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What not to do at an auction

Attention buyers! What not to do at an auction…

If you are looking to buy a property at auction, it’s important to have a strategy in place to secure the best chance of coming out on top. They say to go in with confidence, do your homework and put on your best game face - but what shouldn’t you do?

We look at the big “no-no’s” when it comes to bidding at auction.

1. Pretending not to be interested in the property

If you want the property, show the agent that you are interested!

Agents want to help genuine buyers purchase their dream property, so being honest and upfront is important.

2. Holding back

There is no denying that auctions can be daunting, particularly for first time-buyers. It’s not unusual for buyers to be overcome with nerves, so much so, that they don’t end up placing a bid out of fear and uncertainty.

If you are standing in front of your dream home and are in the position to buy, get confident and get bidding loud and proud! If you have conducted your research, understand the auction process and know your limit, there is no reason to hesitate.  

Serious buyers should make sure they are the last one to bid because if the property is passed in, they will have exclusive rights to negotiate at the vendor’s reserve.

3. Showing a lack of assertion  

Your game face can actually scare off competition, so don’t let anyone think that you are not 100% sure of yourself.

Dress to Impress! It may sound minor, but your outfit will say a lot about you on the day, so ensure you dress well and show that you are serious and have the means.

We recommend standing towards the front to allow you to see other bidders and scope out your major competitors. Don’t be afraid to look at other bidders straight in the eye and show that you are serious.

As a buyer, you need to remain assertive right up until your very last bid- this will suggest to competitors that you have several bids to follow.

4. Hesitating during the auction

This is one of the biggest no no’s when bidding at auction!

Buyers who pause mid-auction to discuss the price with their partner or family member are effectively revealing their hand to other bidders. Know your limit, be confident and don’t hesitate throughout. 

If you are with your partner, make sure only one of you is bidding- this decision needs to be clear before the auction commences. Of course, it can be hard to stand at an auction with your partner and not communicate with them so you might want to consider some “signals” which you can both use during the auction- for example, raising your sunglasses, looking at your watch etc.

Tip: Savvy home buyers should attend as many auctions as they can to watch how successful bidders behave and how they interact with the auctioneer.

5. Setting your limit on or around a figure without a valid reason. 

Simply choosing a figure you are “happy to pay” is not advised.

Rather, do your homework, know exactly what you can afford, and consider being a bit more flexible if you have the capacity, so that you don’t miss out by a mere couple of thousand dollars.

 If you can comfortably afford $716,000, set yourself that exact limit.

6. Being too pushy after the property is passed in

When a property is passed in, it’s a time to sit down and have a professional discussion with the agent and the seller about meeting a price and term.

Be aware of acting too aggressively during post-auction negotiations which could aggravate a seller and jeopardise the negotiations.

While it’s important to be assertive, we recommend that prospective buyers always remain polite and respectful to the seller and agent. Of course, if a seller is being unreasonable about their reserve price, it might be best to politely walk away from the purchase.