Dos and Don’ts when buying at an auction

Published on December 7th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Home auctions are heated scenes, for sure. A lot of people, all interested in the same big purchase, bidding against each other, hoping to score the best deal. It can be very intimidating, and if you are a beginner in this sort of thing, you’re going to need some valuable tips. So we’ve listed a few do’s and don’ts for buying homes that are up for auction.


Do your research

Before showing up with the intention to buy (especially when it’s a big purchase, such as a home, make sure to do the necessary amount of research. Especially if you’re a beginner, this is the most important piece of advice you can receive. Don’t just read about auctions, take the time to participate in one or two just as an observant, so you can see what the process is and how it unfolds. Also, it’s a good idea to talk to someone who is experienced so that you can get insider tips and advice.

Inform yourself on the house being foreclosed

Home auctions are held for houses being foreclosed. Before you decide that you want to bid for it, you need to find out some details about the house, first. To begin with, you have to figure out if you want to try to sell it or keep it. Then, you need to learn the state it’s in, and how much work and money you need to put into it to be able to live in it or sell it. After that, you can decide whether or not it would be worth it. You also have to find out under what conditions it’s being auctioned off – what are your obligations, after purchase? Do you have to pay past-due taxes? Are there other additional expenses, or are they already taken care of? Always know this information before you make any decisions on buying.


Don’t bid more than you can afford

This is a rookie mistake, but there are even seasoned bidders who are guilty of making it. Leave home with a set budget in mind and don’t fall into the trap of adding to it, in the heat of the moment. It’s easy to get into a bidding war with some other buyer (whether accidentally or on purpose), but that’s a very dangerous move. You may end up overpaying for a house that wasn’t worth that much and it’s going to experience one hell of a buyer’s remorse.

Don’t be late

You wouldn’t believe how quickly a house can be sold. Blink, and you’ve already missed it. That’s why you have to arrive early; you don’t have to be the first one there because that won’t make a difference, but make sure you are there before it starts. Why? Because, contrary to what you might believe, an auction does not last that long. In fact, if you’re even a few minutes late, you might end up showing up for nothing, because someone else had already snatched the home before you even got there. Time is of the essence!

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