Goals and Purpose
THE MASSACHUSETTS AUCTIONEERS ASSOCIATION is the organization for the professional auctioneer who performs auctions in the State of Massachusetts. It was established to allow a medium in which the professional auctioneer can stay abreast of the latest auction procedures, education, license law changes and other events that would effect the auction profession.
The Statement of Purpose
- To provide a means by which the members of the auction profession may coordinate their efforts for the advancement of their profession and/or services relevant to the auction industry.
- Establish the highest standards of business ethics among its members. Develop and promote equitable trade practices and high standards of ethics in the auction profession.
- Develop through responsible promotion, new understanding and wider acceptance for the auction method of selling.
- Improve the efficiency of service performed by all segments of the industry.
Collect information relating to the auction profession and disseminate such information to the public and to members of the Association.
- Represent and act for the auction profession before all departments and agencies of the State of Massachusetts and other public and private organizations whose activities affect the profession; not however to act in the capacity of an attorney.
- Contribute to the progress and advancement in every lawful manner and do lawful acts and things to promote the welfare of the auction profession.
Be sure to check back with us often in order to get updated information on the MAA and upcoming auctions.
- License Required: Yes
- Minimum Age: 18
- School Required: Yes
- Bonding/Insurance Required: $10,000
- Licensure Period: One year from date of issuance
- Continuing Education Required: No
- Fees: License ($100) and Renewal ($100)
- Reciprocity: FL, KY, IL, MS, NH, NC
Name and OfficesThe Association, known as the “Massachusetts Auctioneer’s Association, Inc.,” will have its headquarters and principal offices located at the residence or business office of the duly elected Secretary. The Board of Directors may from time to time (if deemed in the best interests of the Association) designate or establish additional or alternative office locations.
Membership Classification & RequirementsSection 1. Application for Membership The Board of Directors will deem eligible for Membership any licensed auctioneer or person engaged in an auction related business. The Board shall adopt Standing Rules for membership, and shall have the authority to establish qualifications, privileges and dues for all classes of membership. Section 2. Membership Classifications (A) Regular Member: Any Auctioneer licensed, residing or regularly conducting auction business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and who subscribes to the MSAA Code of Ethics. A Regular Member shall have all the rights and privileges of the Association. (B) Affiliate Member: Individuals who are not Auctioneers but who are involved in the auction or auction-related business or, auctioneers who are not licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but who are licensed or authorized under law to conduct auctions in any other State and pledge to support and affiliate themselves with this Association. An Affiliate Member shall have all the rights and privileges of the Association except voting rights and Association web site listing privileges. (C) Auction Staff: Individuals who work directly for, or are employees of an MSAA member, in good standing. An Auction Staff Member shall have all the rights and privileges of the Association except voting rights, logo display rights and Association directory and web site listing privileges. (D) Company Membership: Auctioneers who work for companies or organizations that employ multiple auctioneers who operate under the same company name may be enrolled under this special membership classification and shall have a member classification of Regular Member. No memberships under a corporate, company or organizational name shall be considered. (E) Student: To qualify for Student Membership, an applicant must be a student enrolled in a formal course of education, or have completed his or her formal education less than one (1) year prior to the date of application for membership. Student Members shall have such privileges of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify by Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office. Section 3. Resignation Any Member may resign at any time from the Association by delivering a written resignation to the President or Secretary of the Association. Resignation of a Member does not relieve the Member from any obligations the Member may have to the Association as a result of obligations incurred or commitments made prior to resignation.
OfficersThe Officers of this Association shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, each to serve one year or until a successor has been elected. Six (6) Directors shall be elected, whose term of office shall be three (3) years, with two (2) Directors elected each year. The immediate Past President shall become the seventh voting Director for One (1) year or until succeeded by the next immediate Past President.
Duties of Officers and Directors
Section 1. PresidentIt shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Association; to enforce a due observance of the Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations; to decide all questions of order; to offer for consideration all motions regularly made; to call all Special Meetings of the Association and Board of Directors; to appoint all Committees not otherwise provided for and to perform such other duties as his office may require. He or she shall conduct all meetings in accordance with Article XIV of the Bylaws. He or she shall make no motion, or amendment, nor vote on any question or motion unless the members are equally divided, when he or she shall cast the deciding vote.
Section 2. Vice PresidentIt shall be the duty of the Vice President to Preside in the absence of the President and perform the duties of that office, and to perform duties the President may so direct.
