Sell with Confidence
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By Brooke French

Selling your property at auction is a popular option for many, and for good reason. Property auctions offer surety for vendors, with legally binding sales to buyers who have already completed their due diligence. When you add the fact that auctions offer the chance for a bidding war that will drive up sale prices, it’s understandable why many opt to auction. For those who haven’t previously sold real estate in this way, however, it is worth taking a few essential steps to get you and your property ready.

Finding an experienced agent, or auctioneer, is integral in getting a good return on your property at auction.

Choose the right agent

Finding an experienced agent, or auctioneer, is integral in getting a result when it comes to auction day. There are a few factors to consider in selecting the best agent:

Their experience– Your agent will help you with all the important aspects of auctioning your property, from setting a reserve price to your marketing campaign, so you will want someone with a proven track record for selling properties like yours in the local area.
Their reputation– Name recognition is important as established agents will have a larger customer base, making for a higher interest in your property and a greater chance of a bidding war to drive the sale price at auction.
Their availability– You will want to work closely with your agent in the run-up to auction day. Your agent should be keeping you abreast of changes in the market, as well as the amount of interest in your property, and should be in contact on a daily basis.
Among the first things to decide upon with your agent are the reserve and guide prices. The reserve is the lowest price you are willing to accept for your property at the auction, whilst the guide is where the bidding will start. Getting these prices right is important, as going too high or too low on either the guide or reserve could put off potential buyers. Clearly it is not a good idea to discuss these prices with anyone other than your agent prior to the auction, as you want the focus on your property, and not the price.

Marketing your property

A good marketing campaign can be the difference between success and failure on auction day. A good agent will work with you to set-out a strong marketing plan, so it is important that you understand what is required.

One of the positives of selling at auction is that it is a fast process; however this means you need to be organised. Coming up with, and sticking to a budget is key if a campaign is to be effective. Whilst the exact figure you want to spend on advertising is up to you, a standard budget would be 0.5-1 per cent of the expected sale price.

Signboards, print media advertisements and online publicity are all good ways to generate interest, and you should be involved in discussing with your agent what you believe to be the strong selling points for your property, and how best to show them off.

A good marketing campaign can be the difference between success and failure on auction day.

In addition, your agent should be organising as many open homes as possible. Due to the unconditional nature of auction sales, buyers will only feel comfortable to invest if they have had multiple viewings of the property – so you should afford them every opportunity.

Of course, you will want your property looking as good as it can when these viewings take place, so don’t skimp on the spring clean and gardening!

Preparing yourself

You’ve got a great agent, your property is getting plenty of interest – but how do you prepare yourself for auction day?

Ideally you will have attended a few property auctions as a spectator to familiarise yourself with the process and any common issues that arise.

Whilst your agent will run proceedings on your behalf when it comes to your own auction, it is recommended you attend to answer any questions from buyers. It isn’t uncommon for buyers to want to vary the deposit amount, or change the settlement date, so being on hand will be of great help to your agent.

Another important reason to be at the auction is to discuss options with your agent if your property does not reach the reserve price. If this happens, don’t panic, you efforts have not been wasted! A good agent will follow up with interested buyers, and continue to build on your marketing campaign.

Auctioning your property can be a lucrative and exciting option for vendors. If you have any more questions, reach out to a Ray White real estate agent.

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