Find the best auction strategy
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Auctions are on the rise in Australian cities and towns, so if you’re looking to buy a property it’s likely you’ll end up face-to-face with an auctioneer at some stage.

Auctions come with all the drama and theatre of a performance, but can also be a game of intense strategy. So we asked a buyer’s agent: what tactics can buyers use to place the winning bid?

The key to auction success

Brenton Potter, a Senior Buyer’s Advocate for National Property Buyers in Melbourne says that every auction is different and the strategy for bidding at auction should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“There is no one set way or strategy,” Potter says. “The real key to success in any auction is preparation.”

In the pressure of an auction, buyers need to be able to make quick decisions and think on their feet. So Potter says if you’re bidding your strategy should include knowing your budget, and doing enough research on the property that you can anticipate the interest it may attract and act accordingly.

What to do before the auction

Before you even get to the auction Potter says there are several things you should do to prepare, which can help inform your bidding strategy on the day:

● Always inspect the property to make sure it’s worth buying.
● Do market research on recent sales in the area to give you an understanding of the type of interest the property could attract.
● Have the contract of sale reviewed by a legal professional and negotiate deposit and settlement terms.
● Remember all purchases at auction are unconditional so arrange pest and building inspections to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
● Let the agent know that you are interested in the property and that you would like to be kept informed on the property.
● Go to other auctions with that same agency or auctioneer to give you a better understanding of auction trends and auctioneer styles with that company – it may also give you an insight into your competition.

Bexley auction

Common auction strategies

Potter says that while each auction is different there are some common strategies bidders can use:

Bid first and last
Open up the bidding and be the first and last to bid. Potter says showing confidence asserts yourself among the other bidders and gives the impression that you will be the one to take the property.

Come in over the top
If the property is on the market but bidding has started to slow down or stall, entering the bidding with a strong bid can discourage others from continuing, Potter says. You may be seen as a fresh bidder with plenty of money in the bank if you use this strategy, but you need to be patient and know when to pick your moment.

The nervous bidder
If a property looks like it’s going to be passed in you can try acting like you’re running out of money. Potter says you just need to make sure you’re the highest bidder so you have rights to negotiate the sale if it’s passed in.

Time your bids carefully
Potter says the timing of any bids is hugely important and if you’re not consistent you can be an easy target for bidding professionals.

Draw on auction experience

Attending auctions yourself is the best way to gain insight into the strategies that you can use.

But if you’re not confident in your ability to succeed at auction Potter says a good buyer’s agent will be able to read and predict the direction an auction is going towards before it’s happened.

“Knowing when and how much to bid is important, but so is knowing what the competition and auctioneer are thinking,” Potter says.

Is the property going to go well beyond budget or is the property going to pass in?

“A buyer’s agent will be able to sense and anticipate that,” Potter says. “Depending on the situation, an experienced buyer’s agent could submit the winning bid or save you from paying too much.”




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