HOME sellers who take their property to auction consistently collect at least 10 per cent more cash than the highest offer they receive beforehand.
But does it follow that buyers can save money by making an early offer instead of buying at auction?
Analysis of auction sales compared with early offers for the first six months of this year shows a differential generally of at least 10 per cent.
Property owners who go to auction sell for more money on average than the highest prior offer.
“We took in a huge sample of sales, and generally we’ve found that vendors who take their properties to auction do better in that auction-type environment,” said Nerida Conisbee, the chief economist at Ray White, which undertook the analysis.
“Auctions tend to shorten the lead time to the sale, so that usually maximises the price too.”
The gap between the figure offered prior and the auction result is fairly consistent around the country.
Over the past six months, buyers in Victoria had the biggest differential, in February at 12.98 per cent. NSW hit its peak of 10.91 per cent in April – also the best month in Queensland, with a 10.05 per cent divergence, and the best time nationally at 11.06 per cent.
RMIT senior lecturer in economics Dr Peyman Khezr says it can be difficult to accurately measure any price differential because when a buyer makes a good offer and the property, as a result, doesn’t go to market, then that wouldn’t be counted.
“It’s difficult to find identical property and identical circumstances so you can conclude without any degree of doubt,” he said.
“My gut feeling is that there’s basically a right time to make and accept an offer and a right time to go to auction, and they depend on a lot of different factors.”
Speed of sale might be one, suggests Sydney agent Frederico Fraga-Matos, where a vendor might accept an offer because they need to sell quickly as they’ve already bought.
“Sometimes buyers are nervous about buying at auction too,” Fraga-Matos said.
“It is a stressful process and there’s a chance the price can go crazy there. “
At present, buyers are increasingly making offers prior in the hope of obtaining a property more cheaply, especially with interest rates increasing.
Operating theatre technician Stewart Griffiths just sold his late parents’ house in Sydney’s Hornsby Heights, at 10 Waddell Crescent. A buyer offered him $1.2 million to sell prior.
He was tempted as he’d never sold at auction before, but his agent, Alex Iannuzzelli, also from Ray White, urged him to hold his nerve.
“And I’m so glad he did,” said Griffiths, 54. “At first, the auction was terrible, as the first bid came in at $600,000 and everyone fell silent and I started regretting not taking the offer. But then the bidding just took off… and it ended up selling for $1,506,000, $406,000 over the reserve.
“It gives everyone a fair go and it gives you pretty much a true sense of the transparent value of your property.”