Real Estate Auction Etiquette

Real Estate Auction Etiquette | Smith & Co Real estate auctions are very common, especially recently with the surge of foreclosures. A potential homebuyer can certainly purchase a great home from auction at a very affordable price. However, there are things you must know about the auction process and how to approach this circumstance appropriately.


Before you attend your first real estate auction, you must understand the scale of what you’re about to do. You must take the auction seriously and bid on a home within your limits. Bidding on a home on a whim is not a good idea.



Have a budget in mind so that auction time is not wasted and so that a home you can’t afford can rightfully be purchased by a more financially sound person.


Know the rules

Learn the rules and restrictions of the auction company or real estate agency for purchasing an auctioned home. Also observe how others are behaving. You’ll notice that real estate auctions are not a shouting ground. All you need to do to place a bid is maintain eye contact with the auctioneer.


Don’t compete

As much as you might want to purchase an auctioned home, don’t go to the auction with the intention to compete against others. Make sure you are respectful towards those bidding as well as towards the auctioneer.


Prepare funds

The money to be paid for the auctioned home might be due at the time of purchase or within a few days so make sure you have the funds available.


Smith & Co. has been conducting real estate auctions for many years. To attend one of ours or to learn more about the real estate auction process, be sure to give us a call.

How Real Estate Agents Can Help Sellers


A real estate agent is a buyer and seller’s best advocate. An agent’s main purpose is to ensure their clients get the fairest and most profitable deal. Often times, a seller might try to go into a real estate transaction with no assistance or knowledge of how the process works. While a sale can go through, it might not be 100% in their favor. Hiring a listing agent while you are selling your property should be a no-brainer. Here are some reasons why a real estate agent can be an asset to your selling experience:


Navigate Confusing Trends

As a nation, we are beginning to climb the ladder from the devastating market crash in the early 2000’s, making current real estate conditions competitive. An agent will be able to help guide a seller so that their house is marketed correctly to attract the right buyer.


A real estate agent has a leg up on current market conditions. They also have the knowledge to develop a strategy that works best for their client’s needs.


Help with Financials and Negotiating

The financial aspect of selling a home can be difficult to understand. Setting a price for your home is personal and it’s hard to take your feelings and opinions out of the equation. An agent can help a seller choose a rational selling price.


Sell Faster

Let’s not forget that an agent is involved in a lot networking. With a wealth of contacts, they can inform other agents of a beautiful home that their client would be interested in. It’s actually proven that homes that are for sale by owner take much longer to sell than if they were listed with an agent. The agent has access to things like the Multiple Listing Service, which is a database of houses for sale around the US. Because if the exclusive access, they can guarantee that your home will be seen on sites like or


Real estate agents are a valuable asset and work hard to make sure their clients are satisfied with the sale of their home. With an objective voice and viewpoint, a seller can feel confident in the decisions they have made

First Time Home Buyers | What You Need To Know About Property Taxes

Before you put a bid on your “affordable” dream home, you have to take into consideration an important factor that can drastically change the affordability of a home: the property taxes.

What are property taxes?

A property tax (or millage tax) is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located. Property taxes are based upon the location and the specific home’s value.

For first time home buyers: here is important information about property taxes you need to know and how that number coincides with the value, as well as monthly payment, of the home.

  • Local governments use property tax revenue for funding programs such as education, emergency services, transportation, libraries, parks and infrastructures.
  • Property taxes are a major cost for homeowners and are paid yearly either in a lump sum or the cost is divided to be included in 12 monthly mortgage payments.
  • The tax rate is a flat rate percentage based upon the value of the property.
  • Various levels of governments are allowed to collect property taxes. This includes states, counties, school districts, and special districts.
  • A licensed tax assessor will use market data, previous sale prices and neighborhood desirability to determine the value of a home, which determines the amount of property tax to be paid.
  • Property taxes can be raised by governments each year when support for funding is needed.
  • Home improvements can increase the value of a home and thus, increasing the property taxes. Homeowners need to ensure that the amount of money put in and the amount of taxes to pay will be received back with the revenue from a future sale.

Buying Your Home At Auction

Benefits, Tips, and Tricks

The traditional viewpoint is that homes are bought and sold through a series of open houses, meetings with realtors, house showings, negotiations, home inspections… the list goes on. But there are easier ways to sell and purchase properties! Through real estate auctions, both the buyer and the seller have a much shorter and easier time throughout the whole transaction.

Final Price

As the buyer/bidder, you have the power to determine the final price of the home. Often times, you will get a significantly lower price on an auctioned home in comparison to a home where you must provide offers. Further, your bid cannot be declined by the seller. Adequate preparation in the time before the auction can ensure that you walk away with a fantastic deal and a new property. One tip: the first few properties often sell for less as bidders sit them out to see how the bidding will go.


You’ll have plenty of time to attend the home’s open houses prior to the auction. This will give you a great opportunity to check out the homes and inspect them for potential damages that you will have to eventually repair. In the long run, as the buyer, you will also save time by eliminating the price negotiation phase. In some states, ownership is transferred immediately following the auction.


