Auction Rules

When to Use:
The Self-Storage Auction Rules are on the TSSA Goldbook© CD. Any of these “CD-ROM” forms can be used by any member in good standing of TSSA, and members in good standing are welcome to make any changes to these forms for their specific uses in their businesses.

The Auction Rules form gives a good template for owners to use for their own auction rules and bidder agreement. It is recommended that all owners who are conducting foreclosure sales distribute a comprehensive set of rules to all bidders prior to the beginning of the bidding process. This can save owners a lot of headaches (buyers not cleaning out the unit, buyers disappearing, etc.) and eliminate misunderstandings between your facility and the auction buyers.

How to Use:
You may use this form “as-is” or you may tailor it to the particular needs of your facility. Once you get the form in its final form that you want to use, give a set of rules to each bidder at the sale. It is recommended that you require all bidders to sign a copy of the rules (so that you have evidence that they agreed to them), as a condition of allowing them to bid in the sale. If you don’t want to execute two forms or copy the form the bidder signs, you can keep the signed copy for your files and give the bidder an unsigned copy.

You should fill in all the blanks in the form. For example, in paragraph one it says that “If payments are not made in full within _____minutes after the conclusion of this sale, the facility in its sole discretion may sell the items to the next highest bidder…”

Tips for Use:
The most important tip is to review these auction rules, decide which ones work for you, add any auction rules that you believe appropriate for your facility, and use the rules on a regular basis by requiring bidders to sign off on them prior to bidding, and as a condition of bidding. You also may wish to post the rules in a conspicuous place at the entrance to your auction area. This way, in case a bidder forgets to sign or you slip up and forget to require the bidder to sign, the bidder is still on notice of the rules. Also, I would recommend that some of the first words of any auction, whether by an auctioneer or by whoever is auctioning the units, be something like: “This auction is subject to all the rules of the auction posted at the entrance and distributed at the front desk. To be eligible to bid all bidders must have a signed bidder agreement on file with the front desk.”

There are many tried and true provisions in these sample rules. For example, there is a provision that says the facility reserves the right to place a minimum bid on the auction item. There is also a provision regarding sales tax, as a reminder to both you and all bidders that sales tax will be due and collected on any item sold (unless no tax is due, such as in the case of a vehicle or boat). The rules also contain a provision requesting that buyers return any personal items that they may find (such as scrapbooks, pictures, etc.).