Section 3. SecretaryIt shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep the records of the Association; to notify new members of their admission and their requirements for being sworn in; to keep a roster of the membership; to keep a record of attendance of all meetings and functions of the Association, to issue all notices required or on behalf of the Association, and to perform all duties pertaining to the office as may be required by the Association and to keep an accurate record and minutes of all meetings.
Section 4. TreasurerIt shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and account for all monies of the Association; to receive and account to the Secretary, in a timely manner, all dues received by the Association, to pay the bills of the Association, to keep the accounting and banking records up to date, to present and account for all financial transaction of the Association at all meetings and, be subject to audit at any time by any Association Auditing Committee. In any event, books will be reviewed annually by a committee appointed by the President.
Section 5. Board of DirectorsThe authority of the Association shall be vested in the Board of Directors consisting of the Officers and Directors of the Association. The Board of Directors shall determine all policy of the Association and shall have full management of the Association; they shall consider on all applications for membership, and may exercise all the powers necessary or desirable for the good of the Association, subject to the provisions of the Bylaws. The Chairperson of the Board of Directors shall be the President of the Association and the Vice-Chairperson shall be the Vice President of the Association.
Section 6. QuorumAny combination of six (6) members of the Board of Directors present at any Board of Directors meeting shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of doing business. The Board of Directors may, at the discretion of the President, conduct the business of the Association via teleconference or Internet based communication, either in real time or by polling the Board Members via email.
Section 7. Board MeetingsThe Board of Directors shall conduct regular meetings. Unless otherwise ordered by the President, they will be on the second Monday of January, March, September, and, November. Board meeting locations shall be determined by the President. Any Officer or Board member may have his office declared vacant for failure to attend any two (2) meetings annually of either a general meeting or a meeting of the Board of Directors, unless excused by the President. Vacancies may be declared by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at any official meeting of the Board of Directors. Officers and Directors shall attend all regular and special meetings of the Association.
Section 8. Authority to engage an Executive DirectorThe Board of Directors, by an affirmative vote of at least 2/3, shall have the authority to hire for compensation, an Executive Director and, to delegate certain and specific responsibilities to said Executive Director to assist the Officers of the Association.
Section 9. CompensationAll Officers and Directors shall serve without compensation or, expectation of favor of any kind with respect to their service.
Election of Officers
Section 1. NominationsThe nomination of Officers and Directors shall be recommended by a Nominating Committee appointed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall select one (1) candidate for each office (or vacancy) to be filled. Additional candidates for offices may be nominated by Regular Members, either in writing or verbally, provided said nomination(s) are supported with the consent of two additional voting members. All nominees must consent to their nomination in order for their nomination to be considered valid.
Section 2. ElectionsElections shall be held annually during a meeting of the Association held during the fourth quarter of the calendar year. Elections shall be by ballot except in the case where there is only one (1) nominee. The nominee receiving the majority vote of the members present is to be declared elected. In case of a tie vote, all ballots will be discarded and a new election for that office will take place. Installation of new officers will take place during said meeting, or at the discretion of the Board of Directors, the next meeting of the Association. Installation of Officers and Directors shall be conducted by the Immediate Past President, or at his request, any person he or she shall appoint. Nominations and elections will be conducted in the following order: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Directors whose terms are expiring, and Directors whose positions must be filled for any other reasons.
Section 3.Term of OfficeThe term of each office will expire when a successor is elected.
Section 4.Qualifications for OfficeCandidates for Office must be Regular Members in good standing. Such candidates who are willing to serve in an office shall be advised by the nominating committee of their duties and shall agree to abide by Article V section 7 (Mandatory attendance of meetings).
Amendments to BylawsEvery proposed alteration, amendment, deletion or addition to these Bylaws must be adopted by two-thirds vote of all members present at a regular meeting. Each voting member shall be notified via mail or email, provided however, that those members have previously consented in writing to receive meeting notices via email, at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which such amendments will be considered and acted upon.
Section 1. Regular MeetingsThis Association shall conduct at least four (4) regular meetings during the course of each calendar year, to be held at such time and location as the President shall choose, with the consent of the Board of Directors. The annual meeting shall be held at such time and place as determined by the Board of Directors, or a person or committee appointed by the Board.
