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In-room or onsite? That is the question

Madelin HayesThe West Australian
The pros and cons of selling your home via in-room or onsite auction.
Camera IconThe pros and cons of selling your home via in-room or onsite auction. Credit: VM_Studio/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

An adrenaline-fuelled activity, home auctions can be a rollercoaster of emotions, as a room full of potential buyers raise their bidding fingers to score a bargain.

However, before you start to envision crowds of excited bidders fighting over your address and the slam of a hammer, consider whether an onsite or an in-room auction is more suitable for your property.

Realestate 88 Inner City Selling Principal and Director Brendon Habak said an onsite auction typically involved selling the residence at its address, whereas an in-room auction was usually held at an alternative location.

“Onsite means potential bidders can connect with the property a bit better – they can go there and get a feel for the home,” Mr Habak said.

“In-room auctions distance people from the property and it is more of a showcase experience.”

In-room auctions can boost the appeal of multiple properties, according to Mr Habak, with bidders able to take their pick from a showcase of homes.

“One of the main differences between in-room and onsite auctions is that in-room auctions highlight a showcase of properties, whereas onsite auctions are usually just the one property on show,” he said.

“If you’ve got a showcase of six or seven properties, the most popular properties can increase the appeal of the remaining homes.

“The atmosphere creates a buzz, where other properties that didn’t have as much of a following or as much buyer interest suddenly become more appealing.”

Ray White City Residential Selling Principal and Auctioneer Brent Compton said in-room auctions had the ability to weed out uninterested bidders.

“In-room auctions have the potential to sift out the real buyers,” he said.

“An in-room auction is also a more controlled environment, where there’s no noises, smells or neighbourly disruptions.

“If I were a buyer, I would prefer to purchase a home at an in-room auction, as you know everyone there is a serious buyer.

“You can see how much different properties are selling for in different suburbs – this is popular among investors, where they might not even look at the property before buying it.”

If you want to sell your property via a public auction but your home makes a shoebox look palatial, Mr Compton said an in-room auction was the best way of selling.

“In a smaller home, not every buyer is in a good position to bid if they can’t all be in one large space – they might be tucked away in a hallway or behind a column,” he said.

For larger family homes, Mr Habak said an onsite auction method was better suited, as potential buyers could see the home at its best with the local schools and amenities nearby.

“I believe onsite would generate the highest price for a family home in the suburbs,” he said.

“If it’s near a local school and it’s got the green grass and a fantastic swimming pool sparkling on auction day, then families can see the home at its full potential.”

As for the future of auctions in Perth, Mr Habak said both methods would drive the highest price for different properties.

“Onsite auctions, where you’ve got the big profile and the neighbours stopping by, is a really good thing for the properties themselves and the agents,” he said.

“Auctions are important for agency profile and sometimes in-room auctions can be cheaper for the vendors too, because they’re doing a showcase of multiple properties at once, rather than doing one onsite.”

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