What is the difference between an “absolute” auction and a “reserve” auction?

An “absolute” auction (without reserve) means that the property is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price. A “reserve” auction (subject to confirmation) gives the seller the right to confirm the high bid at the conclusion of the sale. Unless advertised as “absolute” and disclosed in the auction Terms and Conditions of Sale, auctions are considered to be “reserve” auctions.