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.

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Read 39 Auction.com Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 9 1 star:  27
Bottom Line: 15% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 39
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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    It's not an auction. Terrible.

    • Florida,
    • Aug 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Auction.com is not an auction of foreclosed properties. Auction.com simply is the middle man to the lender with the goal to help the lender receive as much money as they can for any given property. Which presents a multitude of problems for buyers.

    Most if not all depending on your location, Auction.com homes do not have access to inspect prior to bidding. This should be unacceptable to all buyers.

    Shill bidding happens constantly. It's not an auction.

    Auction.com does not provide lien information, title search or allow for a title search after an "accepted bid". You buy it, you pay for liens.

    If you "win" you don't really own the property. Your bid gets presented to the lender then they decide if they'll sell it. Or if they'll relist it, change the reserve, change the terms or a multitude of other changes, which by the way if you disagree with and decide to back out, Auction.com keeps your deposit they required for you to bid!

    Auction.com phone staff are mostly unprofessional and could care less about the bidders financial well being or outcome.

    A real auction is, bidders review a piece of real estate inside and outside. Potential bidders get lien info and all other financial pertinent documents provided then decide if and how much to bid. If they're the highest bidder, they win and closing is scheduled with the lender. This is not how Auction.com operates. It's a 100% crapshoot for buyers from start to finish. Why anyone would commit their money to this Auction.com system is beyond my comprehension.

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

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    • Aug 12, 2019

      Company Response from Auction.com

      We’d appreciate a chance to speak with you regarding your experience. Please call 800-793-6107 Mon – Fri 7am to 7pm CST. Or email us with your contact information at customerservice@auction.com.


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    What a waste!

    • Mississippi,
    • Aug 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Auction.com touts all this info and access to foreclosed properties, but if you have a cell phone or use VOIP instead of a landline, you cannot even register for an auction. I have been searching and found some good deals, but then can't even bid on them because they can't verify my phone number? This has NEVER HAPPENED with a single company I have ever done business with! WHAT A WASTE.

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

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    • Aug 12, 2019

      Company Response from Auction.com

      We’d appreciate a chance to speak with you regarding your experience. Please call 800-793-6107 Mon – Fri 7am to 7pm CST. Or email us with your contact information at customerservice@auction.com.


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Something's up

    • Arizona,
    • Aug 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been following a property to go up for auction in Flagstaff, AZ. It keeps changing dates to later and later, well I just looked on Craigslist and low and behold for sale. Investor's dream!

    Was going for $55K, on Craigslist for $245k, who's in your back pocket?

    Sounds like crooked business to me. Will dig further into this as well as others.

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

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    • Aug 12, 2019

      Company Response from Auction.com

      We’d appreciate a chance to speak with you regarding your experience. Please call 800-793-6107 Mon – Fri 7am to 7pm CST. Or email us with your contact information at customerservice@auction.com.


  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Difficult to deal with

    • Massachusetts,
    • Jun 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The company isn't a scam but things are not quite as they seem, and they make very simple tasks very difficult. First, it is not a true auction, they will bid you up to the reserve price behind the scenes, but if you read the fine print they admit to this. The worst part though is the way they handle their business. They are so difficult to communicate with. Calls go to voicemail, emails are like sending them into the black hole. They simply do not respond. They ask for you to do your part, they get right on that, but if there is an issue, they do not respond.

    Example: I had my side in order, but the agreement they sent had the buyer (me) written incorrectly. They kept calling and emailing asking me why I wasn't signing or sending my deposit, I kept replying and calling people to rectify the contract, we just kept going around in circles. Once we got past that the seller accepted my offer and I was never notified or given next steps. Then I get a call that says I am supposed to have everything done for closing, but they never told me that or what to do. We had to delay closing. Ultimately the title did not pass with my attorney and the foreclosure would not stand up to case law, so had I not had my own attorney review it, I would have bought nothing. So the transaction was canceled, HOWEVER, 6 weeks after signing the termination agreement, I am still owed almost $6,000 in earnest money.

    Every step of the process you have to deal with a different person, and they just don't do their jobs very well. It's a shame that so many foreclosures are now going through this company. Again, I don't think it's a scam, but I do think they will happily steal your deposit money if given the chance.

