How to decipher auction talk

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Rapid fire talk from real estate auctioneers can undermine, and even deter, buyers, but translation help for those baffled by the lingo has now arrived.

In order to bid confidently at auction it is important for property buyers to understand what the auctioneer is actually saying, EPS Property Search director Patrick Bright said.

Real estate has its own language and terminology which is often intimidating and confusing to outsiders, the author of the updated version of The Insider’s Guide to Saving Thousands at Auction explained.

“At an auction, the auctioneer wants to run the bidding up as fast as possible, taking big rises and using their bags of tricks, jargon and one-liners to maintain the bidding momentum.”

To help out novice auction attendees, Bright has provided the following list of commonly-used phrases and their meanings:

“I’ll only take rises of $50,000 or more”: The bidding is far short of the reserve price.

“First call! Second call!”:

·         If said before the reserve is met, the auctioneer is trying to provoke another bid by exploiting the fear of missing out.

·         If said after the reserve has been met, it means those wanting to bid should do so or they could miss out.

“I’ll refer the bid”: Bidding has stalled below the reserve and the selling agent needs to convince the vendor to lower the reserve price.

“I am selling” or “we’re playing for keeps”: The property is on the market and the highest bidder at the fall of the hammer will become the buyer of the property.

“I’m making a vendor bid of....”: This phrase is used when the auctioneer makes a bid on behalf of the vendor to kick start bidding.

“I’m confident it will be sold under the hammer”: The selling agent has received decent pre-auction offers from buyers who are at the auction. Alternatively, the auctioneer has been advised that a low reserve is in place.

“Last opportunity”:

·         The auctioneer is about to pass the property in, so those interested should bid if they want it.

·         Or, if it has passed the reserve, it means the property is about to be sold to the highest bidder.

“I’m happy to take rises of $500.00”: The bidding is close to the reserve, or the property is about to be sold, and the auctioneer is milking the bidders for a bit more money.

“There’s real value here today buyers”: The auctioneer is trying to encourage bids when none are forthcoming.

“We think it’s worth more”: The selling agent has over-quoted to the vendor to get the listing. Alternatively, the bidding is a long way from the reserve.

“We’re selling today”: This usually means the auctioneer is trying to encourage bids when the reserve hasn’t been met. However, it is generally better for a buyer to wait until the reserve has been met before bidding.

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