Iowa Auction Law

Iowa is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east and southeast, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.

Iowa is the 26th most extensive in total area and the 31st most populous of the 50 U.S. states with a population of 3,190,369 according to the 2020 census. The state’s capital, most populous city, and largest metropolitan area fully located within the state is Des Moines. A portion of the larger Omaha, Nebraska, metropolitan area extends into three counties of southwest Iowa. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest U.S. states to live in.

What is an Auction?

An auction is a system of buying and selling goods or services by offering them for bidding—allowing people to bid and selling to the highest bidder. The bidders compete against each other, with each subsequent bid being higher than the previous bid. Once an item is placed for sale, the auctioneer will start at a relatively low price to attract a large number of bidders. The price increases each time someone makes a new, higher bid until finally, no other bidders are willing to offer more than the most recent bid, and the highest bidder takes the item. An auction is considered complete when the vendor accepts the highest bid offered and the buyer pays for the goods or services and takes possession of them

The Auction Process

Before the start of an auction, potential buyers are usually allowed a preview period to check the items on sale and examine their condition. The preview period may be announced as being on the evening before the day of the auction or a few hours before it starts. Once potential buyers are done viewing all the items and are interested in placing their bids, they must register with the auctioneer. The registration process requires the buyer’s details like phone number, address, and identification such as a passport or driver’s license number. Each registered bidder is given a bidder card with a number that is used to identify all participants.

The sound of a bell traditionally marks the beginning of an auction. The auctioneer gives a brief description of the item for sale and starts the bidding with a price that he/she considers a reasonable opening price. Alternatively, the seller may have set a minimum bid price that they will accept, and the bidding starts there. The bidders then call out their bids, with each bid being higher than the subsequent bid. The bidders lift up their bidder card to announce their bid price so the auctioneer can identify who is making the bid. The process ends when there are no more bids, and the buyer making the highest bid gets the item. The highest bidder takes ownership of the item immediately after paying their bid price.

Sale by Auction

  1. In a sale by auction if goods are put up in lots each lot is the subject of a separate sale.
  2. A sale by auction is complete when the auctioneer announces by the fall of the hammer or in other customary manner. Where a bid is made while the hammer is falling in acceptance of a prior bid the auctioneer may in the auctioneer’s discretion reopen the bidding or declare the goods sold under the bid on which the hammer was falling.
  3. Such a sale is with reserve unless the goods are in explicit terms put up without reserve. In an auction with reserve the auctioneer may withdraw the goods at any time until the auctioneer announces completion of the sale. In an auction without reserve, after the auctioneer calls for bids on an article or lot, that article or lot cannot be withdrawn unless no bid is made within a reasonable time. In either case a bidder may retract the bidder’s bid until the auctioneer’s announcement of completion of the sale, but a bidder’s retraction does not revive any previous bid.
  4. If the auctioneer knowingly receives a bid on the seller’s behalf or the seller makes or procures such a bid, and notice has not been given that liberty for such bidding is reserved, the buyer may at the buyer’s option avoid the sale or take the goods at the price of the last good faith bid prior to the completion of the sale. This subsection shall not apply to any bid at a forced sale.

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