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Bidders Behaving Badly: 7 Things You Should Never Do at Auction

17 August, 2017 / Category: News

Auctions are adrenaline-fuelled displays of nervy body language, calculated action and strategic thinking – make the right moves and that dream home or investment could finally be yours. But should you make an unintentional gaff or showy faux pas that reveals your bidding weakness – it could be game over for your auction strategy before the gavel comes down. While there’s no exact method to the madness of success at auction, there are several bidding behaviours you should avoid if you’ve got buying on your mind. Infolio Director Lauren Staley explains more in our latest blog.

Don’t talk to your partner

When couples start eyeing one another off and whispering panic-stricken numbers under their breath, it’s a sure sign they’re fresh out of money. Revealing that you’ve reached your absolute maximum limit will give other more confident bidders the edge. Even if you’ve got a few extra thousand to tap into, exposing yourselves as financially confined can give the competition the confidence they need to outbid you.

Don’t phone a friend

Unless you’ve been on the phone throughout the auction’s entirety to liaise with another party, making anxious mid-auction phone calls or obvious texts is a sign that you’re approaching the end of your bidding capacity. Like hungry lions, cashed up investors will sense their opportunity and descend in an instant, knowing the property is imminently theirs.

Don’t let your body language give you away

Try to keep your body language and facial expressions neutral – even at the most tense of times. If bids are escalating, don’t expose the fear that you’re nearing the top end of your budget. If you do lose out, remain gracious and bow out without drama.

Don’t bring the whole family along

When you’re attending an auction for a property you’ve got your heart set upon, it’s tempting to round up the whole family to partake in what could be an exciting day. Doing so exposes how keen you are on the property, and may signal to the agent and auctioneer that you’re prepared to push your limits because you’ve fallen in love with a home. Investing too heavily in the emotion of an auction day can put you in a weakened position when it comes to pass-in negotiations, too. Should you choose to repeatedly bring Mum, Dad and cousin Kevin to every promising property, you’ll soon expose your financial position to the auctioneer and other bidders. You want to keep your cards as close to your chest as possible.

Don’t dress up to the nines

If you show up to a Saturday morning auction looking like you’re heading straight off to Crown Casino to drop some loose change on black, you’ll be turning heads for all the wrong reasons. While you might think this signals confidence and cash in the bank, it’s only really an acceptable strategy if you do have a bottomless budget and a penchant for Zegna suits. Once bidding commences, you could be outed as a budget-stricken buyer – making yourself competition fodder for the savvier buyers with deeper pockets ready to bid.

Don’t be rude to the auctioneer

Bad etiquette will get you nowhere – and it certainly won’t do you any favours should the property pass in. It’s not all about numbers. Relationships go a long way, too.

Don’t make silly bids

Bid with confidence and be realistic. It doesn’t matter how often you’re raising your bid if you’re still $50k below reserve. Low, unrealistic bids won’t change the outcome – bid with the intention of reaching reserve and then use your considered bidding strategy to score the property for the best possible price.

Want to learn more about bidding to buy? Worried you’ll overpay for a property at auction? Infolio’s advocates are here to help.

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