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Buying at Auction



Buying at auction can be a daunting prospect for many buyers, but if you're well prepared it can be an excellent opportunity to secure a property. Most of the apprehension about auctions stems from the fact that many people are unfamiliar with the process. This guide will hopefully help to ease your concerns about auctions by explaining some of the rules and regulations, and providing you with some tips and advice to make your auction experience as successful as possible.






  • Start your auction education by visiting some local auctions to see first hand how they work, some auctions will be a flurry of activity, others can be relatively inactive. For this reason visit a few auctions to get a feel for how different scenarios play out.
  • Familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of auctions by reading the NSW Fair Trading Bidder's Guide.
  • Research the sale prices of similar properties in the area within the last 6 months and get your loan financing organised and pre-approved.
  • Organise legal representation to advise you during the sale process.




Prior to Auction


  • Obtain a copy of the sales contract for your legal representative to review and advise you on. If there are any conditions that you want changed from the original contract these will have to be negotiated with the vendor and approved in writing prior to the auction.
  • Perform any necessary checks and reports - your legal representative can help advise you which are appropriate in your circumstance; these may include building & pest inspections and strata reports.
  • Discuss your price expectations and set a limit which you won't exceed on the day.




Bidding at Auction


  • On the auction day the first thing you will need to do is to register with the agent, to do this you will need to have photo identification - even if the agent knows you.
  • Once you have registered you will be given a bidding card with a number, this will identify you as a registered bidder to the auctioneer. Only registered bidders with a bidding card are able to make a bid once the auction starts.
  • The auctioneer will start the auction by asking for bids from the floor. The auctioneer has the right to reject any bid that they deem not to be in the best interest of the vendors, this means the first accepted bid will have to be within a reasonable range of the reserve price.
  • During the auction, the auctioneer is permitted to make one bid on behalf of the vendors, this is often utilised if the bidding process stalls.
  • Once the bidding gets over the reserve price the property is 'on the market', this may or may not be disclosed by the auctioneer, from this point on the highest bid will secure the property.




After the Auction


  • If bidding has exceeded the reserve price then after the auction has concluded the highest bidder is required to sign the contract unconditionally and put down the full deposit amount (usually 10%).
  • If the bidding does not exceed the reserve price then the property will be 'passed in' to the highest bidder and this bidder will have the exclusive right to negotiate with the vendor for the rest of the day.
  • If there are no bids, or if the highest bid was a vendor bid then anyone can commence negotiations with the agent after the auction.
  • If no sale is negotiated on the day the property may be re-auctioned at a later date, or may be offered to the market by private treaty.



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