No buyers at your auction?

Posted on 20 MAR

Q: Our home goes to auction in another week. We’ve had lots of people through the open homes but our agent is saying that he doesn’t think he has anyone interested. How can this happen – if so many people see the advertising and come to the open home shouldn’t there be at least one buyer? Jodie R.


A: Excellent question Jodie! This is not that unusual –, especially in the current market. In past years we would expect one bidder for every 15 people through an open home, but those days seem to have gone, now we are sometimes getting lower numbers through open homes and not as many buyers on auction day.

There are a number of reasons for this. Sometimes, despite the marketing, we get the wrong buyers coming to view. We are often amazed when we talk to buyers and they say “oh no, that one’s not for me, we need four bedrooms, not three” when the property is clearly marketed as a 3-bedroom home. Or they say they can’t deal with stairs when the property is headlined as a “Two-story Town House in Double Grammar Zone”. So don’t be too worried, if your agent has done a good job you should have at least one buyer there, and if you have a good auctioneer all he needs is one buyer!

Of course remember that every home is different, and your home is not going to suit everyone. Some people can’t see past the color of the walls despite that being a simple fix. This is where you rely on your agent to encourage buyers and handle their objections.

We find that we get lots of neighbours through open homes. While they may not be the buyer, they could well know someone who is.

Finally, not everyone who comes through an open home is able to buy unconditionally at auction. Some of these potential buyers will have started to look for their new home while their property is still on the market, and others may be looking before they go on the market. In either case, they may not be able to manage bridging finance and are just looking to see if it sells at auction. If not then they will be able to make a conditional offer.

At the end of the day it’s really about numbers: The more people you get through your open homes the more likely it is to sell under the hammer. The main thing is, get a good agent and the whole process should not be a problem.

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