• The best tactics for buying at an auction

    The best tactics for buying at an auction

    Be prepared

    Before you arrive at auction, make sure you have home loan pre-approval. This puts you in a better position to bid, as you’ll already know your limit.

    Visit auctions before you bid

    If bidding at auctions wasn’t a skill, buyers agents wouldn’t exist. It is an experience you don’t want to be dropped into cold.

    “Just go and see 10, go and see 100 auctions. See the language the people are talking. Go and talk to buyer’s agents, real estate agents or auctioneers,” says property buying expert, Chris Gray.

    A little bit of knowledge can be very useful. Just like someone with a bit of car knowledge buying a car at a used car dealership — learning some of the simple elements of a property will help protect your interests when buying property.

    Related: What should you ask of your real estate agent?

    Ask the selling agent for comparable sales

    A selling agent should provide evidence as to why a property should sell at the asking price.

    “They can definitely help by providing you with past sales within a block or in a street. That’s probably the best way in which they can help you,” says Adam Vernon, owner of Vernon Partners.

    “The selling agent will try and help a buyer,” says Vernon.

    For buyers who are keen to increase the value of their investment through home renovations at some stage in the future, making enquiries before purchasing a target property is ideal.

    “Ask the agents, ‘Has anyone renovated in the block?’ That will give you an idea of what you can and can’t do, from a strata perspective. Sometimes, that agent might get you to go and see property that’s been renovated. Then straight away, you can see what you can achieve if you just spent $20,000 on the apartment you’re thinking of buying,” says Vernon.

    Don’t give too much away

    Don’t share specifics with the selling agent or be drawn on the amount you’re willing to pay.

    Bid early, start low

    If you bid early and low, you’re far more in control of the situation than if you jump in late. By the time the property goes on the market and the serious bidding begins, nerves should settle slightly.

    “The truth is if the market’s there, it’s going to find its value anyway. Start low and go slow,” says Vernon.

    Go slow

    It’s not a race. …

  • Marc Spiegler: ’10 Questions every gallerist should be asking

  • most common strategies at property auctions. . . and whether they work

    most common strategies at property auctions. . . and whether they work

    Death, divorce, public speaking and … bidding for a property at an auction. There’s little more terrifying in life.

    With online auction bidding set to come in next year – with you watching safely from home on a computer screen and keying in your bids – it might not be so scary in future.

    But for now, our four top experts give their verdicts on some of our most common auction strategies.…

  • Make it clear you’d like a longer settlement, to give the vendor plenty of time to get out

    Does it Work? No, especially not now.

    “Vendors mostly want to settle before Christmas, so they don’t have to pay land tax,” says Damien Cooley.…

  •  Getting a professional to bid for you.

    Does it Work? Yes, sometimes.

    “If you’re in the room, you’re the one who has to bid as it’ll be your name as the registered bidder and your name on the contract,” says Scott Smith. “But you can nominate someone else if you’re going to be away, at the end of the phone line. That can work well and it means you’re out of the emotion of the auction room, and won’t get carried away by the moment.”…

  • As soon as someone bids against you, bid again immediately

    Does it Work? Yes.

    “You don’t wait even five or ten seconds, but go straight in with your counter-bid,” Graeme Hennessy says. “It always gives the other bidder the impressions that you’re going to keep going and going and going, and won’t give up. I’ve spoken to the losing bidders afterwards who’ve said the winner who used that ploy made them think they just wouldn’t stop bidding until it was theirs, so they gave up earlier than they might have otherwise.”

    The auction of 20 John Street, Woollahra.
  • Stay silent, then come in right at the end with a killer bid

    Does it Work? Rarely.

    “The challenge with that is, if an owners seen lots of competitive bidding, then they’re more likely to put the property on the market, meet the top price and sell,” says Damien Cooley. “If there hasn’t been much bidding, they’ll probably pass it in. And then, an owner is much more inclined to negotiate with someone they’ve seen bidding.”…

  • Hold back throughout the bidding

    Does it Work? No.

    “The earlier you enter the bidding, the more seriously you’re viewed by your competitors,” says Scott Smith. “Psychologically, it’s powerful being seen early and often. At an auction in Freshwater two weeks ago, the second bidder was there the whole time, bidding until the others gave up.”…

  • Ask, in the middle of an auction, ‘Is this property on the market yet?’

    Does it Work? No.

    “I think this is a weak strategy,” says Damien Cooley of Cooley Auctioneers. “The owner tends to remember who asked, and feels it’s a crack at them, and sees that buyer as being difficult. And if the property is passed in, they might not want to negotiate with that buyer. It’s only a courtesy that they meet the highest bidder; not law.”

    Auction at 15-19 Barnett Street in Hampton.
  • Work off your own instincts on auction day

    Does it Work? No.

    “It’s important to take notice of your agent’s advice and recommendations throughout the auction campaign, says McGrath chief auctioneer Scott Kennedy-Green. “On auction day, that’s even more important. Give careful consideration to what the agent recommends particularly about the reserve price on the day.”…


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