REINSW Auctioneers, house for sale

10 September 2019

Agent insights: Auctioneers

There’s no doubting that times have been tough for the real estate market, but there are positive signs that sentiment is now swinging away from doom and gloom to a more positive outlook. We asked auctioneers for their views.


CEO at James Pratt Auctions Group

Challenges: Changing expectations

Seller expectations have been a challenge. Whereas once we would have five to 10 registered bidders at each auction with properties selling well above reserve, that was no longer the case and sellers saw it as a failure of the auction process. Buyers have also been less motivated. A fear of missing out became a fear of paying too much.

Actions: Educating sellers

Detailed pre-auction discussions with the seller are more essential than ever before, including sharing what you’ve experienced at auctions in previous weeks. It’s also been important to remind them that an auction is a three-stage process: pre-auction, auction and post-auction. If we get to post-auction, they’re still in a strong position.

Predictions: Increased buyer interest

Real estate is a cycle of highs and lows – and, following the State and Federal Elections and interest rate cuts, we’re already seeing an increase in buyer interest. I’d expect us to find our way back to a seller’s market soon.



Auctioneer at Cooley Auctions

Challenges: Few bidders

Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a drop in the number of registered bidders. Often we’re dealing with one-bidder auctions – and there was a period where I had a number of auctions and didn’t see a single bidder. Prior to this, we were in a boom period with competitive bidding, often resulting in sales exceeding seller expectations.

Actions: Adapting to change

Up until recently, the role of an auctioneer was easier, as buyers and bidding were enthusiastic. Since seeing a change in the market, as auctioneers we’ve had to hone our skills and adapt to dealing with auctions with fewer buyers and a reluctance to bid. More involvement with negotiations to help get deals over the line post-auction has also become common.

Predictions: Strong clearance rates

With both the State and Federal Elections over and APRA loosening the previously tight lending restrictions, clearance rates are stronger – and I expect to see more confidence returning to the marketing in the coming months.



Chief Auctioneer and Director at auctionWORKS

Challenges: Fewer auctions

The greatest challenge over the last 12 months has been stock levels. We’ve seen a decline of approximately 20-30 per cent in auction numbers when compared to the previous year. A lack of confidence was a major driver for this. Many agents steered clear of the auction process through fear of failure due to lower clearance rates.

Actions: Auction campaigns

We’ve spent the last 12 months educating our client base about the auction process. The most important factor for us is ensuring agents understand that auction is a three-stage selling process, offering opportunities to sell at all points of the campaign – before auction, at auction and after auction. Also, we’ve been educating clients that auction properties are selling on average 18-21 days faster than private treaty transactions.

Predictions: Optimistic outlook

I’m incredibly optimistic about the next 12 months and believe, as most economists do, that the worst is now behind us. The fundamentals are in place for us to go back to normalised market conditions and, importantly, increased stock levels.

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