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How to place a winning bid at a property auction

04.07.2018 Site Manager

Auctions are an excellent opportunity to purchase property at a bargain price, whether you’re just getting onto the property ladder or looking for a new investment. However, the prospect of getting locked into a bidding war can be enough to put potential buyers off venturing into the auction process altogether. We’ve put together some key tips to help you prepare for a property auction, and to give you an insight into how to win your property – by placing a winning bid.

Research and observe

If you’re new to property auctions, we’d suggest first gaining an understanding of the process by coming along to observe before taking part. You don’t want to jump in and start bidding if you’re not familiar with how it works.

Additionally, auction catalogues are usually available several weeks ahead of the event, so make sure you do your research and request this in advance to see what’s on the market.

Plan your finances ahead

If there is a property you would be interested in bidding for, arrange a viewing ahead of the auction for a better understanding of the lot requirements, including any repairs needed. Inspecting the property, along with investigating the area, will allow you to plan the maximum amount you’re willing to bid.

Don’t forget, you can always call Auction House ahead of the day and speak to our team for some advice.

On the day

The key thing to remember when going into auction is to keep yourself collected, and not get carried away during the bidding process. In the middle of competing it can be easy to get caught up, but keep your maximum bid in mind as you don’t want to overpay. Arrive early and give yourself plenty of time before the lot begins.

Start your bids low

When bidding on a lot begins, start off low to see how things take off and don’t feel the need to keep bidding just yet. Getting your interest in early and sitting back will allow you to observe the interest from other bidders.

As bidding slows towards the end of the lot, and you’re still within your limit, you can confidently place a higher bid and continue to place against other buyers.

Be prepared to come away empty-handed

It’s better to sit out on several properties and come away empty-handed than make an accidental purchase in the heat of excitement or severely overspend on a lot. Stick to your maximum bid and walk away if outbid; there will be other auctions and properties.  

Remain confident

Even if this is your first auction, compose yourself with an air of confidence so as not to give away your position to other buyers. Observe the behaviour of others, as this can provide valuable insight as to when they may be nearing their own limit.

Prepare to move quickly

The process of buying at auction is much shorter than a typical property purchase, so bear this in mind when bidding. When the hammer falls, you have exchanged contracts and entered a legally binding sale. You will need two forms of ID with you, one photographic and one proof of address, as well as your debit card to pay the deposit and fees.

At Auction House Sussex, we have been conducting auctions for over 30 years and can provide sound advice on buying and selling at auction. If you can’t make it to our next auction in July, contact the team to register for our September event.