Property Inspection

Are You Worried About Your Auction?

Q: I’m thinking of selling my property and have been told to take it to auction. What worries me is that I’ve been to some auctions where hardly anyone turns up. How do I know I’m going to get a result?

Jerry B.

A: Property is an incredibly dynamic market. At any point in time there are a finite amount of properties and buyers in a market, but an infinite number of outcomes. Each property and auction campaign is unique, as is each property. So with all these variables anything can happen!

Generally speaking, an auction that has a big crowd on the day will also have a good number of bidders. You may think that an auction with ten bidders would get a higher price than one with just one buyer, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the only bidder in the room is “the buyer” and with good negotiating skills from the auctioneer we can get a price that our seller is delighted with.

One reason an auction might only have one bidder or limited bidding is that the agent has lost their main buyer/s in the lead up to auction day. It could be that the buyers have purchased something else, or they’ve simply had a change of heart. External factors like job losses, family illness and relationship upsets can also affect who turns up to bid. Either way, a campaign can go from having several strong interested parties to nobody at all, regardless of how fantastic the property is. Timing plays a huge part of any auction campaign, and if there are a number of comparable properties on the market at one time there’s a higher chance an agent will lose buyers during the campaign.

Something else that can happen is that you turn up to your auction and there are only 3 people there – your heart (and the agent’s!) will sink, but we’ve had auctions with just 2-3 people where they have all bid and the property has sold well above reserve, so don’t be too put off by numbers.

Finally, just remember that in real estate, a lot can happen in one day. We have had several auctions where the successful buyer viewed the property for the first time in the 30 minutes before the auction, and another, believe it or not, where the winning bidder was painting the roof of the neighbouring property and hadn’t seen the inside of the property until after he had won the auction!

Good luck with your sale.

Should we have a Property Inspection?

Q: Our agent has suggested that we get a building inspection before we list our home for sale. It seems like a waste of money to me – if a buyer wants one then can’t they just get it themselves? What’s your advice?

James L.


A: Personally, we think it is a sensible idea. It costs money but it could save you plenty, in fact it can be the difference between selling and not selling – especially at auction.

Why? We recommend that all buyers, whatever property they are looking at, get a building inspection before buying or bidding at auction. If we have a vendor’s inspection available for them to view then it can give them the confidence to do their own inspection – this is particularly important for monolithic- (plaster) clad properties. When an agent allows a potential buyer to view the vendor’s inspection report they must be very clear that the inspection was undertaken at the vendor’s cost and that the buyer should do their own due diligence, but it can certainly give the buyer the confidence to move forward in his or her decision making.


Getting your home inspected before you list it for sale can also help you avoid any unexpected surprises. Almost every home, even new builds, are likely to have issues raised in an inspection, so having one done before listing for sale gives you the opportunity to fix anything that may scare a potential buyer off. What most sellers don’t realize is the building inspection is the place where many sales fall apart. A pre-listing building inspection will allow you to get a clear picture about the state of your house – including any problems that may derail your sale. By getting most or all of the problems taken care of you increase the chances of having a smooth and pleasant transaction.

It pays to do this well before you go to market – there are few things as stressful as selling your home, and you certainly don’t want to add to the stress by having to do last minute ‘repairs’, so get an inspection well before you want to go to market and give yourself time to get your house ready for sale. Good luck.