Should you hire a professional bidder?

September 29, 2019

If you want to buy a property at an auction, hiring a professional bidder/buyer’s agent is an option worth considering. Auctions can be stressful situations for potential buyers. If you don’t deal well under pressure and aren’t experienced in how the auction process works, a professional bidder can remove that stress by acting on your behalf.

What a professional bidder does

A professional bidder/buyer’s agent will consult with you before the auction to develop a bidding strategy for the property which they will then execute at the auction.

The pros of working with a professional bidder

  1. They bid at auctions for a living

That experience can be invaluable. They understand the importance of bid strategies and timing. Buyer’s agents typically project confidence and that can intimidate other potential buyers. They won’t get nervous or play their “cards” too early on auction day. They treat the auction situation strictly as a business transaction, removing any emotion from the situation. Many potential buyers simply can’t do that.

  1. They understand property values

Professional bidders are across local market conditions and current property values. They can advise you on bid limits to ensure you don’t get carried away and overvalue a property, and they’ll also have the discipline not to bid over your pre-set limit during the auction.

  1. They can help you to remain anonymous

You can choose to attend the auction purely as a spectator, knowing that the professional bidder is working on your behalf. Or you can choose to stay away if you’d prefer.

  1. They can attend auctions if you can’t

Buyer’s agents are a great option if you can’t physically attend an auction. For example, you might be interested in buying an investment property in a different city. 

A professional bidder’s local market knowledge and ability to attend an auction on your behalf makes them an attractive option in that situation.Property auctionSource Besser + Co

  1.  They can help you to make a pre-auction bid to secure a property

Many potential auction buyers don’t realise that you can make a pre-auction bid on a property. A good offer could help you secure the property. A professional bidder will be able to advise you on what offer to make and when to make it, including conditions that you could include to make it more attractive to the seller (for example, a large deposit, or a shorter or longer settlement period to suit their requirements).

The cons

  1. They charge fees

Professional bidders will usually charge you a fee to attend an auction, regardless of whether their bidding on your behalf secures you the property or not. You need to factor this fee into your budget. If it’s an auction for a property that attracts a lot of potential buyers, this reduces the chances of your bid being successful.

However, a good professional bidder may actually save you money that more than offsets this cost if they’re successful in securing a good deal for you on the property. They won’t bid more than they need to.

  1. Not all professional bidders are high quality

Just like in any profession, some professional bidders are more skillful and knowledgeable than others.House auction with professional bidders
Source Chan & Naylor

It pays to do your research before deciding on which agent to hire to bid on your behalf at an auction.

Shortlist potential candidates and ask them to provide evidence of their ability. Ensure that they really do have the local market knowledge and auction bidding expertise that they claim.

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