How To Dominate Real Estate Auctions With James Pratt

Looking at gaining an edge bidding on real estate auctions?  We interviewed Three-time REB Australian Auctioneer of the Year Winner James Pratt for his best advice. Here are James’s top eight strategies to win property at auction.

1) Ask the questions

Before auction day, ask the broker how many building reports have been issued on the home and how many contracts have been sent out, another great question to ask is, How many offers have come on?

This information gives you a much more realistic idea of the level of interest on the home, so you don’t have to guess by the number of people attending the open houses.

2) Make an offer before auction day.

If you like the property, make a strong offer before auction day. Over the last 12 months, areas such as New York City and Los Angeles have experienced increases up to 35% of auction homes selling beforehand.


3) Have a game plan

Auctions are much easier if you have a game plan when you arrive.

It’s a good idea to research the local area, including recent sales and comparable listings also available. Before auction day ask the agent who the auctioneer is and see if they have any auction you can watch (This gives you a clearer idea of the auctioneer style and pace your auction will be like).

Included in this advice is give yourself a limit on how much you will spend and if the auction goes above this amount, then it’s okay to walk away. Remember to bid with your head, not emotions.

4) Start big and blow your competition out of the water

When the auctioneer calls for an opening bid, rather than sitting back and waiting for someone else to open the bidding, start the bidding with a knock-out bid. This may take out some of your competition and also establishes you as the leader of the pack. Psychologically you’re setting the pace now when you start.

5) Use your poker face and be confident at the auction.

Couples buying the next family home tend to show a lot more emotion than investors, who are less emotionally attached. If you reveal too much, other buyers will find it easier to bid against you, and the auctioneer will read your body language.

6) Use your agent to assist you

If your English is not perfect, it’s okay to ask the agent to write down the price as the auctioneer calls the bid. This gives you extra time to gather your thoughts and keep your emotions under control while taking better control of the auction.


7) Challenge the auctioneer

If the bidding is going up in rises of 25, rather than putting in a lower amount to slow down the auction down (e.g., $10,000k), it’s more effective to put in an uneven increase bid such as $77,500. This will slow down the auction as the auctioneer will have to rethink his bids. It will also disrupt the flow of the auction giving more control to the buyers rather than allowing the auctioneer to have so much control.

8) Make sure you have the first right to negotiate.

If a property doesn’t reach the reserve price, don’t despair. As a courtesy, the majority of real estate offices offer the highest bidder the first right to negotiate and put in an offer after the auction when a property is passed in, this is a big advantage in luxury markets where the auction clearance rates are consistently high and there are often multiple interested parties.

About James Pratt

James Pratt is the founder and CEO of the James Pratt Auctions Group and Three-time REB Australian Auctioneer of the Year Winner. In his career James has sold over 12BillionDollars’ worth of Real Estate via auction around the world and was the first person in the world to sell Real Estate via Live auction using Crypto Currency.

At present James sits on numerous advisory boards and is based internationally for selling luxury homes.

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3 Areas To Focus On When You Are Renovating Your Dream Home

It is a good idea to spend time in your new home before you start renovating, even if this is just sitting in a corner drawing out designs on how you want the space to look and feel. Each and every property feels different, and this can be down to the amount of natural light coming in through the windows as well as the different views that they will give you. 

The perfect layout for you

When you are renovating your dream home you must think about the layout of each of the rooms that you are remodelling, this is especially important when you are looking at your kitchen area and your bathroom as these are very expensive rooms to renovate and you will probably not want to redo them for a while after your initial renovation.

You will need to take into account the space that you will need to wander around, where your tech is going to be, your lighting, as well as the location of the power sockets, and the number that you will require to make your life comfortable.

State-of-the-art tech to make it feel comfortable

When thinking about your comfort you will probably want to have state-of-the-art tech installed within your home. These are such tech items as home hub technology which can incorporate zoned lighting, heating, and music speakers as well as your home security that can all be controlled from your cell phone or be placed on a timer.

When you are thinking about your security you may also be thinking about your property perimeter, and how you can protect your property inside and out from unwanted guests or pests. Not all pests are animals or insects, some unfortunately are human and are in the form of loitering youths or gangs. If you live in an area where your boundaries are plagued by these individuals, you are probably highly stressed not only about the security of your premises but also for yourself and your loved ones that are living within the same household. Indeed, regardless of whether or not these individuals are aware of the effect and the feelings that they inspire in others, it can turn a dream home into a living nightmare. 

It is, however, important that you do not try to tackle these youths yourself, and you may find that getting the law involved could be detrimental to your own safety or that of your property. There is another option available to you and that is in using the mosquito device. This device is not harmful in any way, it is anonymous, but can be very effective when it comes to moving unwanted youths on or dispersing their groups, meaning that you can have the relaxing home that you deserve and dream of.

The perfect décor to help your home flow

When you are renovating a property, you must get the natural flow of the property right, especially if you are moving doorways or walls. You can help the flow of the household by using the same flooring throughout and by choosing the right colours that will either blend well together or are the same colour but in different shades.

Although some people like to use entirely different colours on their walls for different rooms (and this can look attractive), it is far better to use the colors of your soft furnishings to add unique colors to separate different areas rather than that of the walls.

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