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Should You Make an Offer Before Auction?


Sometimes when a property is advertised for sale by auction it doesn’t end up selling that way. There are a variety of reasons for why that is, but as a potential buyer it is important that you know how you can take control of an auction sale situation to your advantage.

Bidding at auction is one of the most transparent means by which you can buy a property. Unlike a behind closed doors smoke and mirrors situation, with auction everything and everyone is on display for all to see and hear.

But with that said, there are also certain circumstances in which it can pay to make your move before auction. As a potential buyer, it is important you know when those times are so that you can put yourself in the box seat.

The best way to decide if it is in your interests as a buyer to make an offer before auction is to ask a few probing questions that might uncover the following.

Reason for selling

Every vendor’s motivation for selling their property is different. Sometimes it may be personal reasons driving the sale and other times it maybe financial or other factors.

No matter what the reason for selling is, as a buyer it pays to find out why. Over the years, I have mastered the knack of finding out what I need to know about why a vendor is selling then using that to my client’s advantage.

If you are interested in buying a property and you tailor your offer to appeal to the vendor’s situation and circumstances you will be in a strong positon when it comes to having your offer considered.

Sense of urgency

When time is of the essence for a seller sometimes money isn’t the only thing that talks. Timing can be equally as important. If you are serious about a property and want to buy it, try and gauge the agent on whether it might suit the seller to get a result sooner rather than later.

The greater the sense of urgency for a seller the better the opportunity for a property buyer. Look for signs that suggest the seller might be anxious for a quick sale result. Perhaps they have bought elsewhere already, are under financial pressure or just need to relocate for whatever reason by a certain date.

There are many indicators that will suggest a seller may require urgency. You just need to know what to look for.

Level of interest

At certain times of the year demand for property historically drops. Seasonality always has and always will in my view, play a part in the market of buying and selling property.

The trick is knowing how to pick those times when demand is at its lowest. As it’s during these periods that competition amongst buyers is at its lowest, making properties harder to sell but at the same time creating opportunity for astute buyers.

As a property buyer don’t be afraid to approach a selling agent and test the waters with an offer before a scheduled auction. You might be pleasantly surprised that it gets accepted, or at the very least opens the door to negotiations ahead of anyone else.

There is one sure thing I have learnt over the two plus decades I have been working with residential property. That is, when it comes to selling a property certainty trumps the unknown.

As a prospective property buyer, merely being aware of those factors that might tip the scales in your favour, means you will already be a few steps ahead of your competition.

If you would like more information and insights on buying a property delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to the Albion Avenue blog here.

Shelley Horton is the founder of Sydney based exclusive buyers agency Albion Avenue. With a 20 year career honing her skills in every aspect of the property industry Shelley knows what makes a property worth buying and how to get the best deal.


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