Section 2. Special MeetingsA special meeting may be called for any bone fide purpose, by the President or, by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or, by 25 percent (25%) of the Regular Members of the Association who shall notify the Secretary of such meeting.
Section 3. QuorumAny combination of voting members present at any regular or special meeting, duly called and scheduled, totaling fifteen (15) shall constitute a quorum at any regular membership meeting.
Inauguration of OfficersAt the inauguration of each Officer and Director, they shall be required to make the following affirmation: “I (Name) do hereby solemnly promise that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office to the best of my knowledge and ability.
Election of MembersProspective members shall file an application on a form provided by the Association. The application will be reviewed by the Board of Directors. Upon Board of Directors granting member status, the candidate must be sworn in by the President . No candidate for membership may advertise as a member of MSAA, or use the logo thereof, or be permitted to vote, or enjoy any such privileges of membership in the Association until he or she has been sworn in.
Initiation of MembersThe following affirmation shall be required of each person becoming a member: “I (Name) do hereby solemnly promise that I will faithfully conform to all Bylaws, Rules, Regulations, the Code of Ethics and accept the decision of committees as set forth by the Massachusetts Auctioneer’s Association, Inc.”
Dues, Assessments and Responsibilities
Section 1.Association membership dues shall be determined annually by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 2.Where necessary, in the opinion of a majority of members present at any annual or special meeting of the Association called for that purpose, for the payment of any existing deficit, there may be levied an assessment in addition to annual dues, to be paid by each Association member, provided, however, that such assessment may not be levied more than once in any year and shall not exceed an amount equal to the annual dues fixed for such year. In the event of grave emergency, the Board of Directors upon unanimous vote, by signed order, may levy an assessment to be paid by each Association member, for the payment and discharge of any bona fide indebtedness, loss incurred, or for the payment of any judgment or decree rendered against the Association, provided, however, that no more than an amount equal to the annual dues shall be levied as such assessment during any year. The vote of the Board of Directors on the question of levying an assessment may be taken by mailed ballot prepared by the Secretary.
Section 3.Yearly dues are payable annually in advance. The Secretary shall send notice of dues by November 15th and said dues are payable by December 31st. Failure to pay dues by February 1st shall trigger a late payment charge to be determined annually by the Board of Directors. Failure to pay dues by March 1 shall automatically terminate membership in the Association. Anyone terminated for failure to pay dues by March 1 must re-apply for membership in the same manner as any other non-member and pay all outstanding dues and charges.
Section 4.The Board of Directors shall adopt standing rules, or policies and procedures, for establishing the proper use of the Association logo and any other symbol or reference to the Association.
Section 1. Prohibited ConductThe following conduct is prohibited for members of the Massachusetts Auctioneers Association: (a) Violations of the MSAA Code of Ethics. (b) Use of MSAA affiliation for the purpose of promoting schemes, ideas or objects that are detrimental to the Association. (c) Conduct unbecoming a member or inimical to the Association. (d) Submitting false information on an application for membership or on a dues statement. Conduct that is prohibited shall be cause for disciplinary action or expulsion from the membership in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 2 of this Article.
Section 2. Procedure for Disciplining or Expelling a MemberA member may be disciplined or expelled by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors after compliance with the due process procedures, specifically notice and hearing, and upon a showing of just cause. The Board of Directors shall establish by Standing Rules the procedures to be followed to ensure protection of such members’ due process rights. An expelled member may reapply for membership no earlier than one (1) year after the date of such expulsion, in accordance with the provision of Article III.
Section 3. GrievancesThe Board of Directors shall establish policies and procedures for establishing a Grievance Committee and, the manner in which grievance matters shall be addressed and/or resolved.
Section 4. Code of EthicsThe Board of Directors shall establish policies and procedures for establishing a Code of Ethics and, the manner in which charges for a violation the Code of Ethics shall be addressed and/or resolved.
Rules of OrderBusiness shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order unless otherwise required by these Bylaws.
IndemnificationThe Massachusetts Auctioneers Association shall indemnify any and all persons who may serve or have served at any time as officers or directors, and their respective heirs, administrators, successors and assigns, against any and all expenses, including amounts paid upon judgments, counsel fees and amounts paid in settlement (before or after suit is commenced), actually necessarily incurred by such person in connection with the defense or settlement of any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which they, or any of them are made parties, or a party, or which may be asserted against them or any of them, by reason of being, or having been, an officer or director of this Association, except in relation to matters as to which any such officer or director, or former officer or director, shall be adjudged in any action, suit or proceeding to be liable for his or her own acts and omissions arising out of his or her willful misfeasance. Such indemnification shall be in addition to any other rights to which those indemnified may be entitled under any law, bylaw agreement, or otherwise.
