Let’s Talk Auction with Rob Doorey

1. What makes a property suitable for auction?

Any property is suitable for auction. We hear all the time that to auction a property it has to be quirky, individual, unlike anything else on the market. Only high value properties, only properties where the owners are under financial stress…so many opinions on what makes a property suitable for auction, but really all properties are suitable for auction. A property auction follows a tried and tested process that allows the best sales result possible. Obviously going for an auction campaign in a high rise building with 10 other similar properties needs more examination if auction is appropriate, but auctions are more about the process than type of property.

2. Can you explain the usual process of an auction campaign?

The marketing for an auction on average will run from 3 to 4 weeks up to auction day. The aim is to have as many potential buyers view and give feedback on the property and ideally make offers. An auction campaign has 3 possible outcomes.

  1. The property sells prior
  2. The Property Sells under the hammer
  3. The Property sells post auction.

An auction campaign is designed to shorten the time a property is on the market. We spend a lot of time talking about the percentage of properties that sell under the hammer, and while, as an auctioneer that is the perfect scenario and what we love doing, selling post is also a fantastic result. The auction process allows the market to decide what the property is worth, what buyers are prepared to pay…may that be in competition on auction day, prior or post…either way, we find a property sells much quicker via this type of sale and most importantly, transparently.

3. What happens if a property doesn’t sell at auction?

There are a couple of scenarios. One, we enter into post auction negotiations between the highest bidder and the seller for a sale. Two, we start negotiations with parties that may for various reasons have not been in a position to buy the property at auction unconditionally. 

4. In your opinion, what makes a good auctioneer?

A good auctioneer is able to read the crowd/individuals and the moment. Energy, pause and pace are three very vital parts of an auction. An auctioneer is a little like a conductor…or in some cases a ringmaster – we are the conduit between the buyer and seller and our job is to pave the way for a deal to be done. Our role is to create an atmosphere where a buyer feels comfortable to part with their hard earned money, is assured they are making a good purchase and an especially pertinent point, that the seller is willing to play ball and really wants to sell. The Auctioneer should be an expert in their field with a sound knowledge of legislation and be able to clearly and simply provide bidders with the information they require to successfully purchase the home. 

5. What’s your favourite part of your job?

I am really lucky that I love absolutely everything. It sounds a little strange, but even the tough, hard fought auctions I love. I have worked under pressure in the media as a radio announcer and MC for 30 out of my 50 years of being on this earth and I thrive on it. But if I was to pick an optimum moment? Well that would be selling under the hammer, the excitement and joy this brings. Everyone is happy. The seller, the buyer, the agent and there is a buzz like no other from the crowd…it’s a fantastic feeling. I am also very humbled to be a part of what is no doubt one of the important moments and transactions of someone’s life. Selling someone’s home, I take this very seriously, there is a lot of trust placed on myself and the marketing team and I do not take this lightly.

6. What are the benefits of an auction opposed to tender or private treaty?

An auction is transparent, we know exactly what our competitor is offering and all we need to be is in front when the hammer comes down. Total transparency. In other forms of sale a buyer may miss out on buying a property as their “best” offer was not as high as the successful buyer…quite often we find out later, had they known what their competitor was paying they would have paid more…an auction removes the guesswork. 

An auction offers an opportunity to get the best possible price and not leave, as they say “any money on the table”. As humans we can be a little shy around offering up our optimum price we are willing to pay for anything. Let’s be honest we never want to pay more than we have to. So where in private treaty we may ask for a buyer’s best offer, quite often they have a little left in the kitty…at auction they know exactly where they need to be to win the property…they have the opportunity to put their best foot forward to secure the home.

An auction allows the market to decide how much a property is worth, we never know what someone is willing to pay for a particular property, especially when they may become  emotionally or personally attached. It might be the location is in a popular school catchment, they may want to be close to family or work, a variety of reasons that may put them in competition with another buyer. There is no such thing as paying too much if it is something you really want and it’s going to complement or complete your life. 

7. What advice would you give to first time buyers at an auction?

Have a budget in mind and stick to it – if need be, take a parent, close friend you trust with you to the auction to give you support so you can manage your own stress…also go and watch auctions before, see what other buyers do to navigate auctions so you are comfortable” 

I am not qualified to give financial advice, but like any potential buyer, they must have sought a full pre-approval from their financial institution. I do a podcast where I talk about just this, with an expert, it’s worth a listen: www.tgad.com.au Episode 13.

8. Do you have any tips to ensure a smooth auction process?

Communication with your marketing agent is absolutely essential. Being open and taking advice from your agent. Like all types of sale, a well presented uncluttered home is always a winner, styled where necessary. And while it can be an inconvenience, allowing your home to be open to potential buyers as often as possible, the more people who see your home, the greater chance you have of selling. And also be transparent and clear around what you will and will not accept, an agent can only work with what they know…so treat them as your friend and allow them to do their best work. We all have the same aim –  to get the best result for you and provide the opportunity for a new buyer to enjoy everything your home has to offer.

9. In your opinion, what makes a house a home?

Wow…that’s a great question. No doubt everyone would have a different opinion around this. For me, it’s a safe haven for my family and I. It’s a place where my kids can grow and know that when they finally leave to make their own way, it will always be here for them to come back to. It’s stability. It’s where life happens. It’s a pretty busy world we live in and to have a place to call your own is a pretty bloody good thing…the great australian dream.