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

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Signed up to bid - put down $2500 deposit - then property shown as sold in the future

    • California,
    • Mar 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Seems like a bunch of scammers. I've registered to bid a few properties - they have hidden reserves and auto-bid against you. Then I traveled 250 miles to check out a property on the 9th of March that I was going to bid - and then find out they show it as sale pending when Auction was supposed to be on the 11th-13th of March. Why do they not inform registered bidders? Are they just a bunch of crooks - appears so.

    Buyer beware, plus, there are loads on most transactions.

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

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    • Mar 18, 2019

      Company Response from Auction.com

      Hi Gregory. Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear you did not have a great experience. Would you like to take this conversation offline so I can look into this property for you? If so, please send an email to connect@auction.com.


  • 16 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Use your own lawyer.

    • Tazewell, VA,
    • Jan 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I could write a very long complaint about Auction.com, there were so many things that went wrong but let me just cut this short. The auction process was not bad. We had a good look at the property before Aucton.com got involved and we knew what we were willing to pay. So at the near close of the auction, we began to bit. We were the only bidder and were led to the reserve price, which was about half the tax value. We won! Within minutes we were contacted and asked to file out some online paperwork and basically told we really needed to use their escrow company. We were told we would get free title insurance if we did, so that is what we did. That was the Big Mistake. Too many problems to even go over on here. We had our own local attorney review everything and were happy we did.

    Bottom line, don't use their escrow company for closing, just get someone local to handle the closing and pay the coordination fee. Oh, and that free title insurance, they tried to say they never offered it, but we held them to it. Even after we had paid for the house, it took them a week to send us the code to the lock box to get in, and the code was still wrong. The final straw was it took about six weeks to get the deed. Yes, get you a deal at Auction.com, but get your own closing attorney.

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

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    • Jan 22, 2019

      Company Response from Auction.com

      Hi Robert. Thank you for your review. We are glad you were able to win the property, but we are sorry to hear you had difficulties at closing. Reviews like yours help us to learn and improve. If you would like to share more, please send us an email to connect@auction.com.


  • 17 out 17 people found this review helpful

    It’s not worth it...my first experience.

    • Jan 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used an auction to purchase a home eight years ago. The auction was in person and I experienced what I have now learned to be, shill bidding. The home I was bidding on was in fair condition and back then we were going through a recession so you could get a brand new foreclosed home for $99k. I went to the auction hoping to get a good deal, but once the bid went over $80k, I decided it was too much and let it go.

    While leaving out, I was approached by an Auction.com rep and told if I wanted the house, I could have it for the $75k I bid. Without question, I purchased the home and within the first few months I found out so much was wrong with the home. I ended up putting over $40k into the home, renovating kitchen, three bathrooms, all new flooring, siding, and two brand new AC units because both went out within the first month. I walked away a few years later with nothing because I ran out of funding to fix everything in the home. The foundation needed repair, a new roof and so much more.

    This was my first time using Auction.com so I learned to do my homework and FACTOR IN EVERYTHING that looks like a possible. This home was a foreclosure so my belief is the banks don’t care about the condition of the home, they only want the money the borrower owes them, and it’s Auction.com's job to do their best to get it to them. REMEMBER, Auction.com works for the seller, not in the interest of the buyer.

    I’m sure they will deny shill bidding took place since it’s illegal, but why would the winning bidder suddenly disappear? I hadn’t even walked 5 feet from my seat when I was approached and told I could have the property.

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

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  • 7 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Auction.com in contempt of court?

    • California,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am presently in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Federal Court since May of 2016 and Auction.Com keeps publishing that my home is up for auction every month. My wife, children, and 80-year-old parents have had enough and contacted Americans Against Foreclosures (AAF). They have now filed an Order to Show Cause (OSC) why Auction.Com should not be held in contempt of court for violating the Automatic Stay in the Bankruptcy. We continually get collection calls, realtors and brokers coming buy, people outside taking pictures and trespassing on our property all due to the published content on Auction.Com. This should be made illegal in all States in the US immediately.

