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 - rates updated daily

Search promoted home loans below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Smart Booster Home Loan

    2 Year Discounted Variable Rate, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, <80% LVR

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.85% p.a.variable for 24 months and then 2.25% p.a. variable
    2.21% p.a.

    New super low introductory rate home loan for two years. Min 20% deposit. No monthly or ongoing fees. Fast settlement times. Mozo award-winning online lender. Friendly, local Australian based team.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    UHomeLoan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.85% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.24% p.a.

    $0 fees and easy application. Choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. 3 year fixed rates are for new Owner Occupier Principal & Interest loans.

    Go to site
    Details
  • Hot DealFor a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & approved by Dec 15 (Please read the full T&C's)
    placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Celebrate Variable Home Loan

    <60% LVR, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    1.99% p.a.

    Fast and efficient online application. Automatic discounts as loan is paid down. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Zero fees. Min 40% deposit required. Winner of three Mozo Expert's Choice Awards for 2021.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Variable Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    1.99% p.a.

    Refinance only. Super-fast digital application process. Zero upfront fees. No on-going service fees. Free 100% offset sub account. Apply Online & Refinance before 29 October 2021 for the chance to WIN your home loan interest free - Save up to $1.1 million. T&Cs apply.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Basic Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR<70%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    2.09% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    2.32% p.a.

    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.

    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2021
    Variable Home Loan Special

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <70%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    1.99% p.a. variable
    2.02% p.a.

    Special rate applies to home loan applications submitted by 31 October 2021. Unlimited additional repayments, free redraw, 100% offset account. 30% deposit required. Simple online application. Low Cost Home Loan winner in the Mozo Expert's Choice Awards for 2021.

    Go to site
    Details

* 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, loan amount and term entered. 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

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.