Auctions are being increasingly used as a method of selling houses in Brisbane. Despite the fact that many houses are being advertised for sale before auction day, Domain Group data show that only a handful of them are being sold before the auction.

According to buyers’ agent Zoran Solano of Hot Property Specialists Buyers Agency, pre-auction offers are sometimes not what they seem to be.

“It’s something that you have to be very cautious of,” he said. “The agents could just be feeling out the market and getting the market interest to establish where the market sits, or they could use the buyer’s offer to educate the seller to bring them down off their high expectations in the lead up to the auction day.”

Selling by auction has several advantages, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. These include having the opportunity to sell the property before auction, on the day of the auction, or directly after the auction. The reserve price and settlement date are also geared to suit the seller.

Though it is tricky to ascertain whether a seller is genuinely open to pre-auction offers, there are strategies to securely land a property.

“If you’re going to submit an offer, you’ve really got to do it that first week of the campaign. Do your own research, your own homework, and come up with a price range that you’re comfortable with,” Solano said.

Submitting a low-ball offer might also work well for the buyer as they are not giving away their price positions.

“Sometimes I like to put a little bit of a low offer in pre-auction, or a conservative offer in because they may take it and if you don’t try, you just don’t know,” Solano said. “Putting a conservative pre-auction offer in can actually have a lot of merit in some situations.”