Beating the competition at auction

For an aspiring homeowner, bidding at an auction can be nothing short of a juggling act. Standing your ground against fierce competition and appearing unscathed as irregular bids are thrown in from the crowd takes serious mental strength and a good poker face. It’s an environment where emotions and high-stake decisions sit side by side. Knowing how to read your competitors and embrace the pace will ensure you’re a strong contender come auction day.

Here are a few top tips to help you successfully beat your competition:

Stand out from the crowd

Dressing smartly can give you an advantage over your competition by creating the impression that you have deep pockets, potentially making your opponents wary of you. No one wants to have to contend with a budget that’s bigger than their own. Dressing to impress makes other buyers believe you have the funds to buy the property.

Where you position yourself is also crucial. Standing at the front near the auctioneer allows you to take in the big picture and check out the competition.

Do your research

By attending as many auctions as you can in advance, you will gain experience of the process and an understanding of how to read your competition – much easier when you are not the one bidding. By researching the market value of a property you can be sure not to overbid and also know when to walk away.

It goes without saying you should have a fixed idea about how much you are able to spend and stick to it. However, it may be worthwhile to build in the flexibility of a few thousand dollars to ensure you don’t miss your dream home by a minor amount. If you think you may be tempted to overbid, it could be worth taking an auction buddy along to help keep your emotions in check.

Have a game plan

Start the auction by asking a question to draw attention to yourself and unsettle inexperienced buyers. Ensure you have confident body language and use positive, assertive gestures throughout the entire auction while making eye contact with the other bidders.

Timing your bid will also work in your favour. Don’t wait until the last minute to place your bid – you could miss out. The best time to start bidding is once the property is on the market and you are playing for keeps.

Don’t show your cards too early

Make sure to keep your bidding limit a secret and don’t reveal it to anyone in advance of the auction, as this will only work against you. Most bidders will set their final limit at a round number so making your final limit an odd number may just win you the auction.

Using knockout bids is often a doubled-edged sword. By doubling or tripling a competitor’s bid you can wipe out the bargain hunters and lower bidders; however, by showing your hand too early, you may not have a lot of bargaining power if the property is passed in.

Bid with confidence

Confidence is paramount to coming over as an assertive and serious competitor in the auction process. By calling out bids boldly you demonstrate to other bidders that you mean business.

Once the auction is in full swing it’s good to volley bids straight back without hesitation. This shows the competition that you will not stop until you win the property. If you want to slow the auction process, try breaking down your bids to smaller increments such as $1000. Above all, keep your cool and don’t get caught up in the emotion.

Article supplied by Golan Flamm from Hodges Caulfield.

Photo: Montego6/Dreamstime.com