...but with a little research and some experienced consultants on your side, you have nothing to worry about.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Choose an agency with an in-house auction team
The whole team will be absolutely dedicated to achieving a sale, motivating buyers and getting the best result for you. The auctioneer will also have time to learn about your property, understand why a buyer would fall in love with it and present it in the best possible way to buyers.
Ask your agent how they plan on marketing specifically for an auction sale
Auctions sales need highly specialised and time sensitive marketing plans and your agent should have ideas from the very beginning. Some agencies (like ours) offer complementary marketing, so see what they can do for you before you list.
Invest in marketing
There's a direct correlation between investment in additional marketing and success of sale at auction. Ask your consultants to advise on the best marketing techniques and to cite tangible proven results.
Ask for regular meetings and written updates
With an end date in mind, it's even more important that your consultants stay in regular contact and keep you informed of every development.
Hold open homes
The key to a successful auction is getting interested parties through the door and into your home. Open homes are the best way to do this: buyers are encouraged by seeing plenty of competition, you can get strong feedback to go to auction with and it's the best use of your consultants' time: they can speak to several interested buyers at once.
Choosing your reserve price
You consultants will help you decide on a reserve price and the auctioneer's entire strategy will be based on this price. Remember, at all time during an auction, you're in control. If the highest bid is at an acceptable level, you can take it and sell. If your reserve isn't met, the property will be passed in and negotiations with interested parties will begin: but you won't have lost out by selling for less than desired.
At the auction
If you can, attend your own auction. Bidders will sometimes ask if the deposit or settlement date can be altered so it's great to have you on hand. On top of this, the auctioneer may want to confer with you based on how the auction's going.
After the auction
As the auctioneer announces the property as sold, they will take the buyer aside and begin to process the contract of sale, straight away. The buyer will then make arrangements to pay the deposit and you'll be required to sign the contract. In the contract of sale is the settlement date - usually 30-90 days after the contract has been signed - which is when the property becomes legally owned by the new party.
For our full auction selling guide, click on the image below.
Inspect the property as many times as you like
Most sellers will host open homes - giving you the opportunity to look around as much as you can - and you can arrange to come back by appointment, too.
Get to know the market
With no stated price when a property goes to auction, you're probably wondering how on earth to know if you can afford it. Well, auctions rely on market forces such as supply and demand, so looking at other sales is a good way of estimating how much an auction property will sell for. Ask your consultant: they have access to official industry statistics.
Attend a few practice auctions
Auctions move extremely quickly so, for first-timers, it can all be a blur. Attending a few auctions for properties you have no interest in will help you understand the process and the techniques of the auctioneer.
Sort out your finances
Auctions bids must be cash-unconditional i.e. you have to have the money available there and then. So it pays to talk to financial advisors and the bank beforehand and have finance sorted. And define a clear budget on the day that you won't exceed.
Speak to your solicitor
The sale and purchase agreement of an auction sale will be available before auction day so ask for a copy and have your solicitor check the terms and conditions. You'll then be in a position to ask the seller for any amendments if required, such as a change to settlement date.
During the auction
Don't stand back out of sight: many first time auction participants will find that the property sells before their eyes. Things move fast, so be on your toes and ensure your consultant knows your financial limit.
After the auction
As the auctioneer announces the property as sold, they will take the successful buyer aside and begin to process the contract of sale, straight away. The buyer will then make arrangements to pay the deposit and the seller will be required to sign the contract. In the contract of sale is the settlement date - usually 30-90 days after the contract has been signed - which is when the property becomes legally owned by the new party.
Click on the image below to view our full guide to buying at auction.