Auction Survival Guide: Hot Tips To Help You Keep Your Cool On Game Day

September 19, 2016

The weekend prior to football grand finals is typically the busiest for property auctions each year.

So not to clash with the big games, owners tend to bring their auctions forward one week, creating a ‘Super Saturday’ for home buying.

If you’re planning on attending one of the thousands of auctions across the country this weekend, you might need some tips to help you survive the high stress event.

And it is stressful! The uncertainty, the pressure, the emotional investment, the game playing and the public nature of auctions can turn even the most cool headed of us into nervous wrecks.

But follow these tips, and hopefully next week you’ll be celebrating with a Mad Monday of your own.


Like the intense training leading up to a grand final, you will also need to start your preparations prior to auction day.

Sort out your finances

It goes without saying that you need your finances in check before you buy a property.

Figure out what your limit is and what your deposit will need to be, and start preparing the deposit in case you are the successful bidder on the day.

Do your research

Auction Survival Guide: Hot Tips To Help You Keep Your Cool On Game Day

It’s easier to remain calm on auction day if you know what’s happening, so get to know the ins and outs of auctions. Educate yourself on any auction rules for your state and attend other auctions to get a feel for the atmosphere and the process.

Find out who the auctioneer will be and attend some of their auctions so you can get to know their style and any tricks they might have up their sleeve.

Most importantly, research what other similar properties in the area are selling for so you’ll know what you should be paying and you can make an informed decision if the bids start to exceed the value of the property.

Learn the lingo

There are some key auction phrases you’ll need to be aware of.

Two of the most common are ‘passed in’, which means bids have not met the owner’s reserve price (the lowest price at which they’ll sell) and the property will not be sold, and ‘on the market’ meaning the property has met the owner’s reserve price and will be sold at the auction to the highest bidder.

Organise your inspections 

As well as inspecting the property yourself, make sure you have building and pest inspections carried out – then you can be confident on the day knowing that what you’re bidding on is a sound investment.

Read the fine print

Read the contract of sale and get your conveyancer to check it. If you’re the successful bidder, you’ll be required to sign on the day and usually there is no cooling off period for properties sold at auction, so you need to know what you’re signing up for.

Register for the auction

Auction Survival Guide: Hot Tips To Help You Keep Your Cool On Game Day
Source: The Australian

If you’re in New South Wales, Queensland or South Australia, you are legally required to register prior to the auction if you intend to bid.


Arrive early 

Arrive around thirty minutes early to allow enough time to settle your nerves, get a good position and scope out the other bidders.

Keep your cards close to your chest

Never reveal your highest price to other bidders or the auctioneer. Keep that knowledge and power in your own hands.

Fake it ‘til you make it 

Like some players’ tactics on the football field, auctions involve a lot of game playing and trying to psych other bidders out.

This can be incredibly stressful if you’re not naturally that way inclined or have a more introverted nature.

The best idea? Just fake it.

Dress and present yourself well but still comfortably, stand up tall, take deep breaths, maintain eye contact and call your bids out loudly and clearly.

Know your limit

It’s easy to get carried away at auctions, get caught up in the emotion and pay more than you can afford. It’s important to know what your limit is and never go over it.

If you know where you stand and where you draw the line, you’re less likely to be riled or persuaded by the auctioneer or the other bidders.

Instead, bow out gracefully if it goes over your budget and know that it’s okay to walk away.

Call on your team for support

In such a stressful environment it’s a good idea take a family member or friend along for support. They can help keep you calm and put a stop to you bidding too high if you need.

Be involved

Position yourself in the middle of the room or auction where you are clearly visible and easily heard. Get involved in bids throughout the auction, rather than going in for a winning bid right at the end.

This shows you’re truly interested and a serious contender to be reckoned with.

Take the bench if you need

If auctions are simply not your scene, consider hiring a selling agent. It’s their job to bid for you on auction day, taking the stress and emotion out of the process.

Alternatively, you could get a trusted family member or friend to bid for you.


If you were the winning bidder; congratulations, enjoy your premiership! Err… new home.

And if not, don’t stress. Realise that this just wasn’t meant to be and that there’ll be plenty of other properties out there for you. And most importantly, take this as valuable auction practice for next time.

Consider having something enjoyable planned after the auction, like a nice dinner with your family or a wine with some friends. If you win, it can be a celebration, and if not, a nice way to wind down after a stressful day…either way, you deserve it!

Looking for your dream home? 

Soho can help you find it. Set up your profile on Soho to find properties for sale and properties for rent in your favourite suburbs. But don’t just stop there, download our app to get access to more features. Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
Share this article
Don’t waste time searching for a home. Let our AI do the work


Soho logo

Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier 

Soho logo
Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.