We recently covered buying at auction, but selling at auction is just as stressful and just as subjected to chance and the importance of smart practice…getting the small stuff right so the big stuff follows.

If you’re selling at auction, you have either been convinced by a real estate agent that this is the way to go or you know personally that your property is something that people will fight over. This could be because you are in a desirable neck of the woods or because there is an under supply of quality property on your local market.

Whatever it is, once you make the call to go under the hammer, the first thing you need to focus on is your marketing period. During this process, real estate agents do what they do best. It’s important that you take a back seat and let your chosen agent conduct the inspections and deal with potential buyers.

Resist all temptation to interfere with buyers before the auction. Interfering refers to making contact at open inspections, telling the buyer how much you love the property, what’s good about it and so on. You might think you’re doing yourself a favour but this can actually come across as desperate or suspicious and put doubt in a buyer’s mind.

“Why would they go out of their way to talk about how great the entertainment area is when it’s right in front of me? What are they hiding?”

Next, be sure to maintain your own price expectations. Buyers don’t share your own sentimental attachment to the house which might have been forged over many years. Of course they don’t, why would they care if your first child walked for the first time, through the open plan living area? In all likelihood they will think the home is worth less than you do, so rather than become indignant, you should allow yourself to be guided by the agent and the buyer feedback from the campaign period, especially when it comes to setting your reserve price.

Presentation is also crucial, right up to auction day. Consider having your property professionally styled for the marketing campaign to not only bring out the home’s potential but also remove traces of yourself from the home and allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living there in your stead.


Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and news.com.au

Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing.

His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au

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