The gavel is sometimes literally pounded by the auctioneer on his lectern to indicate that the sale to the highest bidder is legally binding, that is, the buyer must accept that he has thus entered on a contract to buy. A gavel is not always used; a gong may sound or the auctioneer may call out "Going - going - gone!" before the sale is clinched [German: "Zum Ersten, zum Zweiten und - zum Dritten!"]. The practice varies. When the gavel falls, the gong sounds or the auctioneer calls out, the ownership of and the liability for the object thus acquired are transferred to the buyer even though the property itself is not released to the buyer until the full price has been paid for it (see Conditions of Sale).