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HOW AUCTIONS GET LOWER PRICES


Book Real Estate Mistakes

Homesellers tempted to auction their homes should remember four words: AUCTIONS GET LOWER PRICES.

Never mind what agents tell you, never mind what you read in the papers, auctions are a financial minefield for consumers.

Despite the booms in many areas, thousands of homesellers are turning their backs on auction and benefiting. But there are still thousands of sellers who don't realise, until it's too late, what happens to them at auction.

They get a LOWER price, that's what happens.

If someone is trying to talk you into selling by auction, then before you sign anything, please read this.

NINE REASONS AUCTIONS
GET LOWER PRICES

1. THE STARTING PRICE

It seems as if the price goes up at auctions. But that's only because it starts LOW. It's like starting the day with a massive hangover and saying that you are going to feel better as the day progresses. That's not a good reason to get drunk every night. Avoid drinking and you avoid the hangover. You start the day in good shape.

And that's how your sale should start - from a good position, a position of strength, not of weakness.

One of the BASIC principles of price negotiation is to ALWAYS START HIGH.

You will get a much higher price if you start higher and come down, than if you start lower and try to climb up. When you start low, you can get stuck low. It's like climbing up a mountain or down the mountain. When you are climbing up you run out of energy a lot faster than when you are climbing down.

If you want a high price, START high. Auctions start low.

This is how auctions get lower prices.

2. RESERVE PRICE

The reserve price is the price at which the home can be sold. It's the lowest price a seller is prepared to accept. And that becomes the central focus of the auction.

If you are trying to get the highest price, do NOT make your lowest price the main focus of the sale.

There are two parties in a sale price negotiation - a seller and a buyer. Each has their "final price" or their "limit". The sellers' final price is the reserve - that's the lowest the home will sell for. The buyers' final price may never be known.

There is no procedure at an auction for determining the highest price a buyer will pay. Only the highest price of the losing buyers may be known because they stop bidding once they reach their limit. But the buyer who is the highest bidder often buys at less than his or her limit.

Most buyers at auction buy for less than their limit which means most sellers at auction under-sell their homes.

You can't possibly get the highest price for your home if the central focus is on the Sellers' Lowest Price. You can only get the highest price if the focus is on the Buyers' Highest Price.

As a seller, you are at a huge disadvantage because your lowest price, the 'reserve', is always disclosed BEFORE the home is sold. That’s when you hear the agent yell, “It’s ON the market”. Everyone knows your lowest price.

Not so with the buyers. IF their final price is ever disclosed, it will be AFTER the sale is over. By then it is too late for the sellers.

This is how auctions get lower prices.

3. REPELS BUYERS

Research shows that more than 90 percent of buyers do NOT like auctions. It makes no sense to use a system of selling disliked by most of the buyers.

You can only get the highest price if all the buyers who may be interested in a home are given the chance to buy the home. As auctions repel so many buyers, the highest paying buyers often avoid auctions.

And this is how auctions get lower prices.

4. INCONVENIENT

One of the BASIC rules of marketing is: make it EASY for people to buy. Auctions do not make it easy. They make it hard.

Many buyers see that a home is for auction, and if the date doesn't suit them, they don't even bother to enquire. The buyers that are lost in this manner are often buyers who would have paid thousands of dollars more than the auction's final selling price.

And this is how auctions get lower prices.


5. BARGAIN HUNTERS

Investors, property dealers and bargain hunters all know that auctions are one of the best places to find cheap deals in real estate. It is well-known that deceased estates and mortgagee sales are often sold for a 'song' at auction. Auction agents try to justify this by saying, "Look at the banks and the Government departments. They use auctions."

But that's because they want to make sure the home is sold. The sale is more important than the price. The banks and the Government departments are not the "owners" in the way that consumers are owners. Many banks and Government departments do not realise they are under-selling homes at auction. Those who do, are now beginning to avoid auctions.

Property investors, developers and dealers often buy at auction. But they almost NEVER sell at auction. That's because auctions get lower prices.

6. COMPARATIVE

If two or more people want to buy the same home, the worst thing you can do, from a negotiation point, is to allow each person to SEE what the other is offering! Instead of offering their highest price, each buyer will only offer a SMALL amount above what the other buyer offered.

Auctions are touted as being competitive - but the competition is in PUBLIC not private - which makes it COMPARATIVE more than competitive. Everyone compares what everyone else is offering.

It's like playing cards and knowing what the others are holding. By making the negotiation so public, the buyers have a tremendous advantage over the seller. Instead of having to offer their highest price to win the auction, buyers only have to outbid the buyer below them.

And this is how auctions get lower prices.

7. DECEPTION

To persuade sellers to auction their homes, agents will talk about high prices. And then to get buyers to come to the auction, the same agents will talk about low prices. Most times both the seller AND the buyer are deceived. The sellers end up selling for less than they were told they could get, and the buyers often end up paying more than they were told they could pay.

The most infamous deceit is Dummy Bidding where agents use bogus bids to keep the auction moving. Some agents deny that Dummy Bidding exists. But consider this: How do you have an auction with only ONE bidder?

Most people think Dummy Bidding increases the price. But Dummy Bidding deceives sellers as much as buyers. It is used to get the price up to the point where it can be sold - the reserve price.

Usually, once the home reaches its reserve, the agent stops using bogus bids. The home is then sold for its lowest price.

And this is how auctions get lower prices.

8. SELLS TO THE WRONG MARKET

To attract buyers, agents will market the home by advertising it to "start from" a low price. This is supposed to attract buyers. And indeed it does. But it attracts buyers who want to buy at the LOW price NOT at the price the seller wants.

Many of these buyers can't afford to pay much more than the price advertised. And so, on the day of the auction, there will be a crowd of buyers all wanting to buy at a low price.

The agent will then say to the sellers, "This is what the market is telling us."
But the agent has been looking in the WRONG market - a market BELOW THE VALUE of the home.

This is how auctions get lower prices.

9. FAILED AUCTIONS

When a home does not sell at auction - and thousands don't - it is labelled a "failure". Buyers think something is wrong with it; and many will offer LOWER prices. Like a wounded animal with vultures circling, failed auctions are easy prey for bargain hunters.

This is how auctions get lower prices.

Thank you.

Neil Jenman

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