sealed bid sales

There are many situations where an auction is NOT the proper method of liquidation.

  • A lender may have collateral that is very specialized, where the resale market is very thin.
  • Or the collateral may not justify the expense of conducting an auction.
  • Or there may be inventory involved that needs to be sold as one or several lots. In these cases, our sealed bid sale method is the best method of liquidation.


Look at a case in point. We recently liquidated a frozen pizza manufacturer in Dallas, Texas. This operation had very specialized bakery & refrigeration equipment. There were only a handful of companies in the country that had any interest in this type of equipment. If sold at an absolute auction, the lender and the liquidator would take the risk that:

  1. The proper advertising had been done to attract the proper bidders and

  2. These bidders attend the sale. In a situation like this, the risk is auction day arrives and there are only a few substantial bidders in attendance to obtain enough bids to maximize the recovery. A bidder may be willing to spend $100,000.00 on a piece of equipment but if there are not enough bidders to prop up the values, this bidder may get away with only spending $40,000.00. Great for the bidder, terrible for the bank. Fortunately, we offered this pizza operation by sealed bid and the net recovery for the 3 lenders involved was substantial and all parties were happy with the outcome.

Our sealed bid sale method eliminates this risk. We will be happy to develop a plan to market an operation upon request and will discuss the various details that go into our marketing efforts. The important items to know about our program at this point is:

  1. It’s been proven commercially reasonable

  2. It’s time and cost effective and most importantly:

  3. The lender has complete control over the results. The bank retains the option to accept or reject any or all bids. This is an option an auction does not have. Also, all bids are confidential. The lender is in complete control over all aspects of a sealed bid sale.

sealed bid sales real estate


The Dobbins Company has had success marketing certain types of real property by sealed bid. Several years ago, we were approached by a lender who was fed up offering foreclosed real estate by auction. His reason for this was that an unsuccessful real estate auction, where the property did not meet the minimum bid, placed a value stigma on the property that could follow the property around for years.


Example: Your bank forecloses on a piece of real estate that has been appraised for $1,000,000 as a distressed/quick sale value. It is decided that the bank wants to liquidate this property ASAP and will offer it at auction with a reserve of $800,000. An auction company is engaged, a brochure is mailed and media ads are placed. Auction day arrives and everyone in the world who is interested in this property at this point in time is in attendance. The auctioneer begins the sale, the ring men fan out throughout the crowd, bids come fast & furious but the high bid sticks at $600,000 and the bid is rejected.

What has happened here?

Other than the property not selling, everyone who has any interest in this property has just witnessed the fact that the highest price this property would fetch at auction was $600,000. This becomes the defacto Fair Market Value of the property and this stigma could take years to overcome.

Our sealed bid program creates the competitive bidding atmosphere of an auction while giving the lender complete control and confidentiality over results. Give us a call and we will develop a plan tailored to the specific property.


These type properties work especially well with a sealed bid program. Your bank may have a policy prohibiting the foreclosure of properties with environmental issues. What then? The Dobbins Company has had success selling mortgage notes by sealed bid. This gives the lender a liquidation option while keeping the bank out of the title chain. Give us a call and we can discuss your particular situation.

Frequently Asked Questions