Most of the hullabaloo is taken away at auctions. By preparing yourself ahead of time and getting all of your ducks in a row, you are able to make the transaction completely painless. No waiting, no negotiating, no let downs. Preparing for the auction can often be the most complicated part. You’ll have to do a fair amount of research on which houses will be auctioned, as well as do your homework on the home’s history. You’ll want to attend the open house if available, and talk to people in the neighborhood. In addition, you will have to arrange your finances ahead of time and make sure your liquid cash is ready. For more tips on exactly what you’ll need to prepare, visit this site.

Finding the History of A Home

There has probably been a time when unanswered questions about the history of your home have wavered into your mind. While an inspector can certainly inspect the home’s bone structure, they cannot tell you about the history of the home. Some questions you might be pondering are, who lived here before, what remodeling has been done or has there ever been any documented disputes or problems with the home? Finding the history of a home can be especially helpful if you plan to purchase a home at auction.

Learning the history of your home is a matter of public record, but you have to know where to start your research. Your trip to the past should begin at your local courthouse or historical society.

Most of the information you’ll want to seek out will be in recorded documents, thus being kept in a public records or clerk’s office. Historical societies also have access to public records and can pull up a house by official lot number.

With consideration that addresses change periodically, recorded information will be organized by the house’s lot number, not the actual numerical address. Once you have the property lot number, researching will be much easier.

A building permit is also great for learning about the initial cost of the home, who built it and when as well as original dimensions and any other constructional information. You’ll need to obtain a building permit, which can be provided at the courthouse or historical society.

A copy of your property’s abstract will provide you with information on the previous owners as well as recorded deeds and any legal transactions. You may have been given this document at the time of purchase, but a copy of same can be provided at the courthouse.

Lastly, don’t forget to peruse through your county’s newspaper archives as well as chatting with neighbors. They will be able to provide a wealth of information if they have been present in the area for an established amount of time.

Outlaw Al Jennings’ pistol going up for auction

A pistol and other possessions belonging to a one-time Old West outlaw who later ran for governor of Oklahoma and became an actor are going up for auction next month.

The .45 Colt revolver owned by infamous outlaw Alphonzo “Al” J. Jennings could go for as much as $30,000 during an auction June 5 in Woodward, said Ira Smith, auctioneer with Smith & Co. Auction and Reality Inc.

Jennings was born in Virginia in 1863 and moved to El Reno, Oklahoma, where he became the prosecuting attorney for Canadian County, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society.

In 1895, he joined his two brothers in a law practice in Woodward. Later that year, one brother was killed and another wounded in a shootout with a rival attorney. Jennings later formed an outlaw band that attempted to rob trains and general stores before he was captured and sentenced to life in prison.

One of his brothers got his sentence reduced, and Jennings was released just a few years later. He ran unsuccessfully for Oklahoma governor in 1914 and then moved to California, where he appeared in at least two westerns before dying in 1961.

“Al Jennings is probably one of the most enigmatic characters in Oklahoma history,” Oklahoma Historical Society executive director Bob Blackburn said. “He was a potential candidate for governor, so he had a professional side to him — an ambition to be accepted by the community — and at the same time, he had this urge to get rich quick. He was not successful at either one.”

Blackburn said Jennings was probably most successful at getting into the movie business.

After Jennings’ death, his possessions, including the pistol, trickled down through family members, who have now decided to put up the items at a public auction.

Other items include a picture of Jennings attending Wyatt Earp’s funeral, a poster from his failed attempt to become governor and a book signed by President Harry Truman, said Karen Rampy, Jennings’ great-great niece.

The auction will be streamed online, too, Smith said.

“It’s hard to put a value on this thing, but in my mind — which I’ve been in this business 32 years so I’ve watched this happen before — that gun could easily bring $20,000 to $30,000. You never know at a public auction,” he said.

Three Important Tips for First Time Buyers

Before purchasing your first home, you’ll want to focus on the three most important steps of the home buying process. After stabilizing your credit, determining what you can afford, and researching all costs, you’ll be ready to get into the more exciting aspects of choosing your first home.

Stabilize Your Credit

Your credit score is going to either negatively or positively influence which houses you are able to buy. Let’s hope it’s the former. Get your credit report as soon as possible and start making changes to improve it.  In order to make the most of your credit score, avoid moving your money around in drastic ways for a few months before you plan on applying. Don’t apply for new credit cards. Don’t take out new loans. Don’t give your brother $200,000. Banks are hoping to see consistency. This clues them in that you are reliable and a satisfactory candidate for a mortgage. Providing them a complete trail of where your money has been for the recent past can only help your credibility as a mortgage applicant.

Determine Your Budget

In all likeliness, a home will be the biggest purchase you ever make. Many people get in trouble when they try to buy too much house when they cannot afford it. It can leave you with less money for other financial goals you may have such as buying a new car or paying for college. Avoid this by maximizing your monthly mortgage payment at 28% of your monthly income. For example, if you are making $1,000 per month, you should only be spending $280 per month on your mortgage. Staying within this budget will free up your leftover income for things like paying other bills, taking vacations, and buying new cars.

