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Veteran Melbourne agents reveal the tactic they believe is best for buying at auction

By Emma Smith

Article written by Samantha Landy Herald Sun and published in news.com.au

TO bid early at auction, or not to bid early? That is the question.
Two veteran Melbourne agents say househunters should avoid beating around the bush when buying under the hammer, as confidence is key to emerging as the last man standing.

Fifth generation real estate agent Geoff White said more often than not, it’s better to bid at the start of an auction rather than wait for a property to be announced on the market.
“Show your hand early rather than sit on your hands,” Mr White — the CoreLogic state director for Victoria and former Real Estate Institute of Victoria president — said.

“Most of the time’s it’s better to bid with confidence and put your best foot forward early — if you show that confidence, it might mean others are deterred.

“The ones who wait until the last minute generally don’t win it.”

Compton Green director Adrian Butera, who’s been auctioning properties in Melbourne since 1995, said buyers should be confident but know their limits.

“Some bidders will get in first, some will wait. But I’ve never seen someone buy a property by holding back,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean you exceed your limits. But have that confidence when you step up to the plate.
“Any hesitation could mean missing out on the property.”

Mr Butera also urged househunters to watch a range of different auctions before having a crack at one, as “no two auctioneers are alike”.
“Bidding seems to be a lot faster these days — it’s almost a sport in Melbourne,” he said.

“The secret is to see as many as you can. That will position you to strike when the time is right.”
Mr White agreed, saying watching other bidders may help buyers decide on their own strategy. He said it was also important for househunters to do their homework on the prices being achieved by similar properties to the one they were after, to help them set a limit. And buyers should consider engaging at buyer’s advocate for their expertise, and to bid on their behalf if they preferred to avoid the “daunting process” entirely.

Putting their feet up during the winter months, when auction numbers traditionally fell away, was a mistake, Mr White said: “Get a raincoat and umbrella and get out there through winter.

“The volumes will wane a little bit, but people move house at all times of the year.”
samantha.landy@news.com.au

Originally published as The best tactic for buying at auction

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