23 Feb 2018

My House Didn't Sell At Auction - What Next?

Taking your home to auction can be a very exciting but equally stressful experience. Some auction sales are hugely successful, while others fall well short of vendor expectations, or even fail to sell at all. But all is not lost if your property fails to sell under the hammer. There are a few factors to consider as to why the auction failed and steps you can take to generate competitive buyer interest. Here’s some of your options to help get your home back in the game:


Talk to your sales team

Sit down with your agents as soon as you can and ask them what was the buyer feedback prior to auction? Debriefing with the auctioneer and your sales team will give you some insight as to what the general feeling was about your property, and will help you understand how to address the issue. Oftentimes, a house that didn’t sell at auction isn’t a complete failure, there may have been genuine buyer interest, but they weren’t in a position to bid on the day or were unable to secure a deposit in time.


Reconsider the price

One of the main reasons why a property fails to sell at auction is because of a vendor’s unrealistic expectations on price. Everyone wants to believe their home is worth every dollar of the reserve, but if those expectations are not in line with the market, then the hard truth is that no one is going to buy it. It’s time to get honest with yourself and take the sentimental dollar value off your price expectations. All the money and effort on marketing and presentation will be for naught if you’re not willing to be realistic with your price.


Is presentation up to scratch?

A good agent will make sure your property presentation is on point before you take it to auction. Property presentation is rarely an issue in a no-sale and its failure to sell is usually due more to price, but if you’ve ignored your agent’s advice on giving it a cosmetic makeover, this might be a good time to take action. Just make sure that any renovations you do actually add value to the property rather than drain your profit potential. You also need to consider if the time and money spent is worth the effort if the same result can be achieved by simply lowering the price.


Was the reserve too high?

During the auction campaign, your agent will get a good understanding of what they think your home should sell for. It’s this valuable market insight that should influence your reserve price. The danger with setting the reserve too high is that it can put bidders off, ultimately dooming the auction. Listen to what your agent tells you – they want your property to sell for as much as possible too, but sometimes that means setting a lower reserve.


Give your agent another chance

It’s tempting to want to blame someone for the failed auction, and your agent is the most obvious scapegoat. But before you turn them loose and move on to a new agent, remember that your current agent is the person who has been building relationships with potential buyers and understands the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign more than a newcomer. The idea is to not repeat the same mistakes that may have already been made, and by bringing in a new sales team you run the risk of walking the same path twice.


Chase lingering interest

Sometimes the right buyer just doesn’t show on the day. If you’re willing to negotiate on price, it’s a good idea to follow up on people who expressed interest during the campaign and letting them know the property is still on the market. This can sometimes give a glimmer of hope to potential buyers who assumed they didn’t have a shot, and they may be willing to enter into price negotiations in a private sale.


Private sale vs another auction

Auctioning your home can be a great way to get it in front of potential buyers, and once it’s on their radar there’s always the possibility of a successful private sale. There’s no industry evidence to say whether it’s best to stage a second auction or go down the path of a private sale, but your agent is the best person to discuss this with, as the decision is best assessed on a case-by-case basis.


Above all, keep it in perspective. Just because your property didn’t sell at auction, doesn’t mean it never will. Stay hopeful, be open-minded, and get fired up to make a new plan with your agent.


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