2 September 2019

The antidote for auction mistakes

Auctions are high pressure situations – and not just for the vendor and buyers. When it comes to keeping vendors informed in the build-up to an auction, there is a big difference between the way good agents and bad agents do it.

What are some of the biggest mistakes agents make in terms of educating their owners prior to auction?

One of the biggest mistakes is failing to qualify buyers on price in the days prior to an auction.

It is very important for agents to find out the price indications of potential buyers. Without that information it is very hard for auctioneers to devise the correct auction strategy. Making sure that you are asking the right questions of your buyers in order to obtain the right response.

Auctioneer, Clarence White explains how asking buyers ‘soft’ questions is the best way to find out their intentions.

“There are some great questions you can ask a buyer leading up to the auction,” said White.

“I understand that there’s a friction point about buyers letting you know what they think the property is worth. Buyers don’t want to tell us what they think they’re going to spend. I would be asking soft questions that aren’t as direct; what I call ‘litmus test’ questions. The buyers’ responses will often give you the answers you’re looking for.”

These ‘litmus test’ questions for potential buyers include:

  • What do you think the property is going to sell for?
  • Do you think you will be the buyer?
  • If the bidding reaches X amount, will you still be bidding at that level?

Another mistake some agents make is not preparing their vendors adequately for auction day. Price feedback is obviously paramount throughout the campaign. Agents should be talking to vendors about price from day one. They should be regularly communicating the feedback from the market to the vendors regarding price so that when the vendors get close to auction day there can be a more specific focus. 

“It’s so important to have those regular conversations at least once per day with your vendors, every day of the auction campaign,” explained auctioneer Briannan Davis.

“You’ve got to build that trust and build that relationship with vendors, so that when you do ask for a reserve that may be less than they first anticipated, they trust you and understand the feedback.”   

For more information on the top auction mistakes and how to avoid them, click here to watch REINSW’s recent webinar.

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