Buying Tips & Checklist

How to Bid at Auction

auction.jpgBidding at an auction can be both exciting and intimidating to the uninitiated. This guide seeks to de-mystify the auction process and provide clarification on the roles and responsibilities of auctioneers and bidders.

How to register

  • You can register at any time prior time prior to the auction.  This can be at an open for inspection, or when visiting the listing agent prior to the auction.  Registering early will save you the trouble of registering on Auction Day.
  •  You will need to provide the Auctioneer with your name and address and some photo identification – e.g. drivers license or passport.
  • The Auctioneer will record these details in a Bidders Register and provide you with a Bidder number.  This number must be displayed by you when making a bid during the course of the auction.
  • If you register prior to auction day, you will not receive your number.  When you arrive at the auction, you will need to see the Auctioneer or their representative, provide them proof of your identity, and receive your number or bidder card at that time.
  • Auctioneers are not permitted to provide your information to any other person other than an inspector or the court.  However, the auctioneer may disclose to the seller of the property the identity of a bidder if it is necessary for negotiating the sale of the property after the auction.

Remember:  You do not have to bid just because you have registered! (But we prefer if you do!)

How to bid

  • Make sure that the Auctioneer can see you.  Ideally, you should hold up your bidder number and call out your bid in a clear audible voice.
  • You can call out an exact amount – e.g. $260,000 or indicate the amount you wish to increase the previous bid by – e.g. “Another $10,000”.
  • If the Auctioneer calls the incorrect amount or misinterprets your bid – call out to the auctioneer and clarify the bid with them immediately.

 Important points to remember when bidding at an auction

  • Make sure you are familiar with the Conditions of Sale prior to bidding at the Auction.  Auctioneers will have these displayed at the Auction for inspection by bidders prior to the auction commencing.  Some Auctioneers will read some or all of these out at the start of the auction.
  • If you propose to bid on behalf of another person, you must have a letter of authority and provide the name and address details of that person to the Auctioneer in order to register them as bidders in the bidder register.
  • When bidding at an auction, remember that if you are the successful bidder you will be required to sign the contract of sale and pay a deposit on the spot.
  • There is no cooling off period when you buy at an auction.
  • The auctioneer’s decision is final.  In the event of a dispute arising, the auctioneer has the right to resubmit the property fresh or with a vendor’s bid in the event that the dispute arose before the reserve price was reached.
  • Auctioneers are unable by law to provide advice to potential purchasers on whether a reserve price has been set, or what that reserve price is.

Need more information?

The Office of Fair Trading can you provide you with more information on the laws that apply to property auctions.  You can contact them on 3246 1523 or check out their website on

Want to speak to an Auctioneer?

Our in house Auctioneer is Coolum’s leading auctioneer Chris Edmonds. He is available on 0437874189 and would love to answer all your questions you might have before bidding at auction or if you are interested in selling your home by auction.


Steps to buying at Auction:

STEP 1 Arrange a home loan pre-approval so that you know what you can afford and so your finances are ready for you to bid on a property that you like. Talk to the team at Loan Market Coolum 07 5473 9999

STEP 2 Start looking for a property by contacting your local agent, ensuring that you are on their database for email alerts for upcoming auctions. Don’t forget to let your agent know that your finances are ready.

STEP 3 Get a feel for the process by attending various open homes and auctions prior to bidding.

STEP 4 Decide what you want in a property, get as much information as possible from your agent and ensure you visit any properties that may interest you.

STEP 5 If you are interested in a property, ensure you obtain a contract of sale (available from your real estate agent).

STEP 6 Ensure your solicitor checks the contract thoroughly for you. Your solicitor may also recommend different reports be conducted (such as building and pest inspection reports)

STEP 7 Decide how much you are prepared to spend on this property. What is the maximum you are prepared to bid? Mentally setting your maximum bid can stop you from spending more money than might be reasonable, or losing a deposit.

STEP 8 Once you have found the property you wish to bid on, you will need to arrange a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price. A deposit bond is sometimes acceptable as an alternative (you may want to check this with your real estate agent).

STEP 9 Register to bid either by contacting the agent prior to auction or as you arrive at the auction. If you cannot make the auction you can authorise someone to bid and sign on your behalf. See your agent for more information.

STEP 10 Make the winning bid!

STEP 11 Pay the deposit and sign the contract.