Utah Auction Law

Utah is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast. Of the fifty U.S. states, Utah is the 13th-largest by area; with a population over three million, it is the 30th-most-populous and 11th-least-densely populated. Urban development is mostly concentrated in two areas: the Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, which is home to roughly two-thirds of the population and includes the capital city, Salt Lake City; and Washington County in the south, with more than 170,000 residents. Most of the western half of Utah lies in the Great Basin.

Utah has a highly diversified economy, with major sectors including transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and tourism. Utah has been one of the fastest growing states since 2000, with the 2020 U.S. Census confirming the fastest population growth in the nation since 2010. St. George was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States from 2000 to 2005. Utah ranks among the overall best states in metrics such as healthcare, governance, education, and infrastructure. It has the 14th-highest median average income and the least income inequality of any U.S. state. A 2012 Gallup national survey found Utah overall to be the “best state to live in the future” based on 13 forward-looking measurements including various economic, lifestyle, and health-related outlook metrics.

Utah 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In an auction without reserve, after the auctioneer calls for bids on an article or lot, that article or lot cannot be withdrawn unless no bid is made within a reasonable time.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.

Public Sale

Public sale, mail and live auctions will be conducted as follows:

  1. The Comptroller’s Office of the department will accept sealed bids by any means of delivery until 5:00 P.M. the day prior to the auction.
  2. The officer conducting the auction will accept sealed bids by personal delivery on the day of the auction up until the beginning of the auction.
  3. A sealed bid must contain deposit funds in an amount determined and advertised by the department, as required by Section R907-80-4 to purchase the subject property. The department may require this deposit to consist of certified funds. Bids and bid deposits must be a specified dollar amount. The department has the right to reject any bid however submitted.
  4. The department may require buyers who have defaulted on certificates of sale in the past to make larger deposits or submit sealed bids in the form of certified funds even if such a requirement is not contained in the notice of sale.
  5. The officer conducting the auction will open sealed bids after declaring that the auction has started. After determining which sealed bid is highest, the officer will allow bidders willing to bid more than the highest sealed bid received to participate in live bidding. Live bids must be for more than the amount of the highest sealed bid, subject to those terms and conditions set forth in Subsection R907-80-7(6). Persons who submit sealed bids eligible to participate in the live bidding will also be allowed to participate by telephone, subject to the terms and conditions of Subsection R907-80-7(6).
  6. Bids less than the minimum acceptable selling price will be disqualified, and the bidder will not be eligible for live bidding even if such bids would otherwise meet those requirements in Subsections (4) or (6).
  7. Bids, whether sealed or live, constitute a valid offer to purchase. An attempt to withdraw a sealed bid after the first sealed bid has been opened, or an attempt to withdraw or amend an live bid may result in the forfeiture of the bid deposit and any other remedy afforded the department at law or equity.
  8. At the conclusion of the auction and subject to the terms of Section R907-80-8, the successful bidder must sign a written offer agreement prepared by the department that states the terms included in the public sale notice.
  9. If the successful bidder defaults on the offer agreement, or otherwise fails to meet the requirements of Section R907-80-12, and upon approval by the director, the property may be offered for sale to the person whose bid was second highest at the auction provided that the terms of the sale meet or exceed the minimum acceptable selling price established for the subject property. The second highest bidder will have 30 days from the date of the department’s offer to submit the purchase price balance plus costs required by Subsection R907-80-10(5).
  10. Third parties owning authorized improvements on the parcel at the time of the sale will be allowed 90 days from the date of the sale to remove the improvements. This provision will not apply when such improvements are permitted under a valid existing right of record when such right survives the sale of the parcel, or the improvements are subject to a separate lease agreement.

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