I WENT to my very first property auction last night and let me tell you – it was a frightening experience.
I‘m not in the market to buy anything, mind you. But local properties values seem to be (finally) increasing, and there are a lot of homes in my neighbourhood for sale at the moment, including one in my street.
So, I went along to the auction for more of a sticky beak than anything else.
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Thank God I wasn’t planning to bid, because I don’t think I could have managed it.
As soon as I fronted up to the auction, staged at an office suite inside the Titans stadium, I felt like my ‘tyre kicker’ status was pretty well obvious to all and sundry.
To begin with, I was the only one wearing jeans in a sea of corporate suits and office attire. I guess most people had come straight from work, and I guess it doesn’t hurt to dress for success when you’re planning to drop several hundred thousand dollars on a piece of real estate.
Lesson learned. If I ever venture back to an auction scene down the track, I’ll dress for the occasion.
My next clue was the fact that I was virtually invisible. Over a dozen very professionally presented agents flitted about the room, talking up property features and making small talk with potential buyers, but none of them came near me.
Maybe they could smell my fear?
It’s actually a good thing that they left me alone, because if anyone had approached me I don’t think I would have been able to shake their hand, lest my arm moving was accidentally interpreted as a bid.
Instead, I perched myself in the second row, next to an elderly woman who was madly scribbling notes about each property into her little auction booklet.
Hmm. I guess next time I should also bring a pen, so I can at least play the part of someone who may be taking this seriously.
Once the auction got underway, my heart inexplicably began racing. It’s the same feeling you get when the police pull you over, and even though you haven’t been drinking or speeding, you instantly panic. But it’s a thrilling kind of panic.
That’s how I felt – panicked, but also buzzed.
Well, for two properties, at least. There were eight on the program, but I could only squirm nervously through the first two before fleeing back to the safety of my car. There, I scratched my ear, yawned and stretched, without fretting that I was accidentally bidding on a cheeky two-bedroom duplex with ducted air.
Next time, I might just ask my neighbour how much they sold for.
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