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property_auction_56892tBy Sarah Mills
ninemsn Money

Auctions can be fun, frenetic and financially dangerous. With several hundred thousand dollars or more on the line, the tension in the room can be palpable. The stakes are high for vendors and buyers, so you need to make sure you understand the process, because it is a battleground that takes no prisoners.

Real estate agents will take a property to auction for a number of reasons. Usually, it is because the market is booming and they feel confident of extracting a higher price. Sometimes, however, the auction may be forced as part of a deceased estate or liquidation.

Home buyers on the other hand may attend an auction because they have decided on a property and are prepared to compete to lay claim to it. Others are undecided and some are hoping that the auction may turn in their favour and they get a bargain.

How does an auction work?

An auction is usually held in an Auction Room hired for the occasion or on-site at the property itself. Before you bid, you need to register with the auctioneer, giving your name, address and telephone number. You will be required to show proof of identity such as a driver’s licence, passport or credit card. This is to ensure that once you have placed a bid, you are responsible for it and can’t skip the scene. You may be given a number to display that you hold up during bidding.

The auctioneer starts proceedings by explaining the contract, terms of the auction and a description of the property. Bids are then invited from the floor. Some people may ask a real-estate agent or other person to represent them if they can’t attend but they must notify the auctioneer in writing. Make sure that before you bid, you gain all necessary, termite, building, structural and engineering reports as well as crucial legal title information.

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