How to win on auction day...

Auctions are daunting, and it can be hard to not get caught up in the thrill of outbidding the competition. But with a good auction strategy at the ready, you'll be well placed to win your dream home when that hammer drops - without overpaying. While an auction may not be your first choice when it comes to buying a house, there are a lot of benefits to you as the buyer.

Every auction is different, however there are some strategies that can help you go in strong and hopefully come out on top. Here, we share expert tips for winning an auction.

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1. WAIT TO PLACE YOUR FIRST BID

Often it is best to let the bidding start and move in at a later stage with a strong bid.

This gives you a chance to size up the competition, figure out when the property is on the market (once the reserve price has been reached), and it also weeds out those who are just looking for a bargain.

2. MAKE YOUR FIRST BID A STRONG FIGURE THAT REFLECTS THE MARKET VALUE

In today's transparent world where property values and estimates can be found on bank apps and the like, there's little point starting off too low.

Everyone at the auction will have a clear idea of what the property is worth and will have come prepared to pay that price, just like you. It's advisable to start near where you want to end and that way you knock out a lot of the low bidders immediately.

3. BID WITH ROUNDED FIGURES

It is best not to place bids of odd numbers, such as $649,500, as someone will always go the extra $500.

Instead, go in with an even number – and if your opponent tries to slow down the bidding with small increments, go in above them with that extra $500 or so, to immediately put yourself back into first place.

4. GO IN WITH A COUNTER BID QUICKLY AND CONFIDENTLY

Bidding quickly after another bid is received lets people know you are serious and will also help you identify who your competition is.

5. TALK WITH THE REAL ESTATE AGENT

It can be tempting to hide away in the back corner and fly under the radar, but it's important that the real estate agent and auctioneer see you and know that you're a serious bidder.

Agents will always be available to guide you through the process, so you need to keep them updated on your position, without giving everything away.

6. SET A BUDGET AND STICK TO IT

One of the biggest mistakes buyers make at an auction is not setting a maximum price they can afford to pay... and sticking to it.

At the end of the day, as much as you may fall in love with a property and as close as you might think you are to winning, you should never exceed your predetermined budget.

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