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Top strategies for winning at auction

Buying a property on your 2023 to-do list? Make sure the keys to that dream home are yours with these winning ways

By Sara Mulcahy
Wed, Jan 25, 2023 9:15amGrey Clock 3 min

 Always part of the crowd but never the winning bidder? It can be frustrating  to keep missing out on securing your slice of Sydney. 

When you have your heart set on a property, you’re buying not just a home but a lifestyle that will champion your dreams and ambitions. So no wonder auctions are a nerve-racking affair. Put yourself on the front foot with these winning strategies.

Read more stories like this in the latest issue of Kanebridge Quarterly magazine. Order your copy here.


Put in a pre-auction offer

Actually, there may be no need to go to auction at all. In today’s market, you have a good chance of calmly negotiating a winning deal ahead of time. Of all properties intended for auction, the proportion sold prior has roughly doubled since last year, now accounting for about half of all sales. So if you’ve done your research and don’t want to wait it out, make a solid pre-auction offer that reflects current market values.Conversely, in a strong market, you may be better advised to wait it out. Vendors are unlikely to take an early offer if they know there are other buyers waiting in the wings.  


Own it to win it 

Show up at the auction dressed to impress and stand in a prominent position where you can eyeball other bidders. When people bid against you, respond quickly and decisively. Play your cards right and you’ll give your competitors the impression that you’re not going to stop – which may be enough to convince them to give up. 


Bidding anonymously

Bidding remotely via a live auction app could be the solution to staying calm and clear-headed. The future-forward UrbaneLIVE app enables you to participate in live-streamed auctions from wherever you feel most comfortable. If you’d rather be on site, but feel uneasy about bidding publicly, you could use the app to bid anonymously. The app will also ensure you don’t miss out on the chance to bid if you’re out of town on auction day. 


Use the professionals

Your agent is there to help. They offer advice and support as well as practical information about the auction, so take advantage of their expertise and ask as many questions as you can. Worried you might get caught up in the emotion on the day? Asking a seasoned auction goer to bid on your behalf will make you less vulnerable to auction day pressure. (If you’ve recently sold and have a good relationship with your agent, you could ask them to help you bid for your next home, provided the property is listed with another agency.) Alternatively, a buyer’s agent will bid on your behalf for a fee and help research the market and work with you to determine a reasonable limit. 



Top-and-tail approach

Beyond the comical awkwardness, there’s little benefit in holding out on an opening bid. Before the crickets chirp and tumbleweed rolls, make your presence known with a reasonable low-end bid. You can then hang back and get a feel for your competitors, before boldly re-joining the bidding at the pointy end of the auction. If nobody else bids after your opening offer, even better. You’ll be first in line to negotiate a deal. 


Hit them with your best shot 

When bidding slows, hopeful purchasers often settle in for a lengthy back-and-forth of $1000 increments. With amounts this small, it’s tempting for bidders to keep pushing that little bit further. If you still have some room in your budget, try knocking them out with an offer of $15,000 or $20,000 more. In the context of Sydney or Melbourne property, it’s a small price to pay to secure a purchase. There’s no better place to pick up tips than at an auction. Onlookers are always welcome so check out our auction listings and drop by to watch the show.





Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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