Without fail, the most common question I’m asked by buyers is “how do I win at auction?”. While I don’t believe there’s a magic formula to making the auction environment work for you, there are certainly some tactics I’d recommend against:
- Don’t act disinterested
If you’ve come through a property multiple times, discussed settlement terms and perhaps even paid for a building inspection, there’s really not much value in playing it cool. A good agent will recognise a serious buyer and will do all they can to help you. Importantly, you can ask them to keep you updated if they receive an offer before auction.
- Don’t be afraid to make the first bid
Many people will tell you to hold off on bidding until the end of the auction. This strategy suits some – but it’s worth considering that bidding consistently throughout an auction sends a message that you’re a serious buyer and gives you more control over the rhythm and pace of that auction.
- Don’t bid small
The bid amount will naturally get smaller towards the end of the auction, but I’d recommend against offering a small bid – say $1k or $2k – when the auctioneer is asking for $10k. It suggests that you might be close to your limit, and invites competition.
- Don’t be unprepared
Each auctioneer has their own style. As such, it’s a good idea to watch the auctioneer who’ll be conducting the auction you’re looking to bid at before the big day. This will give you a feel for the way they pace their auctions and how they interact with the crowd.
- Don’t be uninformed about values
Check comparable sales thoroughly. Be confident about the amount you’re prepared to bid; if you are really keen on the property, be mentally prepared to pay a premium.