Auction tips

Wednesday Apr 23 07:00 AEST

Properties being marketed by auction are on the rise across the country with approximately 54, 500 being auctioned nationally in 2007.

Buyers Agent Patrick Bright presents some insiders tips on how to make the most at auctions in his latest book, Insider's Guide to Saving Thousands at Auction.

"The provides all the information you need to buy a property at auction and avoid getting ripped off," he advises.

The book is the third instalment of his series of real estate Insider's Guides, where Patrick exposes real estate selling agents tricks.

"I am hoping to provide an insiders view on the auction system, how it works, tips on how to get the most from auctions and how to interpret agent speak," he explains. "Also inside the book there is a property glossary. "

"A lot of the time the buyer and seller are following the lead of the agent and the agent is only looking after their best interest," he reveals.

Mr Bright shares the proven strategies, techniques and tactics he uses week in, week out to buy property at auction.

Be familiar with the auction process:

"If you've never been to an auction before, I recommend that you attend at least a dozen as a spectator," he advises. "This will give you some auction experience without the pressure of being a bidder. As a spectator you can get comfortable with the process and atmosphere. You'll see how the auctioneer generates excitement and tension. You should also analyse how people bid and if they're trying to use any tactics."

Stick to your limit:

"The first and most important auction tactic (actually it's more like a rule) is to set your limit before the auction and never go over it," he says.

"This is the only tactic that applies in all situations. If you blow your limit, your dream home can become your nightmare liability as you struggle to make mortgage repayments that are far more than you've budgeted for."

Get there early:

"You should aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the auction so that you can do a final walk through and register to bid," he suggests. "Get an idea of the number of other registered bidders and see how interested they appear in the property."

Get a good view:

"I always get a good vantage point where I can see everything that's going on," he explains. "I usually stand up the front to one side. From that position I can easily see the auctioneer and the other bidders. I always maintain good eye and body language contact with the auctioneer and other bidders, as this can help if I want them to know that I mean business."

Control your emotions:

"You need to control your emotions at auction because emotions can cost money," he warns. "The number one auction mistake that you will pay for 'with interest' is getting carried away and paying too much for the property. That's a mistake you could end up regretting for a long, long time. Remind yourself that you're not likely to win every auction, and there's always more than one property out there that will meet your needs."

Don't bid until the reserve has been met:

"Before the reserve price has been met, the property isn't truly for sale," he explains. "So why would you bid on something that's not really for sale? I don't typically get serious about bidding until the property has been called on the market."

Never bid against yourself:

"If you're the highest bidder and everyone else has stopped bidding, never increase your bid, no matter how much pressure the auctioneer or selling agent puts you under," he warns.

"Some people don't even need to be asked to bid against themselves. Surprisingly this happens all too often when the highest bidder loses track of their bids," he explains. "They're so nervous, caught up in the excitement of the bidding process or confused, they raise their own bid. It sounds ridiculous however it must be easy to do as I see people do it all the time at auctions."

Get someone you trust to bid for you:

"It's often a good idea to get a trusted friend or family member to bid at auction for you, especially if you're worried about going over your limit," he explains. "Tell them your maximum bid and instruct them not to go above it under any circumstance. It's a great insurance policy against bidding too much. The other option is to hire an expert auction bidder to bid on your behalf."

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