Passed in at Auction: Tips for Buyers and Sellers in the Property Market

It’s a gut-wrenching moment when you watch your dream home go unsold as the auctioneer declares it “passed in.”

But it’s not necessarily the end!

As a buyer’s agent, I’ve supported many clients in navigating the ups and downs of passed in auctions.

In this blog, I’ll share my insider tips to help you turn passed-in letdowns into fruitful opportunities.

What Does “Passed In” Actually Mean?

Imagine the lively bidding, the rush of adrenaline, and the final bang of the gavel…except it doesn’t come.

The auctioneer instead states the property is “passed in.” This anticlimax means bidding failed to reach the reserve price, so the auction was unsuccessful.

Why Do Property Auctions Get Passed In?

Like any relationship, the property sale requires alignment between seller expectations and buyer willingness. Common reasons property auctions get passed in include:

  • Unrealistic reserve price from the seller
  • Inadequate marketing falling short of the right buyers
  • General lack of interested bidders on the day

It’s a slight bruise to the ego for sellers. But keep your spirits up! Passed in at auction unlocks negotiation opportunities away from the lights and cameras of the auction stage.

Vendor: Regroup and Re-Strategize After a Passed In

If you are the owner trying to sell your property, first, reflect on why it passed in — were your expectations too high?

Did your marketing miss the mark? This introspection will help you recalibrate your approach.

Next, beeline for the highest bidder to pinpoint a sale price. Without the time pressures and audience of the auction, you can have deeper conversations to find an aligned price.

You can also reconsider a private sale process to cast a wider net for potential buyers.

Passed-in auctions are a nudge to refine your sales tactics, not a final failure.

Property Buyers: Leverage Your Power in Post-Passed In Negotiations

As the highest bidder, you now hold more cards to negotiate one-on-one with the seller. Here are tips to play your hand strategically:
  • Thoroughly research comparable sales and local pricing to know your number. You set the expectations now.
  • Determine your walk-away price, accounting for all costs. With insider intel, you have the upper hand.
  • Hire a buyer’s agent to eliminate emotions and anchor negotiations to market value objectively.
  • Be ready to walk away if the seller won’t align with your educated offer. The power dynamic has shifted in your favour.
With the right preparation and mindset adjustment, both sellers and buyers can turn passed-in letdowns into winners. Where others see failure, I see opportunity. And opportunity knocks loudest for those who listen.

The Bottom Line

Since more properties are being left without a buyer at auctions, understanding the intricacies of passed-in auctions is key to turning these nail-biting moments into fruitful opportunities.

As both a buyer and seller, knowledge is your power. Research the value, understand the auction process, and set realistic expectations. With the right preparation and mindset, you can confidently navigate the unpredictable waters of auctions.

So don’t view passed-in at auction as a failure but as an opening to strengthen your strategy and secure favourable deals. Maintain perspective, stick to your guns, and partner with a pro.

Are You Ready to Conquer Your Next Auction?

If you’re feeling uncertain about an upcoming auction, don’t go it alone. As an experienced buyer’s agent, I can provide the insider guidance needed to amplify your success.

Book a free consultation today to discuss your auction approach. Let’s ensure you don’t just survive your next auction but thrive!

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Connie Mastroianni is a licensed Buyer’s Agent and Vendor’s Advocate with a background in Colour and Design. With two decades of collaboration with Sydney’s top architects, builders, and developers, she offers unparalleled insights. Connie’s assertive negotiation style and vast experience make her an invaluable asset for buyers and sellers alike. Her empathetic approach, coupled with professional advice, ensures clients’ emotional and financial needs are met.

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