Auctions make most people anxious too so you’re not alone. There is a lot of pressure. You have to think fast, and it can get competitive and emotional. Even seasoned real estate agents and auctioneers sometimes prefer to get someone else to bid for them so they don’t get caught up in the moment and pay too much.
You could write an entire book of the bizarre things that have happened at auctions and the various bidding tactics that people try in an attempt to buy the property for less.
Sometimes when a buyer feels like they have shown their hand in pre-auction negotiations and are worried the agent knows what price they will pay, they may ask a friend to bid for them. But when the selling agent sees someone they have never seen before suddenly start bidding they will assume it is for another buyer anyway.
In an attempt to solve that issue, sometimes buyers try the tactic where the known buyer starts bidding and then stops, so the agent hopefully thinks they are no longer interested. Then a friend takes over the bidding for them. This was once attempted not so successfully. The known buyer started bidding and then stopped at the agreed price, and then their friend started bidding. So far so good… But there was a big crowd, and the two bidders couldn’t see each other. The known or first bidder couldn’t be sure if their friend had started bidding or not and out of fear of missing the property they started bidding again. The friend was bidding as planned but couldn’t see who they were bidding against, so now the two friends were both bidding against each other. Not ideal…
Another bidding tactic is to intimidate the other bidders by being extra bold or aggressive. Do you think this works? Would you stop bidding below your limit because someone else was bidding aggressively? This doesn’t work, or worse still, it can cost the successful bidder more money because the auction just goes crazy or their final bid is $10,000 over the last bid where a $1,000 bid may have won the auction anyway.
All the theatre or bidding tactics makes no difference at all. If you want to buy an apartment at auction, don’t be too tricky or clever. All you need to do is bid to the price you are comfortable with, and if you’re not experienced in the ways of an auction, get someone else to bid for you.
If the bidding reaches the vendors reserve, then the auctioneer will announce the apartment is “on the market” and is going to be sold to the highest bidder. No amount of tricky bidding or tactics is going to make any difference.
If you want to buy an apartment at auction then go along and bid (or get someone to bid for you) to the price you are prepared to pay. It isn’t any more complicated than that.