Be Aware of Sleeper Costs

Naturally, the most important number to pay attention to is your monthly mortgage payment. However, you also shouldn’t minimize the importance of extraneous costs such as taxes, maintenance, and repairs. Paying little Joey to mow your lawn over the summer might be something you didn’t think about when you talked to your mortgage broker. You’ll likely also have to replace a door, roof, backyard shed, etc. Taxes can be another doozy.  They can go up without any explanation, and you are obliged to pay. Avoid potentially losing your home by paying close attention to possible repairs, and budgeting for the unexpected.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

5 Lessons You Learn while Buying Your First House

Buying your first home is exciting, especially now that we have sites like Pinterest and Houzz to get us ready for dream homes and home décor by the age of 14. And so, people often decide on what they want and what the deal breakers are. Many buyers plan their maximum offers, expectations, and maximum offers. And then hit the buyer hits the proverbial brick wall. There is nothing in his or her price range that has all the features of this “dream home”. It’s like dating, when you raise your standards and have too many prerequisites, you drastically reduce your chance of finding the perfect fit.

  • Work with a Real Estate Professional… These pros know about the housing market in your area, and are more inclined to take you to see homes that are under your budget, that may need some work, but that have more ultimate potential than homes selling at the top of your budget. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to become more competitive in order to find what you want, and only looking in your price range may take you out of the running.
  • Shop with Your Head, not Your Heart… You may find the home of your dreams, but it could be way out of your price range, and you could be over-extending yourself, while another home, one that needs your imagination to visualize what it could be, is just down the street, waiting to be discovered. Visit homes more than once before you make a decision. Yes, you want that feeling of “This is the one!”, but there could be more than one home that has “it” potential. You must love the home you choose as it is with an eye towards what it could be.
  • Trust your Real Estate Agent. A good agent is like a salesperson and a CPA rolled into one. They are going to keep in mind your needs and desires – which are different – and what you should and should not be spending. Good agents want to make a sale, of course, but they want you to be happy. Moreover, the pros know which homes have a lot more potential than they “seem” to have, and can help you to see it too.
  • Research is Worth It… When you find homes that interest you, google them, go to the bureau of public records in your town and find out about the home’s history. This is information that is available to the public, and stuff you might want to know. Be aware of things like what school district you’re in, what the utility companies charge, if there is a Homeowner’s Association, and how intrusive they are. Let the professionals do their jobs, but you must do yours. The more info you have, the better your decisions can be.
  • Know What your Priorities and Deal Breakers are… know exactly what you want and get your priorities in order. You are going to have to compromise on some things and make some concessions. You may not get your fireplace, but instead you will have glorious views. Be a visionary.

Above all, be patient! Home buying is a process, and when you are buying for the first time, you should enjoy the process and learn from it. Be creative in your thinking, and be flexible. Rely on the pros for good advice. Allow yourself to be excited and eager, but temper that with good sense. Buying your first home is a great gift. Remember that, with gratitude.

Moving to Your New Home with Pets

The challenge of moving can be highly stressful for any family; but when pets are involved, a completely new level of challenges arise that are difficult on everyone involved. Our pets are a part of our families, and they often feel the stress and angst that we feel, during major life changes. Moving, whether you are traveling across town, or across the country, is one of the most major life changes we can make.

Though moving can be stressful, it is also an exciting experience. It brings with it, opportunities for new beginnings, and fresh starts. In addition, if we have pets, we most certainly want them along for the ride. Making sure that everyone is prepared for this life-changing event is important, so there are quite a few things we may need to consider for ourselves, and our pets, before taking on the challenge.

Here are a few tips for moving with pets, that will make the transition a bit easier, and as painless as possible for the whole family.

Take Your Pets to the Vet

Especially, if your move, includes a bit of travel, car rides, planes, etc.; taking your pets for a general check-up and letting the vet know that you are about to move, is a wise idea. Many pets can have adverse reactions to long distance traveling, or simply being taken out of their familiar surroundings. Making sure that they are healthy and prepared for travel of any kind, will make you feel better, and help keep your pets stay healthy and balanced.

Keep a Good Supply of Meds, Food, and Water

Knowing that you are equipped with everything you need to keep your pets calm and happy will make the move a lot less challenging. If your pets are on any medications, or if any are prescribed by the vet before you move, be sure to have them on hand. Also having enough food and water for your pets will help to keep them on an eating and drinking schedule that is similar to what they are used to. Well-nourished and hydrated pets are usually relaxed and happy.

Make Sure They Are Restrained Safely

All airlines have safe travel requirements for pets. They are normally required to be in a crate or airline safe carrier. If you are traveling by vehicle, the same rules should apply, for everyone’s safety. Loving your pets means that you will keep them safe, and NOT try to hold them in your laps. Having pets roam around inside of a moving vehicle is not a good idea for anyone.

Prepare Your New Living Space For Your Pets

Most pets thrive on the familiarity of their surroundings. As soon as you get to your new location, unpack your pet’s toys, food and water bowls. Take some down time with your pets to make them feel at ease in unfamiliar territory. Their toys, pieces of your clothing, and other familiar items from your last residence, will make the transition much smoother for you and your pets.