Going to your first auction is a bit like going to your first footy match. It’s exciting, there’s plenty of rough and tumble, and invariably someone will go home disappointed. There’s also a lot of auction speak, or as first-timers often call it: gobbledegook.
To footy fans, ‘Specky’, ‘Collywobbles’ and ‘BALL!!’ are all common slang terms used to describe a type of mark, a team’s likelihood to choke during finals, and a (not always polite) reminder to the umpire to call holding-the-ball. However, to the first-timer, it can sound like the crowd is describing a type of speckled migratory bird, a cauliflower and jelly dessert, or a statement of fact regarding the instrument with which the game is played. Naturally, this can be somewhat confusing.
Auctions are no different. When it comes to auction speak, things can get complicated, fast. In this article, we will decipher some common auction speak phrases, and will explain what they mean for first-time buyers.
Auction speak you need to know
1. ‘I will only accept rises of $20,000 or larger’
Typically means that there is a long way to go before the property’s reserve is met.
Think of this as the first quarter. Both teams are just starting out and they’re eager to get some points on the board. You’ll likely see some big plays around this time.
2. ‘I will accept raises of $1000’
Means that bidding has slowed. Also that the reserve has been met or isn’t far off from being met.
This is the fourth quarter. The final siren is approaching and both teams are neck and neck. They’ll push hard to get that game-winning goal (or point).
‘Gazump’ sounds like a word used to describe the expression one makes when they discover that both the Oxford and Cambridge Dictionary list ‘gazump’ as a legitimate word.
To use it in a sentence: The realisation that gazump is not a nonsense term born out of back-alley slang, and is, in fact, a certified part of the English language, left me feeling gazumped.
In actual fact, ‘gazumping’ refers to when a vendor accepts a second (higher) offer after they have already accepted a first (lower) offer.
To use it in a sentence: The trio were fuming after being gazumped by the property speculator.
4. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please wait here while I refer the bid’
Often means that bidding has slowed and that the reserve is a long way off. The auctioneer will explain this to the vendor and will discuss whether to lower the reserve.
Keep an ear out for this one, it means you may be able to catch a bargain.
5. ‘Vendor bid’
Let’s return to our footy analogy. A ‘vendor bid’ is to an auction crowd what a coach’s (pre or half-time) peptalk is to an underdog team, albeit with less shouting.
A vendor bid is a bid placed by the vendor (seller) to either start or stimulate bidding. It’s the vendor’s way of saying to interested parties: if you want this property you’ll have to go higher.
In other words, you’ve got kick more goals and get bigger numbers on the board, if you want to take home this game/property.
6. ‘We are playing for keeps’ or ‘the house is on the market’
Both of these terms usually mean that the reserve has been met and that the house will sell to the highest bidder.
This is the time for the final quarter comeback or the last minute at-the-siren goal. If you hear these terms, get in quick, because it means it’s almost game over.
7. ‘This property will be sold today’
This can mean one of two things. One, the reserve has not been met and the auctioneer is attempting to bolster interest. Two, the reserve has been met and the house will, in fact, sell that day. You’ll have to use your judgement to determine which is the case.
8. ‘There’s real value here’
Ask a diehard Carlton fan about how their team has been going this year. They’ll probably tell you that while their performance hasn’t been great, they are a young team with a new coach. They’ll say this season is really a warm up for the coming years. Or they’ll talk a lot about potential. An auctioneer saying ‘there’s real value here’ is a bit like that. They’re saying that interest in this property is low but there is real potential (perhaps for a bargain).
Auctions can be overwhelming at first. Like Aussie football, the argy bargy of the game can deter first-timers. But also like footy, there are rules and common lingos.
Take the time to learn the rules and the language and you’ll soon find yourself cheering with the best of them. You and your team won’t win every game, but you’ll always do your best.
Author: Mark Ribarsky and the team and Wise Real Estate Advice. To find out how you could benefit from an experienced buying agent, visit the Wise Real Estate Advice website.