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

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  • 19 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Horrible experience

    • Cincinnati, OH,
    • Jan 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My husband and I found a house on Auction.com in May. The bidding started, and before the auction was supposed to be over, the auction was canceled. Then fast forward to December, the same house went back up on auction. It started on 12/19 and we placed a bid. The auction was not supposed to end until 12/26. On 12/21, the auction was canceled. And then by our surprise, it went back up as an active auction. We then placed another bid, and we went back and forth and were the highest bidder at 9:30 am on 12/26 and the auction was supposed to end on 12/26 at 10:26 am. We were excited and kept looking and then at 10:01 am the auction was canceled, AGAIN!

    I don’t understand how this could have happened...twice! I don’t even know if this is a house that is in still actually in foreclosure. It seems pretty sketchy. Bottom line is, I would not recommend, and we had a horrible experience, not once, but twice.

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

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    • Jan 7, 2019

      Company Response from Auction.com

      Hi Amy. Thank you for your review. Auction.com provides marketing services for trustee and foreclosure firms and advertises the times and dates where the foreclosure sale will occur. In the event that a defaulting borrower resolves their loan, Auction.com is notified by the foreclosure/trustee to remove these advertisements. Cancellation of a property auction may be due to a mutual agreement, bankruptcy, beneficiary's request, trustee's discretion, or operation of law for example. Please let us know if you have questions.


  • 25 out 25 people found this review helpful

    Total scam!

    • White Bear Lake, MN,
    • Nov 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I won a bid on a house back in August 2018 only to find out months later that they gave FALSE INFORMATION (it was advertised as REO, meaning real estate owned). How is selling a house that isn't even YOURS YET legal?! Because of this misrepresentation, it took 3 months for them to get their information together for closing only to find out that they were trying to sell the house for MUCH MORE than what was owed on the property in the first place! Information that would have been NICE TO KNOW THREE MONTHS AGO when we were originally supposed to close! Only an idiot is going to sign themselves up to potentially lose thousands of dollars if the house is redeemed during the 6-month redemption period, which can often times happen!

    BUT WAIT, it gets WORSE. After all of the misrepresentation and lies, they threaten to keep the earnest money deposit of over $8k. On top of that, I see the house listed on Auction.com right now to be sold again, HAHAHAHA. And would you believe they are still hoarding our $8k earnest money deposit?! SCAMMERS. BEWARE.

    Also, if you are reading this and the same thing is happening to you, don't go down without a fight. I am hoping to take them to court. Best of luck Auction.com!

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

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    • Nov 30, 2018

      Company Response from Auction.com

      Hi Lexi. Would you mind sending us an email to connect@auction.com with the property address and the buyer's email address so I can look into this for you?


  • 20 out 21 people found this review helpful

    Auction.com is incompetent and unethical

    • Oakland, CA,
    • Nov 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    A copy of my complaint sent to Auction.com:

    This auctioned was scheduled for 9 am. I arrived at 845 and registered. There were several Auction.com employees present.

    I asked whether this auction was on or postponed, but they could not answer. In fact, I wasted several hours waiting for an answer. I did get an email at 1:12 stating the auction was postponed.

    Comments re this auction:

    1. The employee who read the usual legalese at 9 am mumbled and could barely read English. His discussion was barely understandable. Look into it and improve the presentation.

    2. I have been to many foreclosure sales not run by Auction.com. You show up at the sale time and you are told immediately whether the sale is on or postponed.

    Auction.com wastes the buyer's time. The excuse offered was "poor homeowner, give him a chance." The homeowner had almost 4 months to cure his default.

    3. I have purchased more than 5 properties through auction.com - several million dollars. In each sale, my treatment by Auction.com was a 3 on a scale of 1-10. Besides the typical incompetence of Auction.com, I absolutely object to your policy of allowing the seller in online auctions to bid up the price. It is unethical, and it is no longer an auction. In reviews of Auction.com, many others have objected to this policy. Because of this policy, I have not purchased any of your properties in the last few years.

    4. Your disregard for your clients, the buyers, have lost you my business. Without satisfied buyers, your sellers will go elsewhere, and your business is finished.

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

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