What Not to Do on Auction Day

What Not to Do on Auction Day

The result of weeks of meticulous planning and anticipation has finally arrived – your home is prepared to go under the hammer. With open homes completed, contracts distributed, and your property in its prime, it may seem like the most challenging aspects are behind you. However, as a seller, navigating the intricacies of an auction requires a strategic approach to ensure a seamless and successful sale.

In this emotionally charged event, steering clear of common pitfalls is essential. Let's delve deeper into each aspect to provide a comprehensive guide for achieving auction success.

Confidentiality is crucial

One of the cardinal rules when approaching a home auction is to maintain confidentiality regarding your selling price.

This extends beyond potential buyers to include neighbours, friends, and family. Disclosing the reserve price to anyone outside the necessary circle, especially in the close-knit community of neighbours, poses a risk of insider information spreading quickly.

To maintain a level playing field and avoid potential deterrents, reserve discussions should be strictly confined to conversations between you and your real estate agent. Not only does this prevent rumours, but it also ensures that prospective buyers are not armed with preconceived notions about the property's value, allowing for a fair and unbiased bidding process.

Integrity in bidding

While the support of friends and family is undoubtedly appreciated during an auction, it is imperative to discourage any interference with the bidding process.

Friends or family members may be tempted to make dummy bids to inflate the sale price. However, this practice is not only ethically questionable but also illegal. Placing bids for a property when the sale cannot be completed is an offense and can incur hefty fines of up to $200,000 for an individual.

To maintain the integrity of the auction and foster genuine interest from bidders, it is crucial to emphasise that supporters either bid sincerely or act as silent spectators, allowing the auction to unfold organically.

Set a realistic reserve

A pivotal aspect of auction success lies in setting a reserve price that aligns with market expectations. The temptation to set a high reserve, driven by aspirations of maximising profit, must be tempered with a realistic assessment of the property's market value.

Work closely with your real estate agent, regularly assess market conditions and analyse comparable properties in your vicinity. Consider whether you are operating in a seller's or buyer's market and adjust your reserve price accordingly.

Critical questions, such as the minimum price required for your next move and the ideal dream price, should guide this decision-making process. Your agent, well-versed in buyer interest and market dynamics, will play a crucial role in determining a reserve price that balances your goals with market realities.

Understanding the process

Auction day can be a whirlwind of emotions and activities, making it imperative for sellers to be well-versed in the process.

Attend other auctions before your sale to familiarise yourself with the dynamics and gain insights into the terminology commonly used. Understanding terms such as 'on the market,' 'passed in,' 'absentee bid,' and 'vendor's bid' will empower you during the auction.

Of particular significance is the 'vendor's bid,' a strategic move sometimes used to initiate bidding. This bid, announced by the auctioneer, should be below the reserve price and requires prior communication with your agent to ensure legal compliance.

Maintain presentation

The visual appeal of your property on auction day plays a pivotal role in attracting potential buyers. This is the final opportunity to make a lasting impression, and presentation can significantly influence the decisions of undecided bidders.

Devote time to ensure that your property is in impeccable condition – beds neatly made, the kitchen spotless, and overall cleanliness maintained. While this may require substantial effort, the dividends it pays in capturing the attention of potential buyers and encouraging active bidding can be substantial.

Inform neighbours

Communication with neighbours is often an overlooked aspect of auction preparation. Politely informing neighbours of the date and time of the auction serves multiple purposes. Not only does it convey consideration for their schedules and potential disruptions, but it also fosters a positive neighbourhood atmosphere.

Disruptions during the auction, whether it's loud music or mowing, can be deterred through this proactive communication. While onsite auctions typically occur in gardens or on front footpaths, your real estate agent and auctioneer will guide you on the most suitable location.

Remaining indoors while being kept abreast of the proceedings through your agent can also be a stress-reducing option.

Don't panic if unsold

It's crucial to recognise that not all properties are sold under the hammer, and that does not equate to failure. In fact, it is not uncommon for negotiations to extend beyond the auction day, leading to a successful sale.

Patience is key, and your real estate agent, equipped with negotiation expertise, will guide you through the next steps. Whether it involves adjusting the reserve price to meet market demands or exploring alternative strategies, trust in your agent's experience to navigate the post-auction phase successfully.

Selling a home through auction demands a strategic and informed approach. By adhering to these guidelines and understanding the nuances of the process, you can significantly enhance the prospects of a successful and stress-free sale.

Mastering the art of a home auction requires a delicate balance of preparation, presentation, and strategic decision-making – elements that, when combined, can contribute to a rewarding and prosperous outcome.

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