|(a) Purpose. The department may sell real property under this subchapter by sealed bid. This section applies only to the sale of real property to the general public and not to sales excepted by law from the sealed bid requirements, such as the disposal of real property by exchange or by sale to a governmental entity with power of eminent domain for a proper public purpose, or the disposal of highway right of way by sale to the abutting landowner. (b) Method for selling real property by sealed bid. (1) Recommendation for sale. A recommendation for the sale by sealed bid of real property and improvements, if any, will be submitted by the district engineer to the director, together with a statement that the property is no longer needed for highway purposes. (2) Eligibility to bid. Any person, other than a department employee, may submit a bid for the purchase of real property. The department has the right to reject all bids. (3) Notice of sale. Notice of the sale will be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the real property is located. The notice will be published once a week for three consecutive weeks, with the final publication occurring not later than the 20th day before the date of the bid opening. (4) Submittal of bid. Bids must be received by the district engineer at the district headquarters on or before the hour and date published in the notice of sale. Bids must be on a form furnished by the department and in compliance with printed terms and conditions as stated on the bid form. (5) Opening of bid. The bids will be opened by the district engineer or the district engineer's designee at the location and time specified in the notice of sale and on the bid form. In order to be considered by the department, the bid form must be complete. Any bid form that is incomplete or has been altered in any way, by addition or deletion of material, will be automatically rejected. (6) Bid deposit. (A) Each bidder must furnish a bid deposit in the amount specified by the notice of sale, made payable to the department, and in the form of a cashier's check or money order drawn by or on a state or national bank, savings and loan association, or a state or federally chartered credit union. The department will not accept as a bid deposit personal checks or certified checks, or cashier's checks or money orders more than 90 days old. (B) If the bid deposit is accepted by the commission, the bid deposit will be applied to the purchase price and expenses of the sale. The bid deposits of unsuccessful bidders will be returned within a reasonable time after the date of the bid opening. If for any reason the successful bidder fails to pay the balance of the purchase price together with the expenses in the form of cashier's check, money order, or electronic fund transfer before the 61st day after the date on which the bidder receives written notice that the state is ready to complete the sale, the bid deposit will become the property of the state, not as a penalty but as liquidated damages. If the commission rejects the bid or the department is otherwise unable to complete the sale, the state will refund the bid deposit without interest. (7) Acceptance of bid. If the director recommends to the commission that the highest conforming bid be accepted, the commission will either accept or reject the bid. If the commission accepts the bid, the commission will recommend, subject to approval by the attorney general, that the Governor of Texas execute a proper instrument conveying the state's interest in the real property. (8) Completion of transaction. After the department receives the balance of the bid amount plus all expenses of sale and a service fee as provided in §21.106 of this subchapter, the district will have the executed conveyance document recorded and forwarded to the successful bidder.