REALas Australia’s most accurate property price predictions
REALas Australia’s most accurate property price predictions

Sneaky Auction Tactics Wins Lady Dream Home

Sneaky Auction Tactics Wins Lady Dream Home
May 13, 2015 Gemma H
Buyer spotlight: how to win an auction

Sneaky Auction Tactics Wins Lady Dream Home

Meet Vivien. After months of painfully searching and attending auctions in vain, she’s just bought her dream home – and helped her do it.

Vivien’s journey to success wasn’t an easy one, marred by under-quoting agents, houses pulling out just prior to auction and exorbitant sales prices. With her heart set on the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham close to family and the beach, she was hoping to buy through private sale to escape the circus associated with auctions, but private sales were far and few between.

Vivien looked at a number of properties and attended several auctions, amazed when the sales prices soared hundreds of thousands over the estimated price range. Frustration eventually kicked in and she realised she needed to change her approach.

“I decided to look at properties that wouldn’t appeal to families or developers, which were the majority of buyers I was encountering. I searched for properties with only one bathroom, or properties on small blocks with no room to subdivide or extend.”

Vivien was introduced to realAs through a friend and quickly became an avid user.

“Not only was I able to get accurate price predictions for properties I was interested in through the realAs app, I also read their blog articles which gave me some helpful tips and tricks related to buying at auction; whether to make an offer prior to auction, what questions to ask etc. I followed their advice and started attending auctions to learn about the process and how it worked.”

Armed with her newly found knowledge, Vivien decided to play her own little game. Having found a property she was keen on, she attended a couple of open inspections observing the other viewers and filtering out the ones that showed interest. She returned the following weeks, but remained in her car making notes of the viewers that returned for further visits.

To disguise her interest in the property to the selling agents, Vivien sent a builder friend to carry out an ‘unofficial’ building inspection of the property, and she sent a friend in to ask questions and collect a copy of the Section 32.

After that, the only thing left was to devise a plan for auction day…

She arrived with a male friend for strength in numbers. And standing on the opposite side as pre-arranged, with not even a wink of communication between them, was her brother. With the competition already identified, Vivien was ready to implement her auction strategy.

The auctioneer gushed about the property for several minutes before prompting for the first bid at $900K.

There were no bids.

He put in a vendor’s bid and that was Vivien’s cue to start bidding. One of the couples she had identified at open inspection bid against her – and the bidding battle began in $20K intervals. (Vivien’s request to bid in $5K intervals was denied by the auctioneer.)

At $1,050,000 the property was declared to be on the market – even though the advertised price range was $890k to $960k. With the bid held by another buyer, the auction was about to be called when Vivien’s brother put in his first bid, causing a stir. Every time there was a new bid, Vivien’s brother would quickly match it – auction tactics of intimidation.

And $12,500 over her initial limit, Vivien became the proud winner of that auction (the auctioneer and real estate agents were very confused when they realised it was her who bought the property!).

The property sold 17% above the agent’s estimated price range, only 5% above the realAs prediction.

Vivien’s advice to all the other hopeful buyers out there –

“Do your research!! Attend as many auctions and opens as you can so that you know your competition and how high they are prepared to bid. Set a limit and follow the tips and strategies for buying at auction. Ask the auctioneer whether the property is on the market, don’t be scared to place bids at lower or higher increments – not just what the auctioneer is dictating.”

As in Vivien’s case, a well-devised buying strategy can give you a head start in a fiercely competitive market. You need to understand your competition and how the buying process in Australia works. This way, you can claim back some control and ensure you don’t pay over and above the true value of a property. Sign up for the realAs blog to learn how!

How about you – do you have a real estate story to share with us?



  • property values

    The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of REALas.



  1. Luke 5 years ago

    Yeah do your research but kinda creepy to stalk people. We won at auction on the weekend, bidding quickly to counter the other buyers, but you can’t know how much money people have.. So it often just keeps going up and up.

    We had different limits for different properties.. Not always our limit limit.

  2. Esther 5 years ago

    You can every tactic in the world, but ultimately, the buyer with the deepest pockets will always win. Tricking the agent/auctioneer won’t help you get the property for a cheaper price when there is competitive bidding & the property has reached its reserve.

    • mike 5 years ago

      I think she was trying to intimidate the other bidders, not trick the agent/auctioneer

  3. Aaron 5 years ago

    So your using Sneaky tactics to get a lower price, isn’t that exactly the same as an agent sneaky tactics to get a higher price?

    People in glass houses?

  4. Anon 5 years ago

    Sounds super dodgy, how can the market value be set at 90-190k below the reserve for the auction?

  5. Andrew 5 years ago

    So she paid $12,500 more than she was willing to pay initially? So what was this great tactic?

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