How to bid successfully at auctions

How to bid successfully at auctions

Buying your next home or investment property at auction can be an adrenaline-filled experience, but with the right preparation you will be able to bid like a pro.


Understanding what property is worth in the area you’re interested in will allow you to make sure you don’t overbid. Monitor house prices in the area by reading the property section in newspapers, which have recent sale prices. Many property organisations also provide free property reports on their websites.

Attend auctions

Attend auctions beforehand to see how they work. Study how people bid and take note of what you would and wouldn’t do. This practice will also allow you to learn auction rules.

Set a limit

Determine the absolute maximum you will spend on a property and don’t be drawn into going above that. If bidding goes beyond your limit, drop out of the auction and use the rest of the auction as practice.

Have someone else do the bidding

Consider asking a friend or family member to do the bidding for you to ensure you don’t let the emotion of the event influence your decisions. Buying agents can also be paid to do the bidding for you.

Safety in numbers

If you decide to bid yourself, take a trusted friend or family member to the auction – someone who is logical and clearly understands your limit for the property. They can help to rein in any emotional urges to bid more than your budget.

Arrive early

Make sure you get to the auction with plenty of time to spare. This will give you a chance to inspect the property again and stake out prime position for the auction.

Have patience

Don’t be too eager in the early stages of bidding. Allow other people to make the opening bids as this will give you time to see who your competition is and how much interest there is.

Don't get swept up

Auctions are typically fast paced. If you feel yourself being overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths. Bidding in small increments can also help to slow bidding down.

Buying a new property at auction can be a stressful event, but making sure you are as prepared as much as possible will help you bid successfully come the big day.

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