy to use format. All Auction.com real estate auctions—including bank owned and redemption properties, foreclosures, short sales, bankruptcies, bulk sales, and residential and commercial notes—are date and time-specific, so you’ll always know exactly when they’ll begin and end. In fact, in some instances, Auction.com claims that some of their properties may be newly available and not listed anywhere else.

Auction.com claims to work over 3 steps:

  1. Search for properties that meet your criteria, including by state, county, city, zip code, address, or property ID, and then save them as your favorites. You can also sign up to receive email alerts any time a new property that matches your criteria is listed.
  2. Once you’re ready, you can then register for the property’s auction, place your deposit, and begin bidding. Bids are placed directly through the Auction.com website, and you can bid on more than one property at a time. However, you may be required to contact a bidder qualification representative, submit additional documents, and/or provide proof of funds prior to placing your bid. Auction.com also offers the ability to practice bidding before going through a live auction.
  3. If you end up being the high bidder, you’ll pay for the property and begin closing (we’ll talk more about this in the Bottom Line section).

During an Auction.com auction, the property’s home page will include important details such as type, address, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, estimated amount owed by the current owner, and pictures, as well as current bid, bid deposit, time remaining, if financing is available, and whether or not the reserve has been met. With this in mind, while most residential auctions occur directly through the Auction.com website, some foreclosure auctions will take place live at public venues (e.g. courthouses).

If you’re looking for properties on the go, Auction.com also offers an iPhone app.

Auction.com Pricing & Refund Policy

Signing up for Auction.com is free of charge, which gives you the ability to save searches, create custom alerts, and to receive auction announcements and advance notifications for new auctions that you may be interested in.

However, once you’ve decided to start bidding on a residential property auction, you’ll be required to put down a deposit of anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500, which must be placed on a credit card. On top of this if you’re the winning bidder, you may be required to pay a buyer’s premium in addition to the final purchase price, which is typically 5%. For example, if you purchase a home for $100,000, you may be required to pay an additional $5,000 directly to the seller on top of the sales price, which in most instances is a bank.

If you’re the winning bidder once the auction has concluded, your credit card deposit will be returned after earnest money has been received and purchase documentation has been signed. However, if you’re not the winning bidder, your deposit will be returned to your card within 2 business days.

It appears that there are no refunds associated with use of Auction.com, which seems to weigh heavily in the seller’s favor. We’ll talk more about this in the Bottom Line section.

Other Auction.com Reviews Around the Web?

Auction.com appears to have a relatively poor online customer reputation, with the most common complaints citing:

  • Numerous seller’s fees (often initiated by the banks) on top of the winning bid, many of which were not disclosed in the original auction.
  • Homes are already overpriced before auctioning even begins.
  • Accusations that these homes are not salable on the open market due to very poor condition (e.g. presence of mold/termites, serious structural problems, etc.). In fact, we read several reviews claiming that even when documentation for problems such as these were provided to Auction.com, they refused to list them in the property’s auction.
  • Poor customer (rude, unhelpful, attempt to rush you into signing an agreement that essentially waives all your rights as a seller).
  • Extensive shill bidding.

What’s the Bottom Line About Auction.com?

Similar to HomeSearch.com, Auction.com claims to be the “nation’s leading online real estate marketplace.” But does this mean that you should use them for your next residential or commercial real estate purchase? Like so many things in life, the answer is that it depends. Here’s why:

First and foremost, keep in mind that you’re solely responsible for performing all due diligence on any property you’re thinking about purchasing through Auction.com, including any existing liens and hazardous conditions. On top of this, most properties are not contingent upon financing and are sold “as is/where is” with no other contingencies available (such as an inspection). In other words, it’s up to you to find out as much as you can about a property before bidding, and if something comes up after you’ve agreed to purchase it, you have no recourse against the seller.

Second, it’s important to note that just because you win an auction doesn’t mean that you’ve purchased the property. Instead, Auction.com essentially acts as a buyer’s representative and submits your highest bid to the bank, who can then accept or reject your offer. As such, in addition to the complaints noted in the previous section, numerous customers stated that banks would take a very long time to respond to these offers, and even when they did, they would often change the terms (e.g. sales price, down payment/deposit amounts, seller’s/legal fees, etc.). And if you decide to back out of the deal once this occurs, Auction.com will then keep your deposit for “failing to close.”

