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Buying At Auction

Director of Auctions, Ben Brady

When we say Ben is the leading auctioneer in the country, we aren’t joking. Before transferring to California, Ben was calling more auctions than any other auctioneer in the country, selling more than $4 billion’s worth of property over the past five years.   

Buying At Auction

The process of buying a property can be a daunting and emotional experience, however through the auction process and being armed with a solid strategy may help you to come out a winner on the big day.  There are many benefits associated with bidding at auction. One of the benefits of successfully bidding at auction is that you get a definite result achieved through a transparent and timely process.


Auctions can be a bit intimidating for first timers; however it is the most transparent, simplest and quickest way to buy property. Harcourts USA is committed to providing you with as much information as possible regarding the auction process to ensure you love and understand them, just as much as we do.


Throughout this site, we make available everything we know about auctions and answer any questions you might think of. However, in addition if you would like to meet with our team or discuss anything over the phone or via email, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Harcourts USA conduct an auction process which is unique and superior to any other real estate company. There are many benefits associated with bidding at auction and through having a firm comprehension on these and also the process you will be fully equipped with the knowledge to ensure you are the successful purchaser on Auction day.

Participating in an auction conducted by Brady & Co, means everyone is on a level playing field. In an auction arena, everyone is bidding on the same terms


"At Harcourts Auctions we pride ourselves on delivering the complete package, encompassing every facet of the real estate transaction, to guarantee the service and methods offered by our team are not only proven, but far superior to our competitors"


Achieving excellence through passion, defined by results


Buying At Auction FAQ

No. The Terms and Conditions of Sale agreed to prior to the auction will govern the sale. However, your counsel may inspect the title commitment prior to auction.

Yes, all properties will transfer to the buyer with insurable title as determined by the title/closing agent indicated on the contract.

Certainly, Harcourts USA recommends you have an inspector review the property; however, this is required to be done prior to auction. All properties involved with Harcourts USA Brady & Co Auctions are available for preview and inspection. Anyone who wishes to undertake their own inspection, should contact the listing agent to arrange a suitable time

Closing costs can vary. Potential purchasers should review the Sale and Purchase Agreement for each specific auction property.

From the commencement of the Auction campaign, potential buyers are welcome to review the title of the property which is issued by a third party title examiner. The seller is responsible for taking out title insurance and the title/closing firm identified in the Purchase and Sale Agreement will manage the insurable title.  At closing the buyer shall be given the insurable title clear or liens or encumbrances. 

The deposit will count as a credit towards the purchase price of the property and placed in escrow. Please note; it is the purchaser's responsibility to obtain financing. If you plan to use a mortgage to purchase the property, we recommend that you apply for the loan immediately as the closing of an auction contract is not contingent on obtaining finance.

Yes you should still attend the auction and definitely register to bid. The Auction process is just that. A process. The process involves many facets including most importantly expectations. The auction process is about educating the price expectations of both sellers and also buyers according to the market. If your offer is not accepted prior to auction, it may be that the seller has a price expectation of the property over where it sits on the market, which may become evident on auction day. Or perhaps it may be that your offer is under estimating the value of the property. Regardless, after the seller and the buyers have had the opportunity to see the full marketing campaign over 3-6 weeks and also see the property’s interest on auction day both parties will often reevaluate their expectations.

Just because you are unable to bid under auction terms and conditions does not mean you are unable to purchase a property going to auction. Anyone is able to make an offer prior to auction day with any terms; however, note these terms need to be very favorable to the sellers in order to them to consider selling prior to auction day.

If the property does not sell on Auction Day you may have another opportunity to submit an offer after auction. In such circumstances the seller may be more receptive to a contract with contingencies; however, at the same time you risk being involved in a multiple offer situation, as there may be several other buyers who are in the same situation as you and have been holding out until after auction day. Therefore, if you are able to get yourself in a position to bid comfortably under auction terms and conditions to a specific amount, buying at auction is the most transparent and certain way to purchase property. 

The only genuine measure of value of real estate is what someone else is willing to pay for a property. An appraisal is merely an informed opinion. An appraisal is not an offer to buy. The real measure of value of real estate, at any given time, is what it will bring under competitive bidding from informed and motivated buyers. Buying at auctions ensures you are paying fair market price.

In order to bid at an Auction you will need to register – often this must be done prior to Auction Day. Prior to registering you will need to completely understand the terms and conditions relating to the specific property. Additionally, you will need to arrange the deposit. Contact the listing agent for all documentation or further information.

