Top tips for bidding at an auction


In today’s market, many homeowners are still choosing to sell at auction. CoreLogic data shows there were 1902 auctions nationally in April 2024, with a 72.9 per cent clearance rate.

But an auction can be unsettling even for the most experienced buyers. We look at key strategies for a successful property purchase come auction time.


Do your research

This includes;

  • Looking at what similar properties have sold for and what else is currently on the market.

  • Engaging a good solicitor to ensure they can do the relevant conveyance searches, this way you can place an offer prior, or bid at auction. Having a solicitor on hand enables you to move quickly if you want to make an offer prior to auction.

  • Along with asking the agent what the seller’s expectations are, you need to conduct your own independent research, and look at what comparable sales the owner is comparing their property to.

Make your interest known

If you are genuinely interested, make your interest known to the agent otherwise you run the risk of the property selling prior to someone else.

Ask the agent if offers will be accepted prior to auction and communicate if there was to be a pre-auction sale you would like to be included in any negotiation.


Get your finances in order

Make sure you understand your approval limit.

Have solid pre-approved finance in place, rather than a conditional pre-approval.

Be aware buying at auction means an unconditional sale.

In order to bid on the day, you need to find out what facilities the agent has in place to pay the deposit post auction. For example, do you need a bank cheque or personal cheque?

Remember an exchange at auction is final.


Have a game plan


You are able to register for auction prior to auction day.

As a buyer, if you are interested in the property or still sitting on the fence, it is worth registering (this requires your driver’s license or passport).

Registering does not mean you have to bid, but you will be in the best position if the property is going to sell at a price within your range, or to be negotiated after. We are seeing a trend that when properties don’t sell at auction, they tend to sell in the 24 hours afterwards.


What happens if I can’t attend the auction? You are able to nominate someone else to bid on your behalf, this requires a bidding authority form prior to auction, which you can get from the agent. You can also bid via telephone using the same bidding authority form. Alternatively, a power of attorney can bid on your behalf.

Don’t over complicate your strategy. You need to set your limit, bid and work towards your limit within your range. If you feel there is going to be competition on auction day, be open to disrupting the bidding pattern with either a knock-out offer (bidding a higher amount to try and eliminate competition) or change the bidding increments to show your authority.

If it’s your dream home and you’re looking to own it for a long period of time, sometimes pushing yourself just that little bit extra can be enough to win.

Make it known you’re there to buy the property, a lot of the competition will be deterred by a strong display.

Post negotiation:

If you have an opportunity to buy a property at auction, it is better to negotiate there and then. Post auction, there will be more opportunity for other buyers to get interested and you could be working with more competition.


Common questions

What is a vendor bid? In NSW, the auctioneer is allowed to make one bid on behalf of the seller. If the auctioneer chooses to use it, they will clearly indicate it is a vendor bid.

What happens if I am buying in a company name? You need a letter on company letterhead, signed by a director of the company allowing you to bid on behalf of a company.


The Agency's reach extends from coast to coast, giving our buyers national coverage and local expertise. Get in touch with one of our experienced agents and auction experts today to find your dream home. 


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