Sydney’s eastern suburbs are now being referred to as the ‘epicentre’ of Australia’s housing market.
But if demand is so reliable, why are sellers so unwilling to set a price and sell through private treaty? Frustrating as it can be for buyers, the fact is there’s too much temptation leading sellers to auction in these markets.
The key to Sydney’s auction game: Our housing stock shortage
As we get further into 2017, it’s only becoming clearer how little housing stock there is to go around. The figures I’m seeing show properties in suburbs like Clovelly, Coogee, Randwick and even Maroubra are attracting over 1,000 visits during their inspection periods.
With that kind of attention, it’s difficult to blame buyers who want to see how high keen bidders are going to push their sale price. While there have been a few signs that stock numbers are on the increase, I don’t anticipate it being enough to change the eastern suburbs playing field. Buyers in these markets will face auctions as standard for the foreseeable future.
So, how do you play the auction game to win?
If you’re looking to buy property in Sydney’s east, don’t let this information about stock levels put a dent in your confidence. There are still so many things you can do as a buyer to front up to auction better prepared than the other punters.
As an auctioneer for over 20 years alongside my work as an agent, I know what works. Here are my three best tips for auction first-timers:
1. Do your homework
It’s so important to come to an auction knowing everything you can about a property. I’m not just talking about covering off your building inspections and council checks, but also understanding why the seller has the property up for sale and how long the listing has been on the market.
This information will help you bid more intelligently during the auction itself, but it becomes priceless if the property is passed in and you end up negotiating directly with the seller’s agent. Arming yourself with the facts can really change the game.
2. Don’t wait for auction day
Making a pre-auction bid can be a risky move, but in the sought-after market that makes up Sydney’s east it’s absolutely worth putting in an offer. The worst that can happen is that your offer is turned down and you’ll instantly know something concrete about the seller’s expectations.
If you do make a pre-auction bid and aren’t successful, remember that it’s still worth fronting up to the auction itself. There’s always a chance that you’ll still be the highest bidder on the day.
3. If all else fails, call in the professionals
In a real estate market like Sydney, and particularly in the suburbs I work in, buyers agents are becoming a more common part of the landscape. While they charge commission, the benefits of using a buyers agent can be worthwhile. They sometimes have information about yet-to-be-listed properties along with well-tested bidding strategies that can win on the day.
It’s a tough market out there for buyers, but don’t lose heart. Hundreds of people win at the auction game every week, so build up your knowledge and get ready to bid.