Become a Bidder

Baltimore Rowhomes

Apply to Bid With Us

All bidders must be pre-approved to bid with One House. Prospective bidders must fill out our application form and submit supporting documents that demonstrate their experience and ability to renovate distressed properties. You may apply through our online portal or by submitting a PDF application and attached documents via email to [email protected].

We accept applications on a rolling basis; however, if you intend to participate in a specific auction, you must submit your application at least seven days prior. Our next auction date and application due date is on the Properties page.

Once approved, your bidder status is valid for ONE YEAR. Afterward, you must renew your status to continue as a bidder.

Apply Online   PDF Application

Necessary Qualifications:

Rehab Experience

Since these properties are usually in hazardous conditions, we need to ensure that our bidders are capable of completing large-scale projects. Applicants must demonstrate rehab experience. If working with a contractor, their experience (or your combined experience) will be considered.


Financial Ability

Rehabbing a vacant house is a large financial undertaking with acquisition costs, renovation costs, and so on. Applicants must demonstrate at least $90,000 in liquid assets per property. This can include bank accounts, lines of credit, retirement accounts, equity in owned properties, private investors, etc. 

310 E. Lanvale Street, restored by a One House At A Time bidder.

How to Become a Bidder: A Q&A with Jane Seebold

Jane Seebold, One House At A Time’s Program Manager, has been the guru of receivership bidder applications since 2013. Some prospective applicants feel lost on what it takes to become a One House bidder. So, we spoke to Jane about her application review process to gain insight and demystify our requirements.

Approved Bidders Should Keep In Mind:

The typical acquisition price is around $30,000. Renovation costs average around $150/sq. ft. 

This usually ranges to around $90,000 per property, which is why we require applicants to display that amount in liquid assets. However, there is no set amount and costs will vary.

Expect a LONG process. A straightforward case averages as follows:

  • 30 days from receivership appointment to auction
  • 75 days from auction to ratification (court approval)
  • 30 days to settle after ratification (if lien removal is not needed)
  • 12 months from settlement to obtaining a use and occupancy permit (u&o)

*City processes can add significant length to these timeframes.

After the auction, we ask our buyers to communicate with us, read their contract of sale, and abate their Vacant Building Notice (VBN) by obtaining a u&o within one year.

Buyers who fail to execute requirements should expect the following consequences:

  • Failure to settle results in revocation of bidder rights, forfeiture of deposit, and prohibition from bidding for one year per property
  • Failure to sign contract/submit deposit results in revocation of bidder rights and prohibition from bidding for three years
  • Properties transferred without abating the VBN by demo or U&O remain attached to bidder qualifications and count against performance until the VBN is abated

Again, approval as a bidder is only valid for one year. You must renew your status as a bidder after the year is up to ensure that you still qualify. You’ll need to submit a NEW application and once more prove your financial ability, development experience, and good standing as a property owner.

Renew Bidder Status

Sometimes, unexpected problems arise. Buyers should be prepared for conflicts such as:

  • Tangled titles (e.g., deceased owners holding the title to vacant properties)
  • The auction sale price may be less than the government liens on the property (lien removal adds time)
  • Damage can occur before property is transferred (e.g., fire; building collapse)
  • Every property is unique, and each takes a different path to getting a u&o