New Jersey Auction Law

New Jersey is a state in the United States’ Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions. The state of New York borders it on the north and east; the Atlantic Ocean borders it on the east, southeast, and south; the Delaware River and Pennsylvania border it on the west; and Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware border it on the southwest. Native Americans have lived in New Jersey for at least 2,800 years, with the Lenape being the dominant tribe by the time Europeans arrived in the early 17th century.The first European settlements in the state were established by Dutch and Swedish colonists. The English eventually took possession of the area, calling it the Province of New Jersey after the biggest of the Channel Islands, Jersey, and giving it to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton as a colony.

Auction Law

Increasing number of owners desiring to sell their real estate in a sluggish market are considering having their properties auctioned rather than marketed in the conventional method. This type of auction is far removed from an auction pursuant to a court order in a mortgage foreclosure or bankruptcy.

A New Jersey real estate broker undertaking to obtain listing of properties for marketing through the auction method should engage the services not only of a qualified auctioneer but also of an attorney with detailed knowledge of what is truly involved. The knowledge includes the special terms and conditions that should be part of the listing agreement with the owner, the terms and conditions of the auction, the necessary disclaimers of warranties and representations by the owner and the broker/auctioneer, the procedures for registration of bidders and real estate brokers representing bidders, the materials concerning the property which are highly desirable or required to be made available to registered bidders prior to the auction in a “bidder package” made available to registered bidders, the terms and conditions of the Contract of Sale which should be part of the “bidder package”, and the elimination of post-auction contingencies which, if not satisfied, would allow the winning bidder to refuse to close title.

In recent years there has been a sizeable increase in New Jersey voluntary (as opposed to foreclosure) auctioning of residential, commercial and industrial real estate; However, there are no statutory requirements or regulations and almost no case law governing voluntary real estate auctions in New Jersey.

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 so 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

Auction and Auctioneer in New Jersey

Auctioneers to keep book records; what to set forth 

Every person engaged in the business of selling personal property at auction in cities of the first, second, or third class, whether acting in his own behalf or as the officer, agent or representative of another, shall, upon the receipt or acceptance by him of any personal property for the purpose of sale at auction, and before offering the same or any part thereof for sale at auction, write or cause to be written in a book to be kept by him for that purpose, the name and address of the person who employed him to so sell such property; the name and address of the person for whose benefit, behalf or account the property is to be sold; the name and address of the person from whom the auctioneer received or accepted the property; the name and address of the owner of the property immediately prior to such receipt or acceptance; the location, with street number, if any, of the property immediately prior to its receipt or acceptance; the date of the receipt or acceptance; the place, with street number, if any, in which the property is to be kept until sold or offered for sale at auction; the place, with street and number, if any, in which the property is to be sold or offered for sale at auction; a description of the property, the quantity thereof and the distinctive marks thereon, if any, and the terms and conditions upon which the auctioneer receives or accepts the property for sale at auction.

Penalty for violations; misdemeanor

Any person who violates the provisions of sections 45:17-1 or 45:17-2 of this title, or any person engaged in the business of selling goods at auction who fails, neglects or refuses to permit or allow an inspection of his books as provided by section 45:17-2 of this title, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Licensing of nonresidents to auction jewelry or silverware; fee; penalty

No nonresident person or corporation shall sell silverware or jewelry at auction in this state without first obtaining a license so to do as hereinafter provided. Every nonresident shall, before commencing to so sell any silverware or jewelry, apply to the clerk of the municipality in which the sale is proposed to be had, and obtain from him a license for the carrying on of the sale, which license shall only be issued upon the payment of one hundred dollars to such clerk for the use of said municipality. Any person or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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