A great article in Local Property News highlighting the pros and cons between auction venues.
There are usually two choices when it comes to the auction venue for your property – in the agent’s rooms or at the property. (There is a third option – at a public venue such as a club function room which is where agents hold their auctions if they have so many that their rooms will not be adequate.) There are advantages and disadvantages of both in-room and on-site auctions.
1. Buyers put themselves out to go to an agent’s office or public venue so you know that people who attend are serious – no curious neighbours or people out for a jog. In some ways it’s easier to achieve a higher price as everyone is facing the front and it’s harder (but not impossible!) for two bidders to make eye contact and agree to pull out of a bidding race, especially as there is less chance that they will be seated near each other when there are lots of people.
2. If there is a tenant, it is often simply not practicable to hold the auction on-site.
3. The agent’s rooms are often more comfortable and less cramped than inside the property (not always of course!) – but at least the weather doesn’t make much difference to attendance and atmosphere.
4. You are unlikely to have neighbours invading your privacy just for their own amusement – and maybe making inappropriate comments and putting people off.
5. On the downside, if there are lots of properties for sale and yours is not early in the Order of Sale, purchasers can get fatigued as the night wears on. As each sale is processed, more and more people leave, so if your property is last, there may seem to be little interest in it.
1. The atmosphere can be more emotionally charged, especially if the property is unusual or highly sought after. This can sometimes make buyers feel more desire for the property and they may offer more money in order not to miss out. It is often harder for them to stick to their limit when the property they desire is right there (unless of course they are limited by loan limitations as many are).
2. Passersby add to the atmosphere, especially if they are complimentary about the house for sale within earshot of interested purchasers.
3. Buyer attention is focused on one property so your property isn’t overwhelmed by the sheer number of other properties being auctioned.
In the end, your choice of auction venue may depend on practical considerations or the usual practice of the agent, but knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each venue means you can influence the decision according to your own informed choice.
If you choose in-rooms, ask your agent to guarantee you a spot near the top of the order of sale. If you have time before your property goes on the market, attend several auctions of each kind and assess them for yourself before making the final decision.