Buying at auction can be a lucrative mode of acquiring a home, but it can also be an overwhelming experience for first-time buyers.

House auctions are not as scary or complicated as they look. Even though real estate auctions are confusing, they give a quicker result.

Auctions may be exciting, but you are more prone to cross your budget since you don’t have the scope to negotiate. You must prepare beforehand so you don’t make an expensive mistake.

If you are considering buying a home at an auction, we have some tips to help you prepare to attend one.


● Attend a Test Auction

If you are thinking of buying a home through a real estate auction, you cannot go in blind. If you have never attended an auction event before, consider going into one before your desired property goes up for bidding.

By visiting a test auction early on, you get an idea of the atmosphere and the process. You don’t have to make a bid there. Simply witness how the event pans out. This will give you some idea of how auctions work.

Auctions can be an overwhelming experience. If you are aiming to buy at your first auction, there is a high chance that you will mess it up. Never buy at one without getting some experience beforehand.


● Know the Rules

If you don’t have much experience with auctions, you must learn the rules before buying at one. The auction rules may differ slightly from state to state, but it is mostly the same.

In an auction, the house vendor can only make one bid. Vendors are not allowed more than one bid because, in the past, vendors misused their bids by making dummy bids to increase the sale price.

Auctioneers have every right to reject offers the sellers are not interested in. If a bid is challenged, the auctioneer acts as a mediator to help negotiate. But, once the hammer falls, no more bids can be accepted by the auctioneer.


● Do Research on the Market

Get a rough picture of how much the property is worth. Bidding at auctions can be confusing, and people often get carried away in the heat of the moment and make a bid that is way off-budget.

Learn about the local real estate market. Local sellers and agents can clearly explain the prices nearby properties have been sold for. You will also understand how much the house’s value might be once you visit the property.


● Check Out the Property

People think that buying at an auction means that you won’t even get to check out the property. This is entirely untrue.

The company will post in-depth information about the property weeks ahead if a house has been put up for auction. The sellers should give building and pest inspection reports before the auction. They will also host several open houses to attract potential buyers.

If you are serious about buying the house, you can also schedule a private visit. You must consider a home inspector with you to get a more trustable review. If you are taking a home loan, the lender might also require you to get one. Be critical during your visit and evaluate whether the property is truly worth buying.


● Get the Contract Reviewed

Once you make that final bid and the hammer falls, you cannot change your decision. Your accepted bid is your final word, so you cannot opt out of it. You will be asked to sign the contract immediately, so you must learn what it says beforehand.

You need to get a lawyer involved if you are considering buying a house at auction. Get the contract of sale reviewed by your lawyer, and do not make a bid until your lawyer gives you the green flag. Once the contract is reviewed, you will know whether there are any legal issues.

Do not make a bid without getting your contract reviewed. You can get stuck with serious legal issues if you don’t fully understand what you agree to in the contract.


● Manage the Finances

Some think you can only buy at an auction with cash. Mortgage payments should also be fully available. You need a strong preapproval letter to get your bid accepted. Most auctions require you to make some cash deposit before bidding.

When buying on a mortgage, you will generally need to deposit 10 percent of your winning bid as a down payment. This payment is due within one or two days post-action. Before setting your maximum bid amount, you must subtract all the relevant fees from your preapproved mortgage amount.


● Stay Level-headed

Going through an auction is tricky. When multiple people are making a bid at a house you have set your sights on, it is easy to get carried away. This is why many people spend way over their budget when trying to buy at an auction. You must stay level-headed during the auction.

Set a budget for your maximum bid. If you buy on a mortgage, it would be the amount after all the required fees are deducted. Do not cross your budget, as you must pay the entire amount. You can get into serious legal trouble if you go beyond your means.

Auctioning can be stressful, so stay as calm as possible. Close your bid quickly as you might end up losing to another bidder.


Final Thoughts

When buying at an auction, you must prepare ahead for it. Attend an auctioning event to learn what it is really like. Do some market research and also visit the property you want to buy. Get it inspected, especially if your lender has asked for it.

When buying a home at auction, we hope these tips help you. Get a lawyer to look at the sale contract before making a bid. Manage your finances early on, as once your bid is finalized, you must go through with the buying.

Tags | Auctions
  • Contributor

    We believe in the positive, life-changing impact of real estate investing. Our mission is to help investors achieve their goals to build wealth, better manage time, and live a life full of purpose.

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