When you’re trying to buy a property in a tough market, it’s always best to avoid buying at auction if possible.

Look for private treaty properties that have just been listed, then get yourself on the buyer databases of the best local agents and ask around about any off-market opportunities.

Of course, in any hot market, there will be an increase in the number of homes going under the hammer, and as long as the low interest rates keep fuelling plenty of buyer competition, having to bid at auction on a property you like may become unavoidable.

If this is the case, it is important to pay heed to all the usual advice that gets thrown around; get your finances in order, research the suburb and have pest inspections done in advance.

But in addition to these, some more unusual tips can also give you an edge and even prove the difference on the big day.

First, when bidding on a home, do so with confidence and don’t hesitate, to show you mean business. Any sign of wavering or uncertainty can be perceived as a giveaway that you are about to run out of budget. This can remove the doubts of the competition and prompt them to go that little bit further to win the day.

Next, if you’re worried about the pressure or about becoming too emotionally invested, have a friend or buyer’s agent bid on your behalf. This will deflect some of the stress and enable them to stick to the pre-decided budget that you have given them, rather than being tempted to spend more than you can afford, which is what you might do if caught up in the moment.


Then, bid in odd numbers. If bidding in lots of $10,000, try bidding $11,000 or $13,000. This will slow the momentum of the bidding down while the auctioneer calculates the new total. Changing the momentum can work in your favour, especially if the bids are coming thick and fast and the price is getting away from you.

Finally, this is definitely an old tip, but undoubtedly the most important of the lot. Remember to stick to your budget. Losing the auction may be hard to swallow, but you can recover from that a lot faster than if you overspend, win the auction and wind up under mortgage stress.

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