Auctions Guide: Bidding & Buying

"This guide seeks to demystify and simplify the auction process and provide clarification on the roles and responsibilities of Auctioneers and bidders.

Queensland real estate law requires that all people bidding at a residential property auction must provide their names, addresses and proof of identity to the Auctioneer prior to the auction in order for their bids to be accepted.

How to Register

  • You can register at any time prior to the auction. This can be at an open for inspection, or when visiting the listing agency prior to the auction. Registering early will save you the trouble of registering on auction day.

  • You will need to provide the Auctioneer with your name and address and some photo identification – e.g. drivers licence or passport.

  • The Auctioneer will record these details in a Bidders Register and provide you with a Bidder number. This number must be displayed by you when making a bid during the course of the auction.

  • If you register prior to auction day, you may not receive your number. When you arrive at the auction, you will need to see the Auctioneer or their representative, provide the proof of your identity, and receive your number or bidder card at that time.

  • Auctioneers are not permitted to provide your information to any other person other than an inspector or the court. However, the auctioneer may disclose to the seller of the property the identity of a bidder if it is necessary for negotiating the sale of the property after the auction.

Remember: You do not have to bid just because you have registered, but you must be registered if you intend to bid.


How to Bid

  • Make sure that the Auctioneer can see you. Ideally, you should hold up your bidder number and call out your bid in a clear audible voice. This will be provided upon entry to Auction once registration is complete.
  • You can call out an exact amount – e.g. "$260,000" or indicate the amount you wish to increase the previous bid by the increment suggested by the Auctioneer – e.g “Another $10,000”.
  • If the Auctioneer calls the incorrect amount or misinterprets your bid – call out to the auctioneer and clarify the bid with them immediately.


Important Points to Remember

When bidding at an Auction:

  • Make sure you are familiar Conditions of Sale prior to bidding at the auction. Auctioneers will have these displayed at the auction for inspection by bidders prior to the auction commencing. Some Auctioneers will read some or all of these out at the start of the auction.
  • If you propose to bid on behalf of another person, you must have a letter of authority and provide the name and address details of that person to the Auctioneer in order to register them as bidders in the bidder register.
  • When bidding at an auction, remember that if you are the successful bidder you will be required to sign the contract of sale and pay a deposit on the spot.
  • There is no cooling-off period when you buy at an auction.
  • The Auctioneer's decision is final. In the event of a dispute arising, the Auctioneer has the right to resubmit the property afresh or with a Vendor's bid in the event that the dispute arise before the reserve price was reached.
  • Prior to the commencement of an auction, Auctioneers are unable by law to provide advice to potential purchasers as to what the reserve price is.
  • At the commencement of the auction, the Auctioneer may announce if the property is to be sold with or without a reserve price.


Need more information? 

The Office of Fair Trading can provide you with more information on the laws that apply to property auctions. You can contact them on 3246 1523 or check out their website on " 



  Source: Real Estate Institute of Queensland. (2015). A Bidder's Guide for Residential Property in Queensland. REIQ. Brisbane: The Real Estate Insitute of Queensland Ltd. 



Purchasing Your Property

Buying at Auction

Bidding at auction is no small deal. Before you bid, you have to know exactly what you’re doing and be aware of any issues relating to the property. When the property goes to you under the hammer, there is no cooling-off period. You must purchase the property.

Reserve Price

Just before the auction, the seller will give their agent a ‘reserve’ price. This is the absolute lowest price that the seller is willing to take. As a buyer, this reserve won’t be revealed to you, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with recent sales in the area.

Passed In

Those times that a property doesn’t reach its reserve price, it can be ‘passed in’ or withdrawn from the auction. The vendor’s agent can then negotiate with any bidder, which may or may not result in a sale.

 Purchase at Auction   

When a property is sold at auction, the successful bidder is obliged to sign the contract of sale and pay their deposit right then and there.

Building & Pest Inspections

A building inspection gives you an expert’s opinion on the property’s condition. You’re paying for

a professional to pick up on any significant defects or problems. As well as whether or not other pests might be present in the property you’re looking at.

Strata & Company Title Searches

If you’re buying an apartment, townhouse or villa, it pays to carry out a strata report. This quick search will show you the history and identify any problems with the property. As well as list any past or proposed repairs to other units and common areas in the complex.


If you have any questions or would like to talk more about Auctions please contact Jason on 0404 493 690. 

To download registration forms to participate in one of our Auctions please click the link below.