4. Bid confidently at the end

If you’re competing against a high number of bidders, you might decide that starting the auction with an aggressive opening bid is a good way to determine who the real competition might be.

But in a softening marketing, Cooley says it’s safer to pull your punches until the end draws near.

“I would say it’s more important to bid confidently at the end of the auction than it is at the beginning,” he says.

“The reason being is you don’t want to… send a message too confidently to the agent and auctioneer that you’re willing to buy at any cost. Sometimes that can work against you.”


5. Launch a charm offensive

In any negotiation, it always helps if the key players like you.

Which is why Cooley suggests exchanging pleasantries with the agent and the auctioneer prior to bidding.

“Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the auctioneer before the auction,” he says. “Use the agent’s and auctioneer’s names and be a good person.”

The way Cooley sees it, getting in the auctioneer’s good books can only improve your prospects.

Sydenham auction

6. When a property passes in21

In most states, if a property passes in (i.e. is withdrawn from the auction after failing to meet the vendor’s reserve price), the highest bidder gets first right to negotiate a price with the seller.

When this happens, buyers shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that they’re the only person interested in buying the property, and that the chips are entirely stacked in their favour during the ensuing negotiation.

While the property might have failed to meet its reserve at auction, other buyers will likely attempt to buy it if it goes back on the market – and a seller is highly unlikely to budge on their reserve, according to Cooley.

“There’s a misconception that buyers are bidding against themselves when a property passes in… but that’s not the case,” he says.

“Ultimately, what’s happened is the auction has got the point where it’s stopped. Your price is not a price the seller will sell at. Full stop. It’s no more complicated than that.

“If you want to buy the property, you will have to increase your bid…. don’t be unnecessarily tough during the negotiation.”