Maryland Auction Law

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. Baltimore is the largest city in the state and the capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English Queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary, who was the wife of King Charles I. 

Maryland’s early settlements and population centers clustered around rivers and other waterways that empty into the Chesapeake Bay. Its economy was heavily plantation-based and centered mostly on the cultivation of tobacco. Britain’s need for cheap labor led to a rapid expansion of indentured servants, penal labor, and African slaves. In 1760, Maryland’s current boundaries took form following the settlement of a long-running border dispute with Pennsylvania. Maryland was an active participant in the events leading up to the American Revolution, and by 1776, its delegates signed the Declaration of Independence. Many of its citizens subsequently played key political and military roles in the war. In 1790, the state ceded land for the establishment of the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C.

Maryland sale by auction

§ 14-817 – Sale at public auction

  1. (1) (I) The sale shall be held on the day and at the place stated in the notice by advertising.

     (II) The sale shall be held in the county in which the land to be sold is located.

     (III) If the sale cannot be completed on that day, the collector shall continue the sale as determined by the collector and announced to the bidders at the sale until all property included in the sale is sold.

(2) All sales shall be at public auction to the person who makes the highest good faith accepted bid, in fee or leasehold, as the case may be.

(3) (I) The collector shall retain any common law or other authority normally granted to an auctioneer conducting a public auction and may refuse to accept bids that are not made in good faith.

      (II) The collector may delegate this authority to an auctioneer.

(4) The conduct of the sale shall be according to terms set by the collector, and published with a reasonable degree of specificity in the public notice of the tax sale, to ensure the orderly functioning of the public auction and the integrity of the tax sale process, including requirements that potential bidders:

   (I) establish their eligibility for bidding by presenting evidence of the legal existence of the bidding entity that is satisfactory to the collector;

    (II) limit their representation at a tax sale to no more than a single agent per bidding entity; and

   (III) refrain from any act, agreement, consent, or conspiracy to suppress, predetermine, rig, or fix the bidding at the sale.

(5) (I) If determined by the collector to be in the best public interest and included in the required public notice of the sale, the collector may solicit and accept bids from the highest bidder for any group of properties to be sold at the tax sale.

    (II) 1. Upon the request of any individual or group, the collector may remove any individual property or properties from a group of properties to be sold at the tax sale.

2. Upon the request of the property owner at least 15 days before the date of the tax sale, the collector shall remove any individual property or properties from a group of properties to be sold at the tax sale.

    (III) The collector shall provide notice to the potential bidders of any alterations to a group of properties at the time the bidders become known.

   (IV) The collector may conduct the sale of a group of properties under this paragraph by a sealed bid process.

   (V) Except in Montgomery County, the collector shall establish a high-bid premium under subsection (b)(2) of this section for all properties to be sold:

  1. in groups; or
  2. by sealed bid process.

(b) (1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, property may not be sold for a sum less than the total amount of all taxes on the property that are certified to the collector under § 14-810 of this subtitle, together with interest and penalties on the taxes and the expenses incurred in making the sale, and the lien for the taxes, interest, penalties, and expenses passes to the purchaser.

    (2) (I) The collector may establish a high-bid premium to be applied to all properties to be sold at the tax sale. 


  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 his 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 he 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 his 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 his 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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