real estate auction strategy

The number one mistake bidders make at auction

Profile headshot of Justin Nickerson

1 Mar, 2018

By Justin Nickerson

Inactivity is the number one blunder bidders make at auction.

There are a number of mistakes that bidders make at auction but the number one blunder is inactivity.

You know the ‘bidders’ who are really just waiting to see what happens before doing anything at all.

Let me be clear: doing nothing is not a strategy.

It’s a big mistake.

Fear and loathing

Some people adopt this non-strategy because of fear, but sometimes they’re following bad advice or they falsely believe it will somehow ‘intimidate’┬áthe other bidders.

The truth of the matter is they are better off bidding because if they don’t, they will just feel more pressure.

And that pressure builds up, which in turn generally stops them from ever raising their paddle.

They think that by not bidding that they’re relieving pressure, but the opposite is in fact true.

If they sit back and wait, the people who are bidding are the ones with the least amount of pressure on them because they are in the game, not just watching it.

When you bid you send a message to everyone else that you’re there to buy the property.

If you don’t bid, you’re not sending a message to anyone, are you?

You might think you’re going to swoop in at the end, but the reality is you’ll probably be in competition with someone who has already placed eight bids and is feeling much more comfortable than you.

Confidence zapper

The usual end result for someone who is waiting for the ‘optimal’ time to bid is they go home without ever putting their paddle up.

They simply hand it back at the end and move on to the next auction, where they often just rinse and repeat.

At the end of the day, being successful at auction is about confidence and the only way to build confidence is to bid.

If you’re not going to bid at the start when realistically you’re bidding at a price that you’d love to buy at, why would you bid at the end when it’s a price you’re unsure about?

At the beginning of an auction, you’re bidding at a price that you’re comfortable with, which should make the process easier.

If you’re planning to place your first bid at a stage that you’re uncertain about price, you’re creating myriad variables on top of a situation that you might already find a little scary.

Delaying bidding is along the same lines of waiting for a property to be called “on the market” or asking the auctioneer whether it is on the market.

In Queensland, for example, there is no legal obligation for an auctioneer to announce whether a property is on the market and the words “on the market” don’t exist in any piece of legislation.

So you might as well be asking the auctioneer if they like unicorns.

If an auctioneer does announce that a property is on the market, it’s a courtesy, not a legality.

The term “on the market” might have become more popular these days but the reality is it’s not a legal requirement at all.

If your whole strategy is built around not bidding until the property is “on the market”, then you are waiting for something that might never happen.

Plus, you’re placing your first bid when it’s playing for keeps.

Who wants more stress than is necessary?

Of course, as an auctioneer, I would suggest bidding early, but when it comes down to it, if a property is being sold at auction, you have to bid to have any chance of buying it, don’t you?