No, Harcourts USA does not conduct online auctions nor do we permit bidding online. Harcourts USA is actively committed to promoting a completely transparent and genuine sale and purchase transaction for all those involved, for this reason we only conduct real time On Site Auctions (take place at the property) or In Room Auctions (take place in a ballroom off site). If you are unable to attend for any reason Harcourts USA provides a number of alternatives options. For example you may have someone attend and bid on your behalf or you may bid over the phone. See here for more information. 

All auctions conducted by Harcourts USA are subject to a Reserve Price which can be described as the lowest price the seller is willing to accept. The Reserve Price is decided upon between the Seller and the Auctioneer prior to the Auction and is a completely confidential agreement between the Seller and Auctioneer. As a result the Auctioneer is unable to provide advice to potential purchasers on whether a reserve price has been set or what that reserve price is. The only point you will have any indication on what a reserve price is, is if the auctioneer calls “we have reached reserve price” during the auction. This indicates the seller’s minimum acceptance amount has been reached or surpassed in the bidding process and the property will be sold to the highest bidder. 

No, using a real estate agent is an entirely a matter of personal preference. If you wish to use an agent, please feel free. However; the auction process is a very simple, transparent way of transferring real property between two parties. Whether you decide to use an agent or not, the Auctioneer of Harcourts USA, is always available to meet with you face to face or over the phone to explain the process and devise any strategies for bidding on the day of auction. Harcourts USA is committed to ensuring every buyer and/or buyers agent feels 100% comfortable with the process and ensures the buyer feels he or she has been treated fairly, whether or not they are represented. 

No. The Terms & Condition of Sale agreed to prior to the auction will govern the sale. The insurable title as prepared and offered by the indicated title company shall be the agreed-to standard and accepted by the parties involved in the transaction. However, you may inspect title commitment prior to the auction.

Yes. All properties auctioned by Harcourts USA, are transferred to the buyer via the Residential Purchase Agreement prepared by the seller, with insurable title as determined by the title agent indicated on the contract.

All of the information and disclosures regarding the property being auctioned is included in the Auction Information Packet, which can be obtained by contacting us (Hyperlink) or by contacting the relevant Listing Agent. 

Harcourts USA is committed to providing our services to any person, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, or national origin. We shall never be a party to any agreement that discriminates against any person on the basis of these or any other similar prejudices.

The closing date is typically set to occur on, or before, 30 days from the contract date. Keep in mind that the Purchase & Sale Agreement does not contain any contingencies whatsoever, and is technically an “AS-IS, WHERE-IS” contract. By bidding on the property, every buyer is representing and warranting to Harcourts USA and to the seller that he or she accepts the property in its current condition, including all fixtures and appliances, is accepting the title per the title insurance commitment, and is prepared to close with no contingencies according to the closing instructions outlined in the contract.

Every auction is different. If a property is being sold as furnished, it will be expressed clearly in the auction’s terms and conditions. If the document is unclear, please consult the Listing Agent to clarify. Do not assume anything.

This will differ depending on the property. All offers made throughout the campaign prior to auction will be displayed to the seller; however, it remains entirely the seller’s decision whether or not they wish to counter, accept or continue down the auction path towards auction day. 

Yes, provided all required documentation has been completed prior to the auction commencing. If you will be attending the auction but wish to have someone else call out your bids and negotiate, you have the following option:

You may authorize a person to bid on your behalf

Should you be able to attend the auction; however, feel uncomfortable displaying your bids or being completely involved in the negotiation process, you may authorize a friend or agent who is attending the auction with you, to call bids out on your behalf.

Yes, provided all required documentation has been completed prior to auction day. If you are interested in bidding on the property and you are unable to attend the auction for any reason, Harcourts USA provides a number of different options.

You may authorize a person to convey your bids via a telephone conversation.  This process would involve an authorized a friend or agent to attend and participate in the auction whilst speaking to you on the phone and calling out your requested bids to the auctioneer.  You may authorize a person to bid on your behalf.  Should you not wish to participate via telephone or if you do not have phone reception, you may provide your friend or agent who is attending the auction will full authorization to bid and purchase the property on your behalf.

 Please note, should you be unable to attend the auction and wish to utilize any of these options, you must ensure all correct documentation has been finalized prior to auction day and given to the Harcourts Listing Agent. 

Harcourts USA only conduct live auctions which either take place either at the property or on an off-site location which has been advertised throughout the auction campaign.

Our Auctioneer will facilitate and call the auction bidding, just as you would experience at a car or antique auction. We do not conduct auctions via the internet. If you are unable to attend the venue where the auction will take place, there are other options available such as bidding over the phone, or having someone attend to bid on your behalf. Please contact listing agent to obtain documentation which is required to be completed prior to auction day.