GQ (Australia) - - GQ INC. -

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.

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