Should I hire a buyer's agent? Ask Margaret

Should I hire a buyer's agent? Ask Margaret
Should I hire a buyer's agent? Ask Margaret


There is a property I'm interested in is going to an auction while I'm travelling interstate. What's involved in engaging a professional to bid for us and sign the paperwork on our behalf?

I looked into a few buyer's agents but they were after 1% commission, which I believe is way too much just for bidding on the day. I have done my own research so don't need this as part of the service it's purely the bidding.

Also what's involved in signing the paperwork if we are not physically present, could this be done electronically or via fax?

Thanks for your assistance.



Margaret's answer is on the next page. Please click below.

Dear Katie,

Having someone else bid for you on auction day is becoming more and more common these days, with people either telephoning in bids and having them presented by someone else, or appointing someone else to bid for them either in their presence or when they cannot attend the auction themselves.

In your case, you have done all of your research and so you should find someone you can trust to attend on the day and make the bids.  Depending upon how skilled you think they may be, you might want to phone your nominated person when the auction starts and make the bids yourself, using that person to simply present your bids.  If you are not available to do this, be sure that you carefully coach the person on how much you would like to pay and what your upper limit is.

While you can appoint someone else to bid for you, be careful when it comes to signing on your behalf. Although there is a nominee clause in all contracts, this can result in double stamp duty being paid when the contract passes from the nominee to you, and this can be very expensive.

The person bidding on your behalf must give the auctioneer written authority from you before the auction starts. You will need to furnish them with a letter which includes your name, address and details of proof of identity, such as your driver's licence or passport.

It also needs to contain an acknowledgement that the person on whose behalf bids are made has been given a copy of the conditions that are applicable in respect to the sale, and has seen a  copy of the contract.

If your bid is successful, and depending upon the state you are buying in, either the auctioneer can sign the contract on your behalf, or you may wish to have a power of attornery granted to your representative prior to the auction.  In some states a power of attorney can be 'limited', where you provide a power of attorney for a single instance, such as bidding at a particular auction.  These powers of attorney forms can usually be downloaded from the internet from the government department in your state.

Kind regards


Have a property question?  Ask Margaret!

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas is a best-selling author and writes and hosts the popular Property Success With Margaret Lomas and Your Money, Your Call, both on Sky News. She is the founder of Destiny.

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