What to expect on auction day

An auction is an efficient and effective way to sell your home. If you haven’t sold a house at auction before, you may be wondering exactly how an auction day unfolds.


Here’s what to expect on the day.

Before the auction

A day or so before the auction, you’ll set a confidential reserve price for your home at a meeting with your agent. This figure is yours to decide, but do take in feedback from potential buyers. If bidding goes above this price, your home will sell.

An open home is usually held right before the auction. Ensure your home is looking absolutely perfect so that any bidders are even more keen to buy it. It’s a good idea to book a professional cleaner in the day before. Auction day can be stressful and emotional, particularly if you have lived in your home for a long time. You don’t want to be exhausted on top of everything else.

Your agent will have some idea of registered bidders who have said they will turn up on the day. Other bidders may appear on the day for the first time, so there’s an element of surprise.

An auction is fast-moving, and you need to make decisions quickly to keep the momentum going. Have a game plan in place prior to auction day. Discuss this in detail with your agent, so you are in control and there are no surprises.

During the auction

The auctioneer reads out the terms and conditions of the auction, including the deposit required at the ‘fall of the hammer’ and the fact that the sale is unconditional (no cooling off period).

If the home reaches the reserve, the agent will announce that it’s “on the market”. This means it will sell at the fall of the hammer, and can often drive further bidding.

The sellers stay at the house during the auction (unless overseas or interstate), so they are easily accessible throughout to discuss strategy with the agent.

If the home doesn’t reach the reserve price, it will be ‘passed in’. The vendor has the right to put in a vendor bid. This is usually set at a level you would not accept, but means when the property goes back to the market, you have established the starting price. Your agent will make it clear that you are looking for offers over the vendor bid.

Once the auction is over, most people will leave and your agent will begin negotiating with the highest bidder to see if a sale can be agreed. Otherwise, the home will then be put back on the market, either as “For Sale” or with a set sales price or range. Your agent will guide you here.

It’s common for a home to sell a few hours after an auction, as a pool of registered buyers is ready to act. The great thing about an auction is you have up to midnight the day of the auction to sell under auction conditions.

After the auction

If the house sells, you sign the sales contract as normal. You’ll agree on a settlement date, and can breathe a huge sigh of relief and plan your next move.

Talk to me

As a local agent who lives and works in Thornleigh, I have sold many homes at auction. Personally I consider this a great way to sell homes in this area. What I like about an auction is that it gives buyers some certainty when they are hoping for a definite end point to the sales process. It also means that the market sets the price. With some good competition between buyers, an auction can lead to a better result on the day than would otherwise have been achieved.

Please give me a call if you are thinking of selling your home in Thornleigh, Westleigh, Normanhurst or Pennant Hills. I am always happy to talk to you about current market conditions and whether an auction is the right approach for you.


Karen Page
Friendly, caring and attentive, Karen Page is a customer focused professional with a genuine passion for helping people transition through the different stages of their life.