Menu

Tips for a wet-weather auction

December 5, 2017

As we recover from the recent rain deluge in Victoria – where Melbourne saw more than 43mm of rain fall in just one weekend – it’s worth giving some thought to how inclement weather can affect a property auction.

Very few vendors decided to cancel their auctions scheduled for the 2nd of December, as many of them were motivated to sell before Christmas and there were only three auction weekends left in the year.

However, many of the usual auction spectators were sensible and stayed at home out of the rain, meaning that those who did show up on the day were serious about buying. Sticky-beaking is no fun when it’s pouring down.

An auction attended only by serious buyers that also needs to take place indoors is quite a different beast from the usual sunny auction spectacle, which can sometimes have quite a light-hearted, festive feel.

So, if you have your eye on a property that is scheduled for auction on a rainy day, there are a number of important things to consider.

First, and fairly obviously, you will need to give yourself plenty of time to get to the auction, allowing for wet-weather traffic.

If the auction is taken indoors, your position inside is very important. The indoor space might be cramped, and it will be difficult to discreetly watch other bidders to guess their intentions. You don’t want to end up stuck in a hallway while the auction takes place in the living room! 

Make sure you’re standing where the auctioneer can see and hear you. If you can also see most of the other prospective buyers in the room, that’s great, but be prepared to hear bids called out from people standing in another room.

You might have to be bolder in your bidding than you’d planned. It can be a far more intimate and sometimes intimidating environment when an auction is held inside, but you will need to bid clearly and with confidence.  

You can improve your power and confidence at any auction, regardless of weather, by doing your research and being prepared – have a good idea about the value of the property by assessing the recent sale results of similar property types in terms of period, size and location.

The weather will also be challenging for those who hold the highest bid on a passed-in property.  Generally, it is a good idea for this person to stay outside during these post-auction negotiations so their discussions with partners and associates can remain private.

Try to find a private space indoors where you can discuss your approach to negotiations without being overheard. We don’t necessarily suggest that you cram yourselves spy-style into the bathroom with the taps running, but don’t be shy about asking to use other rooms.

With apartments, the prospective buyer can still wait outside the property in the common areas, but be careful, stairwells can be very effective echo chambers!

Lastly, as with any auction or negotiation, don’t be afraid to walk away if you aren’t satisfied or comfortable with how the sale is being conducted. There will always be another property available – perhaps on a brighter day and in better conditions.