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Four considerations when selling at auction

By Andrew Bell

With their festive atmosphere, auctions are a fun and exciting way to sell property. But they're also stressful, particularly for the seller. Still, this is a seller's market, so it's the perfect time to be taking steps to put your house up for auction and seize the opportunity. Getting started early will help you be perfectly poised to take advantage of eager buyers on auction day.

Start slowly
Before diving into the point-by-point schedule for the big day, spend time preparing your house to sell. It may feel counterintuitive to invest in a space you'll soon depart, but increasing the appeal of your home will pay off in a higher sale price. You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves happy and content in your home — and be willing to pay for that privilege.

Take time to fix any persistent issues, like that leaky faucet or broken cabinet handle you never seem to get around to repairing. Removing clutter is also a good idea, as this will lighten the mood in your property so as to add to its allure. A new coat of paint might help raise the price too, as will any other cosmetic changes you can afford including better lighting or upgraded kitchen and bathroom appliances.

You won't want to forget the outdoors, either. A pleasant exterior will increase the chance buyers can see themselves happily coming home to this space each day.

Visit other auctions
Particularly if you have not attended one before, visit other auctions to gain a sense of how the day can unfold. Notice how the agent supports the process, which styles of auctioneer you prefer and how bidders react to various staging choices. Soaking up this information firsthand will help you guide your own experience.

Understand the relationship between you and your agent
Clear understanding between clients and agents can help you keep track of where you are in the process of selling your home. Your agent will likely be marketing your property 4-6 weeks prior to auction and fielding any requests for inspection or offers ahead of the auction.

Sometimes the existence of an auction date can motivate buyers to make good offers and you'll have the home sold before auction day. But as an auction becomes more certain, be sure to work with your agent to establish a reasonable reserved price. Remember that auctions are final; all sales are binding and unconditional.

Also be sure you understand how the agent will be paid. Will they take their salary via commission or a set price? Keeping this in mind — and having a good rapport with your agent generally — will free you up to focus on the big picture.

What will come next?
Life is always messy: It's unlikely you will sell your current home and purchase a new house in the same few days. Because a sale at auction is final, with deposits being paid on the day of the auction, it's essential to settle on a plan for moving out well before the final gavel sounds. This may range from securing a bridge loan to arranging a stay with friends.

Maximising the value of your home on auction day starts long before the auctioneer asks for bids. When you're preparing to sell your home, it's important to start early. Getting advice from an experienced real estate professional is key. At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we have helped countless clients sell their home under the gavel. We'd love to do the same for you. Contact us today to get started.

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