real estate newsletter

There are around 1,000 property auctions most every weekend in Australia. And every weekend, around 60 or 70 percent of those properties sell.

Each week, thousands and thousands of people head out to yet another property auction, and just 700 people are successful in their mission. So what happens to those other bidders?

The bidder blues

As a bidder, you may be familiar with that sense of disillusionment, disappointment and disbelief that starts to creep up on you after you have attended yet another auction and experienced no success. You may recall saying to yourself, 'this is just never going to happen for us!' You may be considering throwing in the towel, giving up on the idea of home ownership and facing the reality of renting for the next fifty or so years.

Well, you are not alone. Though it may not make you feel better, Bidder Blues are becoming more common in Australia as property prices rise, demand increases, and auctions make buying a more competitive process than ever before. With thousands of people every week missing out on properties they've allowed themselves to fall in love with, it's no surprise that after several attempts, continuing to attend auctions can seem like an impossible task to take on.

So what's the cure to bidder blues?

Be realistic — it takes time!

A big part of the problem with bidder blues is no one warns us about them. Sure, we read about high demand and increasing buyer competition, but no one sits us down and lets us know that there's a chance we'll need to fall in love and break up with at least three houses before we are actually able to stop bidding and settle down. While we know our auction attendance might not be a one-off, we don't expect to lose out so often.

The first step to beating bidder blues is giving yourself a reality check. Buying a house is a bit like shopping for a wedding dress — some lucky people waltz on in and get their dress first attempt. For many others, the process takes months, little compromises are often made, and there are a lot of near misses in the process. Be patient, your perfect-fit property is still out there!

Make the most of every auction: perfect your strategy

Every time you attend an unsuccessful job interview, you are no doubt disappointed, but you learn something new about how to interview better. You become more accurate at reading the room, you get a feel for how assertive or laid back you need to be, and you pick up things about your competitors that you were never intended to know from your interviewer.

Bidding at auction is much the same. The more auctions you attend (online or in person), the more you learn and pick up and the more you are able to perfect your bidding strategy. You learn to stop staring intently at the auctioneer and start taking in your surroundings. You can pick out the serious bidders, you can better determine the best time to insert your strategic bids, and you know when a house will sell for more than it's worth.

While every failed auction is disappointing, it is actually preparing you to be the bidder who swoops in strategically and plucks a property from the grips of other bidders at a future auction.

Stick to your guns

One of the less helpful side effects of Bidder Blues is the desperation that can come with it — the hopelessness that says, 'if we just raise our limit by this much, we might have a chance'.

You have an upper limit for a reason, whether it's because that's all the bank will give you, or because higher repayments will affect your lifestyle too negatively, you chose that figure and you should stick with it. Don't let the blues get the better of you and leave you with a purchase you can't comfortably afford.

Re-adjust the plan

Sometimes the fact you are not having successful auction experiences is actually a sign that some other part of your planning is a little remiss. As an example, attending auctions where the first bid is continuously at your upper limit suggests maybe you're finance is too low for the properties you are attempting to buy. While this can be a harsh reality check and can even be upsetting, readjusting your plan and looking in a lower price bracket might mean your next bidding registration is your last.

Take some time out

When we decide to buy a property, especially our first home, the thought can consume us. We can find that we are spending every spare second on real estate sites looking at property, we talk about what we've seen all the time, we constantly re-evaluate our finance and re-run calculations.

Adding Bidder Blues to this equation can cause things to get a little overwhelming. We can become obsessed with trying to find a solution to whatever problem we think is getting in our way of successful bidding.

Taking some time out from your property hunt is ok, in fact, in some cases it is a really good decision.

When we're hunting, we often find ourselves running to auctions every weekend, and open houses in between — we leave little other time for the activities we use to balance our lives and our mental health.

Take a few weeks and let yourself have some breathing space, enjoy your normal life, and pretty soon you'll realise that like a lot of things, the sky won't fall if you don't buy right now! Real estate is quite stable, new properties are listed every week — reduce the pressure and give yourself a break.

While a lot of the time we talk about the likes of Bidder Blues a little tongue in cheek, they really can affect us and how we are feeling. The continuous disappointment can be disheartening and influence our everyday well-being. Try out some of the tips listed and see if you can leave the blues behind and start to enjoy what is one of the most exciting times in your life.