DissolutionIn the event of the dissolution of the Massachusetts Auctioneers Association, after all liabilities and responsibilities have been met, its assets shall be distributed for one or more of the exempt purposes specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as from time to time amended and in accordance with laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Board of Directors shall determine the distribution.
(Adopted by the Association on October 16, 2006)
Code of Ethics
The public auction subjects all possessions to fair and equitable public dispersal, by competitive offer and thereby determines fair market value of personal and real property. The Auctioneer, being the master of Auction and Fund raising procedure shall continually make his talent available to aid in Community efforts where it is possible. With these talents comes a responsibility and duty beyond ordinary business policy to which he must dedicate himself and strive to maintain the highest standards of his profession. He shares with all his fellow Auctioneers a common responsibility to protect the integrity and honor of Auctioneering.
ARTICLE 1.Members pledge to protect and promote the interests of the client. This obligation of absolute fidelity to the client’s interests is primary, but does not relieve members of their obligation to treat all parties to the transaction fairly.
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE 1.1Members must not enter into an agreement with a client to withhold information from the public that would prove to be unsafe, illegal, detrimental to the public or material to making a decision to bid.
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE 1.2The practice of encouraging a client to market a property as “absolute” when in actuality the member has verbally promised to convert the sale to an auction with reserve, or alternatively to cancel the sale if the marketing campaign does not produce an opening bid sufficient to satisfy the intended reserve of the client, is strictly prohibited.
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE 1.3Members must not build unreasonable expectations about the outcome of an auction in the mind of a potential client in order to secure the client’s business.
ARTICLE 2.Members must, in conducting an auction, deal with customers in a manner exhibiting the highest standards of professionalism and respect. Members owe the customer the duties of honesty, integrity and fair dealing at all times.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 2.1This Article recognizes not only the legal concept of a member’s dual agency responsibility to a buyer (in addition to being the agent for the seller, the auctioneer may become the agent of the buyer at the fall of the hammer in certain situations), but also the member’s responsibility to act as a professional at all times. Members must conduct their business affairs so as to promote a positive image of their business and therefore the auction profession.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 2.2Members shall provide customers with a clear understanding of all the terms and conditions of the auction. Prior to the auction, customers for real estate auctions should be provided a copy of the contract to be signed. Following the auction, customers for personal property auctions should be provided a written bill of sale.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 2.3It is recognized that custom and practice may vary in the sale of different types of property as well as in different geographic areas. Therefore, this information may be provided in oral or written form. However, wherever possible, it is highly recommended that members communicate this information in written form or at a minimum to communicate this information orally prior to the commencement of bidding.
ARTICLE 3.Members should, to assure better service to the seller and to prevent misunderstandings, enter into written agreements or, at a minimum, clear oral agreements that set forth the specific terms and conditions of the engagement.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 3.1Members have an obligation to conduct their business affairs in a professional manner. Contractual requirements are to a certain extent dependent upon the type of property being sold. However, members should develop their contract forms with this Article in mind.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 3.2Members should discuss all aspects of the services to be provided and include them in written form where appropriate including: duties and obligations of the parties; services provided by the member; insurance coverage relating to liability, theft and casualty loss; use of a buyer’s premium, if applicable; handling of funds received and controlled by the member; sales tax, if applicable; and form of payment by buyers. Additionally, members must provide the client with a timely, detailed written accounting of the sale, which must include information concerning the handling and timely disposition of all funds received or controlled by the member.
ARTICLE 4.Members shall not accept compensation from any party, other than the client, even if permitted by law, without the full knowledge of all the parties to the transaction.
ARTICLE 5.Members shall provide the highest level of competent service in those fields in which members are customarily engaged. This competency is attained by education, training, study, practice and experience. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize the limitations of that knowledge and when to seek the counsel, assistance or client referral appropriate for the circumstances.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 5.1Members should not provide auction services in a careless or negligent manner, such as a series of errors that, considered individually, might not significantly affect the results, but which when considered in the aggregate would be detrimental to the client’s interests. Members must use due diligence and due care.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 5.2The concept of competency also extends to members who are requested or required to travel to geographic areas where they do not have recent auction experience. Members not in a position to spend the necessary time in a market area to obtain the appropriate understanding of market conditions may find affiliating with a qualified local auctioneer the appropriate response to ensure a competently conducted auction.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 5.3Members must ascertain all pertinent facts necessary to implement a professional marketing campaign.
