An auctioneer's work has two main facets: the preliminary preparation and evaluation and the selling itself. The former takes more time and skill and is less familiar to most people. Prior to the auction itself, the auctioneer meets with the sellers to review the property to be sold. The auctioneer makes note of the lowest bid, called the "reserved bid," that the sellers will accept for each item. The auctioneer also advises clients when an item should be sold "absolute," or without a minimum bid. If there are legal issues to be discussed, an auctioneer confers with the sellers.

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