In either method of sale, the issuer selects a tentative sale date. The date is determined largely by the length of the planning and transaction process, the timing of the need for funds and the meeting schedule of the elected officials.
Should the market become unsettled or volatile, either type of sale can be postponed until a more favorable market exists. Rescheduling is largely a matter of when a window is perceived to be open to re-enter the bond market and when the elected officials are scheduled to meet, or can meet. Designation of one official to approve a sale (within set guidelines) on a day-to-day basis is possible for either method of sale.
Underwriters often indicate that they will provide pricing information on comparable sales to assure an issuer that by selling securities to their firm, the issuer will receive a fair, if not a more than fair, interest rate.
A truly comparable sale is difficult to find. Such a sale would be a mirror image of the issuer's credit strength, years to maturity, size of issue, name recognition, type of security and date of sale. Well over $250 Billion in tax-exempt securities have sold last year, the frequency of these mirror image sales is very rare.
What may occur with an underwriter is a selective presentation of other sale results that make the sale appear to be fair-to-outstanding, whether they are comparable or not. Longer maturities compared to shorter ones, lower or unrated bonds compared to higher rated or insured bonds, sales held in different weeks when rates were higher, and general obligation bonds compared to revenue bonds may be presented to mislead an inexperienced issuer.
Because Speer Financial, Inc. is in the bond market about twice each week, we can assure you that you will receive a "fair" interest rate in a negotiated sale, but no one can assure you that you received the "best" interest rate, because there are very few truly comparable prices for your issue. Rather, you need to rely on the experience and professionalism of your advisor.