Finally, although Auction.com holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau with just 12 closed complaints over the past three years, their online reputation is much less rosy. In addition to the complaints noted in the previous section, the company has a reputation for rushing buyers to sign contracts that essentially strip you of any rights you may have.

Bottom line: If you decide to purchase a residential or commercial property through Auction.com, it appears it’s pretty much a coin toss as to whether or not your high bid will be accepted by the bank. And if it is, remember that you’ll essentially be subject to whatever last-minute changes the bank decides to make, while having almost no recourse throughout the process.

Sign Up for HighYa Newsletter

Sign up for HighYa newsletter and get our best content delivered in your inbox as well as 3 free eBooks to help you save money and shop smarter. Enter your email below to get started!

22 Consumer Reviews for Auction.com

Average Consumer Rating: 1.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 6 1 star:  13
Bottom Line: 14% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 22
Sort reviews by:

  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Bogus live auctions

    I wasted at least four days researching a property that was coming up for a live sale. I did a title search, drove by the property, and went ahead and got a cashiers check for 20 grand made out to Intercounty Judicial Sales Corp. I was ready to go and bid on a property live.

    Anyway, I called Auction.com to make sure the check was made out to the proper company and to verify the location of the auction. Well, to my surprise the address listed on their site hasn’t had an auction their for over a year. I called Auction.com to report the bad information, and they were extremely rude. On top of that, they lied to my face and told me the auction was being held at the public safety building at 400 W State Street. Again no auction being held. I then asked them for the company's phone number, which they declined to give me.

    Do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time with this deceitful company, they are definitely no good. Consumer beware. Because of this company’s shady tactics, I would never ever bid on one of their properties online. They are worse than any politician or sleazy used car salesman. Do not believe anything they tell you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (3)
    View all 3 commentsHide comments
    • May 2, 2018

      Cynthia B., Content Marketing Manager

      Thank you for your review. We are very sorry to hear about your experience with Auction.com. Auctions in your area are conducted by a third party and can be held wherever the trustee chooses, and information can change at any time, as noted by the Notice of Sale. As Auction.com does not conduct the sale, we are solely marketing this information on behalf of the trustee. Our website may not always accurately reflect the appropriate auction location. We recommend calling the additional contact(s) included at the bottom of the property details page before heading to auction.

    • May 16, 2018

      Ross Siren

      I too went to the auction site, waited, and nothing. The auction did not take place, even though every time I looked up on Auction.com on the internet, the auction still showed up as being set. This just wasted my time!

    • May 16, 2018

      Cynthia B., Content Marketing Manager

      Hi Ross. Would you mind sharing some information? Were any of the auctions held or was the property you were interested in bidding on canceled? Also, would you mind sharing the location? Thank you.

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Scam artists

    I won the bid and started going back and forth with them regarding the contract. They were taking their sweet time and not only that, but when we got their "purchase agreement" we saw that they could not even get the buyer properly listed on it. They are a group of completely incompetent individuals that care about nothing else other than enriching themselves, while hiding behind a long list of unscrupulous lawyers. When we finally got a corrected agreement, they insisted we get it fully signed and back to them in a couple of hours, otherwise the transaction will be canceled. But they took over a week to get us a corrected agreement.

    Also be careful with the settlement and title companies they use. The majority are their subsidiaries, their fees are exorbitant, compared with the rest of the industry, and their quality of work severely inferior.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 14 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Changed my life

    • Poughkeepsie, NY,
    • Jan 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have bought two houses from Auction.com and don’t understand these awful reviews. Auction.com has changed my life.

    I bought my fist a two-family home for $96k and closed in 45 days. I spent about $70k fixing it up and five years later I am selling it for $650k. My second house two years later was bought for $38k, and I closed in two months. I put in about $42k to get it livable. I moved in with my wife and got it appraised for $174k.

    This last year I won a two-family home for $53k, but after doing a title search, I found out the former owner had not been served the court papers correctly and was living in the house. So I backed out of the deal.

    The key is to do your homework. Understand there is a risk in everything and be fearless.

    As I read the reviews I feel like these armchair flippers are too scared to do anything and will see the problem in anything.

    Customer service? You’re buying an old house that nobody wants, and banks think it’s too far gone so assume it has problems then imagine it has more. Be ready to cry. But after that, you’ll see how the trouble is worth it.

    In response to some comments:

    It’s clearly not s scam as it’s worked for me.

    The $2500 on a credit card is charged as a penalty if you can’t pay for your winning bid.

    You have to do a title search just to make sure the property is clear.

