Paula Izzard

Ph: 021 284 1020

Keith Simpson

Ph: 027 255 5050

 Licensed Real Estate Agents - REAA 2008

Buying At Auction

What is an auction?

An auction is a method of selling a property through the process of public negotiations. Purchasing property through an auction allows you to publicly negotiate the price, which helps ensure you are paying the true market value for the property at that time.

How Barfoot & Thompson makes sure you pay true market value

Barfoot & Thompson guarantee our customers that our auctioneers never make bids on behalf of clients, accept bids they believe to be made on behalf of clients, or knowingly accept any bid that is not genuine. It doesn't matter what you call them, they aren't real bids, which is why we do not allow that practice at Barfoot & Thompson auctions.

Understanding the bidding process

The auctioneer will open the bidding by asking for an opening bid and will then nominate the increments by which the bidding can be raised. For example, an opening bid is placed of $200,000. The auctioneer then nominates for the bid to go up in increments of $10,000, meaning that the next person that bids will be offering $210,000.

To place a bid, you simply attract the attention of the auctioneer by raising your hand, calling out your bid or nodding your head when you catch the auctioneer's eye.

Once bidding reaches the reserve price, the property is "on the market" and will sell to the highest bidder when the bidding stops. The reserve price is set by the client prior to the auction and is established as a result of feedback from interested parties during the marketing process.

Registering your interest

If you may be interested in bidding for a property, make sure you register your interest formally with a Barfoot & Thompson salesperson. That way, if a pre-auction offer is made, you will also be contacted and given the opportunity to submit your best offer.

Buying before auction day

In most cases you can place an unconditional offer prior to auction day. However, if the offer is at an acceptable level to the vendor, all other registered customers will be contacted and the auction will be brought forward in accordance with Barfoot & Thompson's Procedure for Pre-Auction Offers. Simply submit your offer in writing on the Auction Particulars & Conditions of Sale (ask your Barfoot & Thompson salesperson for a copy), accompanied by a 10% deposit cheque and with the following special clause added:

  • The offer shall remain open for acceptance by the vendor and may not be withdrawn by the customer until 5:00pm on the second working day after the offer has been first presented to the client.

Note: Before making a pre-auction offer, you need to read and understand the Procedure for Pre-Auction offers. This form will be given to you by the Barfoot & Thompson salesperson.

Before bidding at an auction you need to:

  • Have read and understood the Auction Particulars & Conditions of Sale.
  • Be in a position to bid on a cash unconditional basis. You can organise pre-approval through your bank or mortgage broker and then bid up to a price you are prepared to pay.
  • Be able to pay 10% deposit (by personal or bank cheque) and sign the contract as soon as the auction is over.


Before you bid at an auction, ask the company auctioning the home on behalf of the client if they place or accept client bids. If they do, adjust your bidding strategy to take this into account.