October 24 2013

Buying property can be an emotional experience for anyone but if you’re armed with a solid strategy and the best tips and tricks you can come out on top. CEO of Harcourts Victoria, Sadhana Smiles has put together her top five tips for buying at auction that will help you land your dream home…without any last minute hiccups.


1. Do your research, work out the suburbs you want to live in and then attend opens and auctions of similar types of properties to work out what the market is doing and the level of competition you may have. It’s important you do your research so you know what the market expectation is versus what you are prepared to pay. Set yourself a price limit prior to attending an auction and stick to it, the emotions on the day can get the better of you but remember there is no point paying too much for a property and then being unable to furnish it or enjoy living in it.

2. Get to know the agencies and agents in the areas you are looking at buying in. Contact them on a regular basis, attend their auctions and get to know them, but understand that they are there for the vendor and their role is to get the best possible price for them.

3. Ensure that all the property documentation is checked by your solicitor, speak to your mortgage broker or banker and ensure that your finance is up to date so you can bid at the auction. You will need a pre-approval of a loan prior to bidding as once the auctioneer knocks the property down to you, you have purchased it and will be required to pay a deposit. Make sure that prior to auction you have a pest and building inspection done as well.

4. Use buyers advocate if you are not confident about bidding at auction. They will charge you a fee however they will negotiate and bid on your behalf. They are experienced at purchasing property, understand what may need to be clarified and are not uncomfortable to ask questions.

5. Understand the terms of the auction prior to bidding and know that if you require any changes to be made to the terms that you need to do this prior to the auction, not when the bidding is completed. For example, you may want longer settlement terms.