    We closed via FedEx and never used an attorney.

    Good luck to you all! I wish everyone could reach their dreams as this site allowed me to.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (2)
    View all 2 commentsHide comments
    • Apr 25, 2018

      Cynthia B., Content Marketing Manager

      Hi Kevin. Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear you had a great experience with Auction.com!

    • May 1, 2018

      Cole Davis CAI

      It is not a real auction. I was the CEO of one of the top rated real estate auction companies in the world. We never did distress properties. This company is designed for a hedge fund company, just moving paper. Remember AIG, they use the word auction but it's not. I am one of the top ranking Auctioneers in the world. (CAI) A real auction is a non-reserve, which means a sale of the property to the highest bidder no matter what. They can't have hidden numbers and playing games like a Soft Close, extended times, or Ghost bidding is not a real auction. A real auction sales to the highest bidder with no conflict of interest. That's been done since the Roman empire 500 B.C. This company does not represent the word auction!

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 15 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Fraud!

    They list homes and say they're doing it for your lender, but your lender has no idea who these people are! It's illegal to advertise a home for sale for the lender before the Redemption period is over, and these people make it impossible for someone in Redemption to sell their house for a fair price because they claim to be able to sell it for way below market value, which is completely untrue. After the home is taken back through foreclosure it's listed with an agent, not with them because they don't have rights to sell it.

    This is a scam! Buyer beware. No wonder they have so many law suits!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 17 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Another reason why Auction.com is bad

    • Irvine, CA,
    • Nov 9, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    After reading bad reviews about Auction.com, it's a wonder that they still operate, but then it's all in the numbers.

    A property in Mastic Beach, NY keeps getting listed on this website. The first auction brought in the highest amount of money but the bank said that it wasn't enough money (reserve NOT MET). Ok, I get that. The second auction came in at even less. I am not sure what the third auction did because I was not at my computer when it ended. I called Auction.com to get the final bid but was told that it was confidential. The bids are posted for everyone to see so that they can hopefully place the winning bid. I told the rep that if I was at my computer, I would have seen it.

    They are in the process of scheduling another auction. The trend was that every auction came in for less money. The sad part is that the bank should have taken the first auction because that was the highest amount.

    Whoever gets this house is in for some major surprises. One of the surprises could be the deal breaker, but the buyer won't find out until after the fact. See how easy it will be to evict a renter who is disabled.

    I never placed a bid because Auction.com has a contract that gives the buyer absolutely no rights.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 19 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your time!

    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Sep 28, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Honestly, you will waste your time going to most online house auctions. The price is never there.

    What they do is to keep you bidding when you don't know, in must of the cases, of the reserved price. And on top of that, they can bid as well against you to raise the price, making you the sucker! Just like a scam.

    I will be happy the day a government agency regulates and penalizes this type of business that the only purpose is to scam the customers!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 14 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Lacking

    You can find good deals here but be prepared for your money to be tied up for an absurdly amount of time. I purchased a property, and it has taken two months to close. As a cash purchase with no contingencies, it shouldn't take even close to this long to close. Another thing to consider is finding your own company to close. I used theirs, and they charged me over $1500 on a $7500 purchase!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 16 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Auction.com is rigged.

    Auction.com is rigged. A lot of shill bidding. I tried Aucton.com for one month, even for the same property twice, I could not take on the shill bidding and ended up buying from a realtor for less than my max bids.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 10 out 17 people found this review helpful

    They do what they say

    I've bought foreclosure properties from Auction.com. Their staff is friendly and usually knowledgeable. They don't have the greatest terms and conditions on their website if bidding online, since the terms are mainly just to protect themselves. But, they do a great job in person.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 14 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Service is horrible. They only protect the buyer.

    I had the worst experience with this people. After going through the running and the stress of submitting the signed contract, the proof of funds, and the earnest money within a limited time. After almost two months they send a cancellation. Obviously, the seller was protected at all times according to the contract! All the time wasted, and the wire money was a total loss. Shame on them! At least they could return the earnest money. Be careful with them!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 28 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Looks like a scam

    • Mississippi,
    • Feb 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried bidding on a house, and the auctioneer was the only one bidding against me. They want you to keep bidding even if you have already reached the seller's reserved price so that they can get more percentage. It should be illegal for the auctioneer to counterbid the real bidders.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-11 of 22

Write a Review for Auction.com!

Share your experience to help others shop smarter & discover great products.

Write a Review