HOW TO WIN AT AUCTION
Those who live in major metro areas will be familiar with auctions. Some embrace the thrill of the situation, but for most, especially first-time buyers, the thought of bidding publicly is terrifying. Leading Australian auctioneer, Gavin Croft (a man who conducts thousands annually as director and head auctioneer of Real Estate Auction Services) talks us through the increase of auctions in Australia and how to make sure a bid is a winning one.
GQ: Why do so many vendors choose to go to auction? What’s the advantage?
Gavin Croft: An auction resolves ambiguity and uncertainty around value. The auction sale process is able to provide a high level of market intelligence in a shorter time frame, which aids decisions. The ability to then visualise the transaction, and sell ‘unconditionally’, is compelling to vendors.
GQ: Why do auctions dominate Melbourne and Sydney markets in particular? GC: These markets are fuelled by a strong auction culture. The increasing dominance of auctions is representative of the growth within these property markets and the corresponding increase in prices.
GQ: Are we likely to see more auctions across the country, in, say, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane?
GC: I sense the answer is yes. We’re seeing more evidence of Queensland, South Australia and Perth auction numbers improving. From an auction perspective, they’re all still in their infancy. The awareness and understanding of auctions is increasing. The same could have been said of Sydney 20 years ago. It’ll be interesting to see which state emerges more prominently in the auction space. My bet’s Queensland.
GQ: What’s your pet peeve as an auctioneer, in regard to possible buyers?
GC: When a buyer says, ‘I don’t like auctions.’ A buyer will define their own experience at auction. No one else does. The transparency an auction provides a buyer is unquestionable, and genuine sellers tend to choose auctions as their preferred method of sale. In my experience, dealing with committed home sellers in an open and transparent environment is what homebuyers are looking for.
GQ: Can you detail a few tips for people who want to find success at auction?
GC: Procrastination is not a strategy – sellers respond to the bidding they see, and are more likely to negotiate based on it. The auction is simply a negotiation platform for buyers and sellers – the transparency of the process should give buyers supreme confidence. And, if you’re new to auctions, go and observe a few in the local area first. You can then raise questions with the auctioneer or agent after the auction, to increase knowledge and understanding.