Warrnambool Mortgage Brokers offer handy tips for first-time auction bidders

Posted on 17/10/2019 by Andrew Morris in News
Andrew Morris
Andrew joined Sinclair Wilson in May 2017 as Mortgage Broker, having spent the past 10 years in the banking industry. With a small business background - in hospitality, no less...

Buying a Warrnambool property at auction – a prospect that is exciting, scary and nerve-wracking all at once.

While we can’t alleviate the stress of bidding at auction for the first time, we can help you plan, so the process is much easier, and hopefully less daunting.

Here are our tips for nailing the bidding experience and increasing your chances of success come Auction Day.

Attend plenty of auctions before you bid

We know it’s exciting, and you might be itching to get started… but before you make your bidding debut, we suggest you observe at least a few auctions to understand how they work. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the language used, and the process involved.

Generally-speaking, some of the processes and terms you can expect to come across at your first auction will include:

  • The auctioneer running through any relevant state or territory laws and auction rules. In some states, you may need to register to bid.
  • The auctioneer requesting  an opening bid and nominate an amount by which bids must increase (for example, in $5,000 increments). Smaller bids may also be accepted, but it’s up to the auctioneer.
  • Mention of a reserve price – the minimum amount the vendor will accept as a winning bid. Once the bidding reaches this amount, the property is said to be ‘on the market’ and will be sold to the highest bidder.
  • The auctioneer will say “going once, twice, three times… sold” on the final bid.
  • The auctioneer may make vendor bids on the seller’s behalf to progress the auction. These are legal, but the auctioneer must disclose vendor bids. Rules vary depending on the state or territory.
  • If the bidding isn’t progressing, the auctioneer may go inside to seek instructions from the vendor about whether they are willing to sell to the highest bidder.
  • If the reserve price is not met and the property is ‘passed in’, the highest bidder will have the first opportunity to negotiate with the seller.
  • A deposit is required on auction day (usually 10 per cent of the purchase price), with the balance due on settlement.
  • Contracts are signed immediately after the auction. Then it’s time to celebrate!

Make sure your finance is in order

Plenty of auction attendees will be able to tell you about times they attended an auction and competing bidders got caught up in the action, and bid more than they’d intended – many occasions, it could be from first-hand experience! It happens a lot. That’s why it’s so important to have your finance pre-approved before you set out to an auction, so you know exactly how much you have to work with.

Home-loan pre-approval is a written indication from a lender of how much you’ll be able to borrow. It’s literally a piece of paper that sets your spending limit, providing you with more confidence when you are bidding.

We can sort out pre-approval for you – talk to us before you head to auction.

Also, as you’ll have seen from the previous point, you will need to pay a deposit on the day – so make sure you plan for that eventuality! don’t forget to plan for how you will pay the deposit on the day. Check with the selling agent which payment options are accepted in advance (personal cheques, bank cheques and deposit bonds are commonly used).

Get building and pest inspections

Be sure to have building and pest inspections performed before the auction. There’s no cooling off period when you buy at auction, so if you’re the winning bidder, you are obliged to purchase the property. You don’t want any nasty surprises once the property is yours.

Be assertive

It’s vital you go into the auction with a bidding strategy in mind. One common tactic is to knock out the competition with a strong bid early in the game. For example, if the bidding is hovering around $520,000, you may come in with a confident bid of $600,000. This shows other bidders you have the money and are prepared to buy.

Other approaches include starting low and early and progressing with slow bids, or avoiding hesitation and counter-bidding straight away. Whatever your strategy, be sure to call out your bids loudly and with confidence.

Call in back up

You don’t have to go it alone. If you’re concerned about staying within budget, you could ask a friend or relative to support you on the day to help keep you accountable. Another option is to have a professional bid on your behalf. Ask us for a referral.

Auctions are stressful, but with a little preparation you’ll be able to navigate your first auction like a pro. For advice about your borrowing power, deposit, pre-approval and home loan options, please get in touch. We’re here to help!