If you've never participated in an online property auction and you'd like to know how to get started, there are several strategies that you should be aware of which could assist you. These strategies can help you make the right purchase, avoid going over budget and can even help you win a bidding war.
Know What You Want
The type of property you buy will vary depending on whether or not you're hoping to flip a home, rent it out or live in it. For example, if you're hoping to flip a home, you'll be looking for a property that has a low cost but great potential. You may be looking for a property with cosmetic damage and some necessary repairs.
If you're hoping to rent out a property, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the renter's market in your area so you can purchase a property that will be desirable to your target tenants. Do your research and make a list of features that you'll be looking for in a property. Knowing what you're looking for will enable you to filter out the properties that are less desirable and prevent you from becoming distracted as you search.
Investigate Before the Auction
Remember that many auctioned properties are sold as is. This means that you'll want to investigate each property thoroughly before making a purchase. Take a tour of each property that interests you, and have properties inspected by experts. Familiarize yourself with the local schools and neighborhoods surrounding each property to ensure that the property will meet your specific needs (or the needs of your future buyers or renters).
Many people who are experienced with online property auctions wait until the last few minutes of the last day to start serious bidding on the property of their choice. Mark your calendar or set your watch for the last day of auction for your desired property. On the last day, you may find that bids on your property have already exceeded your budget. If this is the case, move on to the next property. If not, then start bidding when the auction is about to close. Pay close attention, because counter-bids are likely to happen quickly.
Many online services add time to the close of auction if a new person bids in the last several seconds. This gives time for other bidders to counter. Waiting until the end of each new deadline can drag the close of auction out for hours, which may work to your advantage. As time goes on, competition may lose interest or motivation, which leaves you free to take the property of your choice.
As you become more experienced, you'll develop more strategies for finding the right property and winning online property auctions. These tips will help you get started. Good luck, and happy bidding!