With the latest lockdown firmly in the rear view mirror and Melburnians enjoying increased freedoms, the city’s auction market is back with a bang.
New listings and clearance rates are on the rise, and there’s a renewed sense of optimism about selling properties ‘under the hammer’.
Going to auction is often viewed as a scary proposition for vendors and bidders alike, but it is true that navigating the post-lockdown market adds a layer of complexity to the equation.
To help ease those concerns and make sure everything goes smoothly on the day, we’ve compiled answers to the most commonly asked auction queries right now.
Is it too late to buy or sell property at auction this year?
This year strict lockdowns which came into place from August and included no live auctions or house inspections severely delayed the spring selling season which traditionally kicks off in September.
Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Adam Docking said such delays to the spring season could easily see the peak auction season extend right up to Christmas.
“We will probably be auctioning up to December 18,” predicts Docking.
He said the extended auction high season comes with strong demand from both buyers and sellers.
“We’ve got a few markets to satisfy, the spring and summer market, and also those vendors who couldn’t move during the lockdown,” Docking said.
Woodards Elsternwick Director, Juanita Kelly, said many sellers were keen to put their homes up for auction, however were continuing to be delayed even with lockdown restrictions lifted.
“We’re playing so much catch up, we’ve got properties that people still need styled and instead of being a week turnaround it is many weeks,” Kelly said.
She said while those looking to sell were facing a range of delays in preparing homes for sale - such as getting repairs and painting completed - people were still keen to sell.
However low interest rates and continued rising prices is continuing to fuel the market, and buyers are keen to participate in the auction process be it through the live or online auctions.
“ People may say they are not in love with auctions but they are in love with getting the best price.”
Online, onsite or hybrid auctions - which should I choose?
Docking said while many welcomed the return of live auctions, he saw that online auctions would continue to play a role.
“Moving forward from here I think we will see most agents going with a hybrid model of both online and a street auction,” he said.
“That online auction option is like having an extra tool in our kits.”
Kelly agrees that online auctions have their fans - and having both live and virtual auctions will continue.
“Today people are mobile and they don’t always want to work around having to be at auction,” she said.
For those seriously bidding at a number of auctions on the one day online auctions are ideal.
“People today expect an auction to be online,” she said.
“I’ve had people telling me they will be bidding online as they will be bidding on a few on the same day.”
She said there are plenty of advantages in the traditional live auction option.
“In a live auction the vendor puts one faith and trust in the auctioneer, and part of the auctioneer’s craft is to read the crowd and get them excited,” she said.
“Live auctions are great for the vendor and transparency, people can see each other and see the competition.
“However today it is also good to have online as a back-up.”
Advice for bidders: What to do on auction day
With auctions expected to attract strong attendances as Melbourne’s property market opens up, Docking says it is important to be prepared.
“Have a plan in place and stick to your plan,” says Docking.
“Today you must expect that every place is going to have others competing for it.
“However if you are fighting tooth and nail for a property, you can have the confidence you are making the right choice.
“And if you have to pay a little bit more on the day, you have to also think this is a long term investment.”
Kelly also believes preparation and a plan are paramount.
“Whether you are of the mind you’ll start early and go hard, or you are one of those who waits until the last minute once you start then don’t stop,” she said.
“Act like you have an unlimited budget until you have reached your limit - if you hesitate you're giving your game away.”