No two auctions play out the same way, but there’s a general flow of events you can expect when the siren sounds for the start of your auction.
1. Final inspection
If you’ve chosen to have the auction at your property, bidders will be allowed to check it out one last time. Your agent will also gather the crowd and carry out any bidding registrations (if required by your state).
2. Formalities and legalities
At least half an hour before bidding officially kicks off, your agent/auctioneer will need to display certain documents and information to the bidders. These can relate to general auction rules, rules specific to your auction and any important information about your property. Expect announcements outlining:
- whether vendor or co-owner bids will be made
- late bids (those made after a property has been sold to the successful bidder) being prohibited
- any specific conditions that are in your property’s contract of sale
- any illegal conduct, such as dummy bids or overly disruptive behaviour.
3. Kick off
At this point, the auction’s ready to go and your auctioneer will ask for an opening bid to get the bidding ball rolling. They’ll also set the bidding increments (how much a new bid must rise above the previous bid).
Once you hit your reserve price, your property’s officially 'on the market' and ready to be sold to the highest bidder. If your reserve isn’t met, you can decide then and there with your agent if you’re willing to sell at a lower price. For this reason, make sure you’re in a spot that allows for quick, easy and confidential communication.
5. "Going once…"
We all know the rest from here. Your auctioneer will clarify the final bid beyond a shadow of a doubt before dropping the hammer and declaring your property sold.
6. After the sale
With a successful auction in your wake, it’s time to sort out some financials. Auctions have no cooling off period, so a deposit from the winning bidder – usually 10% of the sale price – is required straight after auction (the rest is paid at settlement in 30, 60 or 90 days, or another agreed upon period). Have your solicitor ready to review and disclose any major terms before you both sign the contract.
Our winning tip
Go out and celebrate, regardless of the outcome. Dinner, drinks, ice cream – whatever your tipple, getting through an auction is a great team effort, so be sure to treat yourself and stay positive.