Some of the terms you might hear in an auction include:


The reserve price is the price that the vendor and agent agree will be the minimum acceptable selling price at an auction. if the vendor does not set a reserve, the property is on the market from the first bid.

On the market

A bidder may ask “is it in the market?”, the auctioneer may announce “we are on the market”. When coming from a buyer it means has the bidding reached the reserve and when coming from the auctioneer it means that the reserve has now been met or exceed by the bidding and the property will be sold.

Unconditional Exchange

At the fall of the hammer the buyer is required to pay the deposit and sign the contract. There is no cooling off period and the buyer cannot remove themselves from the sale at this point without incurring financial penalties.

Absentee bidder

A bidder who is not present at the auction. They may be on the phone through a friend or family member or represented by a buyers agent.

Registered bidder

Any person wishing to make a bid to buy at auction must be registered according to legislation. A bid cannot be taken from a non registered bidder. A bidder registered with the agent selling the property just prior to the start of the auction.

Opening bid

The first bid made in the auction by a registered bidder.

Vendors bid

a bid made on behalf of the vendor by the auctioneer and announced as such. The auctioneer can only make one bid for the vendor.


The owner of the property.

Penny Hyde is a buyer’s agent with a wealth of experience and awards in the local and national real estate industry. Auction day representation is one of Penny’s specialities so if buying at auction still sounds like something you would like to avoid, let Penny do the bidding for you. Visit to learn more.

About The Author

Penny Hyde

Penny is a multi-award winning real estate agent who has over 10 years of experience in Canberra Real Estate. The Penny Hyde Agency works exclusively with time poor, or inexperienced property buyers to help them take the journey from open home, to owner.

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