Australian Property News

Passed in at auction – playing the game

Posted on Friday, April 13 2012 at 1:28 PM

With data showing the number of auction listings has increased significantly in recent peak periods, one expert is warning buyers to keep a cool head.

Real Estate Buyers’ Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) president Warwick Brookes said buyers who were the highest bidders for a property passed in at auction should know how to “play the game”.

“Just because a property has been passed in does not mean that this is market price – it’s simply a price point for further negotiation,” Brookes said.

His tips for negotiation at auction are:

Stay outside the property

Unless it’s pouring rain, don’t follow the agent inside. Position yourself outside where you can assess your competition.

Determine the reserve

Most times, the reserve is not the price at which the vendor will ultimately sign a contract. What’s the lowest price the vendor will sell for?

Decide on your strategy

Do your research and estimate what the property is worth under low competition and at the upper end, where there’s intense competition.

Deliberate and minimise the outcome

The extent of any negotiations will depend on how much the property is passed in for. Don’t be frightened to drive a hard bargain. If there are no other buyers in sight and everybody has left, reassess how much you’re willing to counter-offer.

Keep a poker face

It’s a fact that 90 per cent of all communication is conveyed through eye contact and body language. Keep a poker face – it can save you thousands.



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