Falling in love with a house is like falling in love with a person. It’s a full-on emotional connection. So, when you don’t “win” the house at auction, it’s like a breakup. You’re emotionally charged and connected to this place and when someone else gets the highest bid, it’s like they just stole your boyfriend.
I’ve been part of two auctions — one we lost, and the other we won. So I know what a mixed bag of emotions you feel when you’re in that situation. It’s hard for someone like me, who wears their hearts on their sleeve, to put on a poker face and not act impulsively on emotion. So, I enlisted the help of our mates at CENTURY 21 who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to buying and selling houses at auction, to share all the dos and don’ts of bidding!
DO make sure you are prepared, and make sure your finances are in order. You’ll need to know how much you can borrow from the bank, and having pre-approval is an absolute must. If you win at the auction, you’ll need to pay your deposit, which is usually at least 10% of the purchase price. This is why it’s important to be ready with a form of payment when you attend auction.
DO get a building inspection, because auctions mean NO COOLING OFF PERIOD! That means that once the house is yours, it’s really yours — including any issues that might come along the way.
DO know your limit. Hot tip: the night before the auction, decide on the top figure that you’re willing to spend on the property and then know you cannot go above this number NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU LOVE IT.
DO make sure you arrive early. Chat to the agents and try and see if they have a figure in mind that the owners want so you have a ballpark figure. Try and find out the buyer’s motivation for selling and how much interest there is in the property.
DON’T hide at the back of the crowd or behind a tree — get out in front. Be seen and be confident. It might help to scare other bidders off (in a nice way!)
DO visit other auctions before you bid at your own to see how they work.
DON’T hold back throughout the bidding, but keep your cards close to your chest. Bid early and start slow.
DO know your budget, and DON’T get competitive or you might end up spending more money than you’d planned, or more than the house is worth.
DON’T share the amount you’re willing to pay with the agent before the auction even begins.
Auctions can seem a bit intimidating when you first get started, but just remember to stick to your guns and eventually, you’ll end up with the house of your dreams. Just be patient — there will always be another house if the first few fall through!
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