ARTICLE 6.Members shall not undertake to provide professional services where either they, members of their immediate family, members of their firm, or any entity in which they have an ownership interest has presently or contemplates an interest, without first specifically disclosing such interest or contemplated interest.
ARTICLE 7.Members shall not make a profit on expenditures made for their client without the client’s prior knowledge and consent.
ARTICLE 8.Members shall not engage in activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of law and shall recommend that legal counsel be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction would be appropriately served.
ARTICLE 9.Members shall keep monies coming into their possession in trust for other persons such as escrows, trust funds, client’s monies and other similar items in a separate special account, in an appropriate financial institution.
ARTICLE 10.Members shall not disclose any confidential client information without the client’s specific consent except as required by appropriate legal authorities.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 10.1As a confidential trustee of information provided by the seller or gained by members through their relationship with the seller, members must carefully observe the confidential relationship in order to preserve and protect the client’s trust and to maintain the public’s confidence.
ARTICLE 11.Members shall avoid misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts. There is an affirmative obligation to disclose adverse factors of which they have personal knowledge.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 11.1In order to protect the public and to avoid misunderstandings, members should create and retain for a reasonable period of time an audio and/or video record of each auction conducted.
ARTICLE 12.Members must be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public. Members shall ensure that all advertising includes the names and information necessary for the public to contact the auctioneer or firm responsible for conducting the auction.
ARTICLE 13.Members must keep informed on all matters affecting the auction industry and their areas of specialization and should participate in continuing education programs when ever possible.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 13.1It is essential for members to remain abreast of matters affecting the profession so as to fulfill the expectations of the public. These expectations include the member’s abilities to perform the tasks that are regularly expected, as well as those promoted by members as specialties. This responsibility also includes leading public discourse on matters affecting the profession.
ARTICLE 14.Members are duty bound at all times to abide by the laws and regulations which govern the profession as well as those which, if violated, would negatively affect their ability to present to the public an image of behavior that appropriately represents the professionalism of our industry.
ARTICLE 15.Members should never publicly criticize a competitor using false or deceptive information. Where an opinion of a competitor’s transaction is especially requested, it should be rendered in conformity with strict professional courtesy and dignity.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 15.1Members shall not engage in practices or take actions inconsistent with the agency of other members. They should not seek unfair advantage over other members and should conduct their business so as to avoid controversies with other members.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 15.2Members shall not directly or indirectly solicit the affiliation of an employee or independent contractor in the organization of other members without the prior notice to said member.
ARTICLE 16.Members should willingly share with other members the lessons learned through experience and study to better the profession, members’ business practices and how the profession is perceived by society. Members shall be loyal to the MSAA; this includes active participation in educational, civic and charitable endeavors.
ARTICLE 17.Members should conduct their business affairs so as to avoid disputes with other members. In an instance where a controversy between members arises, they shall seek the assistance of the MSAA to arbitrate the controversy.
ARTICLE 18.Members, having personal knowledge of an act by another member that, in their opinion, is a material violation of the ethical principles of this Code shall treat the matter in accordance with the procedures for filing a grievance.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 18.1In order for any professional organization to earn and maintain the confidence of the constituencies it serves, it must demonstrate to them the ability to “police” its own. Members have the unique ability to observe and therefore assist in the stewardship of this trust. Members have an obligation to assist the MSAA and its officers in all matters, including the investigation, censure, discipline, or dismissal of members who engage in violations of this Code.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 18.2Members shall not knowingly or recklessly file false or unfounded ethics complaints.
ARTICLE 19.Members charged with unethical practice or who are asked to present evidence in any disciplinary proceeding or investigation shall promptly and voluntarily place all pertinent facts and information before the appropriate body.
STANDARD OF PRACTICE 19.1Violations of any provision of this Code should not give rise to a civil cause of action and should not create any presumption that a legal duty has been breached. Violations of the Code are not designed or intended to be the basis of any civil liability.
(Adopted by the Association on October 16, 2006)