"Why is a price not quoted in auction promotions?"
This enables prospective purchasers not to be deterred by price
considerations, when first becoming interested and making their initial
investigations regarding the property. While this may lead to an
ever-optimistic view by them as to the likely eventual sale price, they
have time to review their own position carefully, to make their
financial arrangements, to revise their thinking at auction. They have
the confidence engendered by seeing other interested buyers competing.
The successful bid, after all, is only one bid ahead of another bid from
a competing bidder. The auction situation stimulating competitive
bidding takes the best advantage of that.
"How long does the auction process take?"
Once a decision has been taken to proceed to market by the auction
method, the selling period normally encompasses three to four weeks,
depending on the requirements of the particular property, and wishes of
"But surely myself and my family are more inconvenienced by inspections than if we were selling by fixed price?"
No, we really don’t believe so. Although the number of enquiries
will be greater, in view of the delay between the advertising promotion
and the actual sale date it is possible to organize inspections so as to
minimize inconvenience. Remember too, that the buyer is less
inconvenienced as well, as he/she has additional time to appreciate the
property better and to act with extra confidence of having had outside
professional advice, if he/she seeks it.
"Isn’t a fixed price much easier?"
It can be, but luck rather than applied marketing techniques would
make it so. If Lady Luck doesn’t play a part, the delays and
uncertainties can lead to a later wish to put the property to auction.
That desire is compromised by public knowledge of the asking price, and
much of the purpose of auction is lost. Buyers become understandably
hesitant, too, when they become aware of the lack of success of the
previous marketing attempts.
"Can I dictate the terms at the auction?"
Yes, and that, as we see it is one of the real
advantages. In the normal fixed price situation, it is the buyer who
makes the first move, and therefore his offer is based on what suits
him. Under auction conditions, it is firmly accepted by the bidder, his
advisers and those providing any additional finance that it is a cash,
unconditional proposition. Our standard auction Conditions of Sale forms
have been used by hundreds of Solicitors for many years and cover
general terms acceptable to vendors, to which are added those applicable
to the individual transaction, approved by you.
"Can I sell prior to auction?"
Yes, and this is not an uncommon occurrence. Any offer received by
Harcourts is, of course, submitted to you, and our recommendation which
would accompany it is based on a complete thorough assessment of other
buyer interest at the time, and future prospects.
"Doesn’t an auction give the impression that I am a desperate seller?"
No, It is accepted as a method of testing the market in the case of a
particular property, and it is, as well, a widely held and well-based
theory that it is the most interesting properties that are offered for
sale by this method. As well, the fact that Trustees so often use the
auction method to fully test the market in the interest of beneficiaries
must itself be a recommendation.
Buyers don’t like auctions
Many buyers would make this statement and it’s normally because they
are scared they might pay too much due to the competition at the
auction. Wouldn’t this be a great situation for you to be in as a
seller? With a quality marketing plan we will attract "genuine" buyers
to your property and then use our skills to assist them to bid and buy
under your terms – not theirs.
Too much pressure/stress
No matter which sales strategy you select there will be stress
involved. Often the stress revolves around the issue of price. An
auction campaign allows you to avoid the price issue as the seller and
judge each offer on its merits. The only decision you make is either yes
or no and you can make this decision confident in the knowledge that,
each buyer has been extended to their maximum.
"If friends or neighbours express interest, what do I do?"
Our suggestion is that you allow them to see the house. Neighbours
in particular are interested parties, and they may well have people whom
they believe will be interested.
"Must I sell at less than an acceptable price on auction day?"
No. You place a reserve price on the property and if bidding does
not reach this figure the property is passed in. We will make specific
and detailed submissions to you just prior to the sale regarding what we
consider, in your interests, this reserve price should be. We will of
course by then have had the advantage of having seen the property on a
number of occasions and of being thoroughly informed as regards
comparable sales, and current market conditions, together with a picture
based on the reactions of individual interested purchasers.
"Should I disclose the reserve prior to auction, if I am asked?"
It is vital to satisfactory results that you do not enter into any
discussions with prospective buyers (or anyone else) regarding your
expectations or the advice you have received from us. Likewise, we will
ourselves never disclose a reserve, for the same reasons and again, in
"What should I do if I am approached by another real estate agent?"
This is most unlikely, as the auction marketing programme entails a
sole agency and the Real Estate Institution Code of Ethics requires of
an agent that he contacts the sole agent rather than the owner. Any such
enquiries should simply be referred to us.
"What happens if my property is not sold at auction?"
Not all properties are sold at the actual auction. Some are sold
either prior to or shortly after the event. Our sense of responsibility
to you, and our interest in the property, will be sustained until a
satisfactory sale is negotiated. There are only two reasons your
property won’t sell. The fact that there is no buyer at any level over
the next 60 days and I think that you will agree that is most unlikely.
The second reason is if the offers presented are not at an acceptable
level and you decide not to sell, and as the property owner, you should
have that right.