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Decoding Auction Talk

decoding auction talk

Decoding Auction Talk

At auctions you need to be able to decode the auctioneer’s remarks quickly.  As the auction moves along, auctioneers may use all the activity to avoid directly answering questions.  You’ll get little or no response to queries.  Auctioneers may only be partially truthful when responding or in many cases just simply use misleading and deceptive conduct in order to try to elicit a bid from you.  Don’t be afraid to ask an auctioneer to repeat what he or she is announcing.

If you are not 100 per cent that what has been said is actually what is happening with the auction, you could effectively be ripping up tens of thousands of dollars in the space of a few seconds.  Listen carefully for key phrases such as those below and make absolutely sure you know what they mean.

Auction talk explained

We’re selling today – An attempt to get you to bid when the auctioneer hasn’t got any bids.

We’re close to the reserve – Quickly, I’ll need another bid before I pass it in to the dummy bidder or I’m one or two bids away from the reserve

It’s on the market – Now we’re playing for keeps

Passed in – We didn’t get a genuine bid

It’s got a great position – This house doesn’t have a particular great positive feature

I’ll take a rise of $20,000 – We’re a long way short of the reserve price

The bid’s against you – You’re bidding against the dummy bidder

I bid on behalf of the vendor – I don’t think I am going to get an opening bid

Against you principally … – There is more than one real bidder

We think it’s worth more – We’ve given the owners a much higher price in order to get the listing

Last opportunity …. – The auctioneer doesn’t have a real bid

I’ll refer the bid – The auctioneer is going to get instructions and possibly ‘crunch’ the owner, meaning the agent will put an enormous amount of pressure on the vendor to accept the bid that has been offered when the bidding pauses, i.e. it is their intention to get the property ‘on the market’

I’ll take rises of $1000 – With the next bid, the property’s on the market

Transparent auction – There are supposedly no dummies bidding

I refuse that bid – We are a long way from the reserve price

First call! Second call! – An attempt to entice you to bid

Will you acknowledge the bid? – An attempt to make you believe that the person bidding is real

There’s value here today – Trying to encourage bids when none are forthcoming

Bid with complete confidence – Never believe this from an auctioneer!

We’ve got clear instructions – The auctioneer believes the reserve price is reasonable

Confident it will be sold – They have already received offers prior to the auction at a level the vendor is prepared to accept and those people who made the offers are in attendance at the auction

Non-referral auction – There is no half-time intermission, this tactic is an attempt to encourage you to bid without telling you if the property is going to be sold.


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