A beginners guide to selling at auction

If you’ve been considering selling property at any time in the recent past, it’s almost certain you’ve been introduced to the idea of selling via auction.

For the uninitiated the auction process can seem a little daunting, but there’s a reason they are so often recommended to both buyers and vendors – property auctions offer many advantages to both sides of the sale.

For both buyers and sellers the biggest advantage of an auction is transparency. Everybody knows the terms and conditions of sale before they start, and bidders or their representatives are on site during the auction bidding in the open.

  • An auction means you set the terms and conditions of sale, mitigating the chances of any surprises at settlement.
  • Marketing with no fixed price broadens the pool of cash-in-hand buyers who will look at your property.
  • You have a fixed, relatively short marketing period where your Harcourts sales consultant can gauge the level of interest in your property and what prospective buyers might be prepared to pay.
  • The auction itself generates a sense of urgency and competition which brings buyers to a decision.


What you need to do to prepare:

  • Your sales consultant should walk you through a detailed marketing plan from the images that’ll be selected and advertised, the copy that will be included, and the schedule of open homes, to where the property will be advertised. You should have daily updates from your consultant and a face-to-face meeting once a week, to make sure you’re up to date. They should also provide you with a written report on the marketing campaign and interest from prospective buyers.
  • Talk to your sales consultant about what is happening in the market, specifically around your area and with properties similar to yours.
  • Use that market information, and feedback from prospective buyers to set a realistic reserve price. Be clear about your best price, which is the figure you’d be very happy to accept. But also have in mind your “OK” price and your “accepted price” – which is the figure you wouldn’t be thrilled with but given market conditions you’d be prepared to accept.
  • Remember, at all times during an auction, you’re in control as the seller. If a bid is high enough take it. If not, don’t.
  • REMEMBER: the reason for not taking an offer needs to be greater than the reason the home is on the market in the first place.