In room vs onsite auctions

Auctions will be held onsite at the subject property or off site at what is commonly referred to as in room auctions. There are no fundamental differences in how in room or onsite auctions work. There are subtle differences that it may be worth keeping an eye on though.

At an onsite auction, while you may be greeted by a massive crowd, it’s worth remembering they are mainly neighbours observing not actual bidders. At an onsite auction, if you stand in the right position, you should be able to view the competing bidders.

Many experienced bidders like to stand close to the auctioneer and look at the crowd from that vantage. Such brazen confidence from a bidder can be unnerving to other bidders.

Buyer’s agent Patrick Bright says that an onsite auction can be more emotional than an in room auction. ‘Given the buyers are actually standing in the house they are bidding on, it can play to the vendor’s advantage. Conversely, a rainy day, aircraft noise or excess car traffic can have a negative impact on an onsite auction. These issues are irrelevant with in room auctions.’

Bright highlights that the order of the properties to be auctioned at in room auctions is highly relevant. From his experience, Bright says that properties certain to sell well will be auctioned first. The agents are aiming to create a ‘positive tone’ to the proceedings. The agents will also want to place a certain seller last in the pecking order to ensure that the event both starts and finishes well.

The weaker auctions are likely to be buried in the middle of the schedule.

Given there are so many bidders for so many different properties at an in room auction, it’s much more difficult to know who you are bidding against.

The power play at an auction is fluid, ebbing back and forth between the vendor and the buyers. The more buyers there are bidding the more power to the vendor and vice versa.

If buying at auction is daunting to you, outsource the bidding or make your best offer prior to auction. Just because the agent wants the vendor to auction, it does not mean you have to buy that way.

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