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Buying At Auction

With 2018 auction clearance rates in Melbourne in the low-mid 60 percent range, you may be wondering if it’s time to reconsider your strategy or, perhaps adopt one! Here I take a look at all the different paths you could take, and their pros and cons.

Should I bid?

If you’re interested in buying the property, yes! There are several benefits to bidding, with the obvious one being that subject to reasoning the vendor’s reserve price, the highest bidder becomes the purchaser.

It’s important to remember that if you are the successful bidder, there are no delays. Contracts of Sale are signed and exchanged then and there so you must have your finance in order, and the sale isn’t subject to any conditions (an unconditional sale). With that in mind, it’s important to inspect the legal documentation and arrange any necessary inspections prior to auction day.

When bidding, stick to your budget but also keep in mind how much you would be willing and able to stretch if needed. If an extra ten, five or one even thousand dollars could knock out your competition and secure you the property, feel empowered to make those extra bids boldly. Sometimes, that’s the difference between winning and missing out on auction day.

One of the biggest advantages about buying at auction is the transparency. It’s an open forum where you can see who you’re bidding against and at the same time, have an opportunity to respond.

If a property doesn’t reach the vendor’s reserve price, the property will be passed in. The highest bidder has the first and exclusive right to negotiate for the property which is a fantastic position to be in. However, if you choose to hold back and not bid, you miss out on a terrific purchasing opportunity.

Potential purchasers often show reluctance to bid as they’re worried about paying too much under competitive circumstances. This is completely understandable however if you stick to your budget and know your stretch limits as noted above, you should feel confident about putting yourself in the best position to secure the property at a price you’re comfortable with.

If the property passes in, should I go inside and negotiate, or stay outside?

If the property passes in with no genuine bids, but you’re still interested, the agent may invite you inside the property to negotiate.

This may ultimately come down to your personal preference – you may be more comfortable to negotiate inside, where it’s more private. Alternatively, by staying outside, you can see and evaluate any remaining competition. On the flip side, the competition also has that same advantage if you stay outside and can see who is having conversations and try to analyse the body language and potential outcome.

Remember, if no one has bid, the vendor, via their real estate agent, is able to negotiate a sale with any genuine buyer.

Should I wait until after the weekend is over to show my interest, if the property has passed in?

Most agents will schedule an open for inspection on the Monday afternoon/evening if a property passes in on the weekend. This opens the property not only for potential buyers who had interest prior to the auction, but also to a fresh pool of potential buyers. The downside of this strategy is that you don’t have the transparency of auction conditions, and you no longer have a grasp on who you may be in competition with to secure the property.

Should I put in an offer to purchase the property prior to auction?

In many auction campaigns, the vendor provides instruction to their agent that they won’t consider any offers made prior to their auction. They would prefer to let the property go to auction and let the competition on the day determine what it sells for. Circumstances vary and can change, however, so it’s best to have a discussion with the agent and seek their advice. It’s so important to make your interest in a property known to the agent, so that they can keep you informed of any developments.

Purchasing your new home or investment property is an exciting experience but can also be a bit daunting. Ensure you do your due diligence and familiarise yourself with the sales documents, the area and recent local sales. Being properly informed will add to your confidence and increase your chance of success.

I’m available to help if you have any questions relating to a property we’re selling, or to assist you with any real estate advice you need.

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