Top auction tips for sellers.
One of the most popular ways to sell property is via auctions – they create excitement and drive-up competition, and more often than not, can result in a higher sale price. Weekend news reports are filled with them, letterbox drops rave about them, and watching a live in-person auction is a whole lot of fun. Yet still, when you’re the one selling, it can be anything but.
Whether it’s your first-time selling property or your tenth, auction jitters are real. It’s normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed and anxious during the lead-up and on the day. Knowing what to expect from an auction and having a good working relationship with your sales agent and auctioneer goes a long way to feeling more confident in the process and the result.
To help you feel more at ease going into your auction, we spoke with our Chief Auctioneer, Andrew Robinson, to get his top auction tips for sellers.
What to expect before the auction
Doing your research and engaging a local sales agent who is highly experienced with the auction sales method is vital. Not only will they know the market, but they will also understand the importance of a comprehensive marketing strategy and the need to drum up excitement and anticipation.
“The success of an auction depends largely on the marketing strategy leading up to it,” explains Andrew. “A thorough advertising campaign is an absolute must because the more people who know about the auction, the more who will register to bid.”
Your sales agent will work closely with you throughout the campaign, ensuring your property is looking its best for the series of open homes, talking with potential buyers, getting their feedback, and keeping you in the loop on how the campaign is progressing.
The day before the auction, your sales agent will meet with you, often on their own and sometimes with the auctioneer. Together, they will talk with you about the schedule of procedures, pricing expectations, reserve price (the minimum figure you’re willing to sell your house for), bidding increments, the number of expected bidders, vendor bids and what will happen if the reserve is not met.
“Your sales agent will also advise when and how you can communicate with them during the auction. They’ll be busy working the floor, encouraging bidders, so knowing how and when it is appropriate to communicate with the agent ensures smooth running on the day,” says Andrew.
What to expect on auction day
Your sales agent will open the home for a final inspection at least 30 minutes before the start of the auction. The agent is also required to display mandatory rules and information in a prominent location for potential buyers. In most states, potential bidders must register before the auction starts to get a bidder’s number.
Andrew explains that before the bidding starts, the auctioneer will introduce themselves and the agency they represent, make legal announcements and describe the features and benefits of the property.
“The auctioneer sets the expectations for what bidding increments will be accepted, but bidders can offer any amount. If an auction is slow to get moving, a vendor’s bid can be used to encourage bidding,” says Andrew. “After the bidding has hit the reserve price, the auctioneer will drop the hammer when the highest bid has been made and will declare the property sold. If the property does not sell, then the auctioneer will ‘pass in’ the property, and the auctioneer, alongside the sales agent, will then try to negotiate a sale with the highest bidder.”
Andrew’s top auction tips for sellers
- Book your auctioneer in advance. There is nothing worse than scrambling to find a good auctioneer at the last minute. Ensuring you have an auctioneer locked in allows them to familiarise themselves with the property, and gives you the chance to attend a few of their auctions beforehand to see their style.
- Prepare properly. Auctions start with an open for inspection to give potential buyers an opportunity for one final walk through. Ensure your property looks its absolute best, inside and out, drawing attention to the home’s key selling features. Read more about preparing your property for sale.
- Set an appropriate reserve price. Your sales agent will talk with you before the auction about setting a reserve price. Bidders can get discouraged if the reserve is too high, so be realistic and listen to your agent’s advice.
- Attend the auction. If the property’s reserve isn’t met and it passes in, the highest bidder then gets the chance to negotiate a sale with you, so it is important to be on site or nearby on the day. By watching the auction, you will also get an insight into how invested bidders seem.
- Follow auction protocol. Once the property is sold, stay out of the way until the purchaser has signed the contract and paid the 10 per cent deposit. Once this is done, you will be invited to meet with the purchaser and congratulate them in person.