The bidding actions that make you look like an amateur

At an auction, it’s important to keep your poker face on and not to give away too much. While purchasing a property with all interested parties up front can allow you to gauge the competition, the competition can gauge you as well.

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Damien Cooley, managing director and auctioneer at Cooley Auctions, said that auctions are currently the most transparent way to purchase real estate, but can be risky for nervous buyers, as appearing weak and showing your cards too early could mean the loss of another property from your portfolio.

To mitigate this, nervous buyers should consider hiring a professional bidder.

“Understanding the benefits of why someone should represent an inexperienced bidder at auction includes understanding the role of an auctioneer,” Mr Cooley said.

“The auctioneer is there to get the best price out of the buyer. And in doing so, focuses immense attention on buyers’ body language. Professional buyers also give away signs, but less often.


“The most common mistake I see made by purchasers is not watching the body language of their competition. You can read a lot about a buyer when you watch the way they handle themselves at an auction.”

Couples can also give off amateur signals, even when they believe they appear to be united.

“They tend to give away when they are nearing their limit by looking at each other or taking too long to come back with a bid. The longer you take to make your bid, the more hope you give the buyer you are competing against,” Mr Cooley said.

He also said that if you have a budget, it should provide you with bidding confidence, showing off to other buyers that you have more to spend. However, amateur bidders stop short of their total budget amount, to which Mr Cooley said bidders should be pushing the auction to that amount and potentially even past it.

“Let’s say they have a $730,000 budget for a property and their final bid may be $725,000. They should have gone straight to $730,000, or even $731,000,” the expert said.

For more bidding strategies from other buying experts, check out these five auction strategies.

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