Auction tips and tricks: do they differ state to territory?

biracial couple getting auction tips and advice from an agent

It’s a common sight to see ‘for sale’ signs on houses with an auction date all across Australia. House auctions have become popular in major cities in recent years, especially with property prices on the continual rise.

Buying a home may be a stressful journey - add attending and trying to win you home through auction into the mix and it becomes even more difficult.

Before learning how to win an auction, there are a few rules you should know:

  • Dummy bids, non-genuine attempts to raise the bidding, are illegal.
  • Auctions do not have cooling-off periods.
  • A deposit is paid immediately after the auction sale.
  • The property is on the market when the bidding reaches a vendor’s reserve price.

Here are a few tips and tricks to make buying a new home slightly easier.

Pre-auction tips for all states

  • Get a pre-approval: Before attending any auction, it is best to have your home loan pre-approved. That way you know how much you can afford to bid and not go over your limit.
  • Book an early inspection: Due to the nature of auctions, you cannot back out from the agreement if you win the auction. So it is best to inspect the property before the auction date.
  • Attend auctions: Before you start entering the bidding war, consider going to auctions of properties you are not interested in to understand how the whole process works.
  • Ask questions: While at the auction, be sure to ask the agent if anything has changed to the contract and the property since the time you last inspected it.

Auctions in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, ACT, Northern Territory

In general, most states and territories follow the same general auction rules. Most of the rules that differ from regions are geared towards agents and vendors. As a buyer one of the key things you must check is if you need to pre-register for an auction and how. 

In NSW, agents are not allowed to underquote the cost of a property or else they’ll face fines up to $22,000. This means that if you see a property value on an online listing, it should be correct. However, you should still consider getting someone involved to double check the appraisal.

In Queensland, it is illegal for a vendor or agent to create price guides for buyers, so keep an eye on this. Vendors are also not required to announce when their property has hit a reserve price nor do they have to set the minimum price they want the house to be sold at.

In SA, the agents aren’t required to give a price guide estimate to the prospective buyers. However they will give you a list of recent sales information. You can also pre-register to the auction on the day of the auction themselves.

Auctions in Victoria and Western Australia

Unlike some other states and territories, you don’t have to pre-register to bid on a property on auction day. With no restrictions, absolutely anyone can rock up the auction and start bidding.

More Auction Tips:

  • Registration: Only those who registered themselves as a buyer with the seller’s agent are eligible to make a bid. Only people with bidding numbers can participate in the auction. In SA you also need to present photo ID.
  • Consider a pre-auction offers: Sometimes a vendor agrees to consider offers, before the auction. This negotiation process is the same as buying through a private sale.
  • Check auctioneer’s license: Auctioneers are required to have a license, if they don’t be a bit wary of the auction.
  • Make a pre-auction offer: In most states and territories you can make pre-auction offers, however, you don’t receive a cooling-off period if the offer is accepted before the scheduled auction.

If you are thinking of attending an auction soon, make sure to use our home loan comparison table to find what is the best deal for you.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo

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Last updated 18 June 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Discount Variable Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.01 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    A low rate home loan for owner-occupiers packed with great features including unlimited extra repayments, free online redraw, no application or monthly admin fees. Rate will vary depending on LVR. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice 2024 Low Cost Home Loan Award^

  • Variable Home Loan 90

    • Principal and Interest
    • LVR <90%
    Interest rate
    6.04 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,011
    Go to site

    Affordable home loan rate for buyers or refinancers. No monthly or ongoing fees. Option to add an offset for 0.10%. Access to savings with unlimited redraws available. Minimum 10% deposit required.

  • Fixed Rate Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.15 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027

    Additional repayments of up to $10K per fixed year. Interest rate discounts available. Waiver of $499 application fee when combined with an Orange Advantage Home Loan.

  • The Better Home Loan Special Offer

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<80%
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a variable rate home loan with a bunch of features from Police Credit Union. Make extra repayments at any time without penalty. No monthly, annual or upfront fees. Free online redraw. Minimum 20% deposit. Qualifying criteria applies. Minimum loan amount is 200K. For new customers only. Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Credit Union of the Year 2023.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Mortgage Simplifier

    • LVR<80%
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.17 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043

    Get a competitive variable rate with ING’s Mortgage Simplifier. Free extra repayments, no monthly or annual fees. Freedom to make free extra repayments or redraws.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Fixed
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    6.25 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.20 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,079
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    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

  • Fixed Rate

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • <80% LVR
    Interest rate
    6.59 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    7.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,190

    Enjoy up to $3000 cashback for eligible first home buyers and $2000 cashback for refinancers on eligible home loans with the ANZ Fixed Rate Home Loan. Get the security of repayment certainty with a competitive locked in rate. No ongoing fees to pay. Offset account on 1-year fixed loans ($10/month fee applies). Interest-only payments allowed.

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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