Should you sell at auction?


By REIWA President – Hayden Groves

Market conditions have been tough and whilst recent improvements have been encouraging, the average time on market for a home in Perth is at 67 days. Those who need to sell and sell quickly often opt for an auction given reported statistics for days on market for such campaigns is 26 days.

I’m an advocate for the auction process as a method of sale for a number of reasons. Certainly it’s a transparent process with all buyers able to see their competing buyer and the auctioneer bound by a strict REIWA code of conduct that brings fairness to the process. Buyers also usually have time – unless the seller accepts an offer prior to auction – to view the property several times, undertake all necessary diligence and arrange finance prior to auction day, with only a slim chance of not having an opportunity to buy on auction day.

The benefits to sellers include a cash, unconditional contract, a settlement period that suits their needs, a healthy deposit and the delivery of what is the very definition of fair market value. The ‘no price’ marketing strategy in the lead up to the auction day is beneficial, as it captures all possible buyers, including those deterred by an unrealistically high asking price for property offered for sale by private treaty.

And if the property is being sold under an executorship arrangement, then auction really is the best option.

However, offering a property to market via the auction process each and every time for each and every property is not necessarily the right approach.

Sellers are often under significant pressure from their agents to ‘meet the market’ on the day of auction, even if the best live bid is below their original reserve price. The lead up to the auction day can be stressful too, with multiple home opens and inspections during the weeks prior.

Some buyers remain deterred by the auction process; they are either too nervous to bid or unprepared to by a property without certain conditions, such as finance approval.

In the event the property is passed in, the seller’s disappointment is palpable, despite the auction day being only one part of the marketing and selling process.

When selling be sure to ask your agent about all the options when coming to market, as there are benefits to all methods of sale. It’s a matter of choosing one that suits your needs and circumstances, and agents should be offering you that choice.

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