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Tim McIntyre: Selling At Auction Tips

Once you have finally made the decision to go ahead and sell at auction, your preparation begins at day one.

I believe the property’s marketing period is just as important as the day of the actual auction itself, if you want to get the best result.

Usually, a marketing period can be anywhere between four and eight weeks, so it’s good to make the decision before a prime selling time, so that by the time the hammer comes out, the market is primed for your property.

By the time you decide to sell at auction rather than private treaty, you have already been consulting closely with your agent and put your faith in his or her judgement.

The lead up to the big day is the agent’s time to shine, so it's important to take a back seat and let them do what they do best; conduct inspections, meet potential buyers and convince them your property is perfect for them.

They should also have a multi-faceted advertising plan, which will see your property exposed in print media and online.

Don't interfere with bidders prior to the auction. This is absolutely crucial. You may want to talk about how much you love the property and what's good about it, but this can actually put doubt in a buyer's mind.

Plus, some buyers are prone to taking offense to any negative initial feedback about their property.

Also, be sure to maintain your price expectations. Average buyers walking in off the street, potentially viewing their fifth or sixth property for the day, are hardly likely to share your sentimental attachment to the house, and they therefore may not think it’s worth as much as you do.

Throughout the campaign, the agent will be able to gauge a realistic idea of what buyers are likely to fork out for your home.

This may be more or less than you think. Allow yourself to be guided by the agent and her or his feedback when it comes time to set a reserve price on the day.

It is better to be pleasantly surprised when your home beats its reserve than have it pass in and have to lower your asking price to meet the market.

Finally, presentation right up to auction day is crucial. Having a property styled for the marketing campaign has become popular and can be a great way to bring out its potential. Home stylists can ensure the flow of the living space is just right, so that others can envision a future life there.

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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