Auction: Time to make a bid

Written by in Buying

A fixture since ancient times, there are plenty of reasons why auctions are still a cornerstone of the process of buying or selling property.

The real estate auction market remains strong, with the process continuing to have benefits for buyer and seller.

Despite changing COVID-19 restrictions having rolling impacts on auctions held around Australia, Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said the industry was well positioned to adapt swiftly to the changes.

The industry was able, with just two days’ notice, to organise for thousands of scheduled auctions to go ahead using online streaming technologies.

“Luckily, the industry has always been a big user of technology anyway,” he said.

“The auction platforms have always been there. It just took the pandemic for them to really come into use.”

Mr Kelly said the online auctions, using Zoom or other conferencing apps, had been working quite well. Real estate as an industry had stepped up and adapted during what had been a very difficult time.

“The transparency of the process is all still there. People know that they are still bidding against a real person,” he said.

Transparency remains one of the reasons that auctions have continued to be a popular method of selling a home.

Both buyer and seller can follow the bidding process in real time and see the people bidding (or their representative) in action.

For sellers of a property which has not been on the market in some time, an auction can be an asset.

Mr Kelly said it was also an attractive option for people in possession of a unique property, one which sat upon land with development potential or in a suburb which made it a very popular offering.

An auction allowed buyers to set the market value of a particular piece of real estate, which may not have any like-for-like comparisons readily available.

An auction ensured both buyer and seller would see an outcome in a set timeframe.

For sellers looking to relocate and buyers with an eye on being in their new home by a set date, an auction can provide a clear timeframe for moving forward.

Mr Kelly said the auction market remained strong, particularly in the larger capital cities across Australia.

Like all real estate areas, the volume of properties being offered for sale was lower than it had been pre-COVID, with owners choosing not to go to market in the short term.

“Auctions have been around since the times of Julius Caesar and the process hasn’t changed that much,” he said.

“That’s because it works.

“Everyone knows the ground rules and it’s a good method for [the real estate industry].”