Registering to bid at auction

If you are bidding at an auction of residential or rural property in NSW, prior to the auction – usually on auction day – you’ll need to register your details with the selling agent. Your name, address and proof of identity will be registered in the Bidders Record.

You will need to show ID issued by government or a financial institution preferably showing your name and address on it such as a driver’s licence.

If you do not have this kind of proof of identity, you can use two documents that together show your name and address.  One must show your name and be issued by a government or financial institution, such as a passport or Medicare card, the other must show your address, such as a utilities bill or real estate rental agreement.

If you are bidding to buy the property jointly with another person, for example, a spouse or partner, only one of you needs to register.

Letter of authority to bid

If you are bidding on behalf of another person or a company, you’ll need to have written authorisation from them authorising you to bid on their behalf.

This letter is required to include the person’s name, address and the number on their proof of identity.  This applies if you are bidding on behalf of someone at the auction, on the telephone or online.

If you are bidding for a company the letter of authority must be on the company letterhead and the ABN will be recorded in the Bidders Record as the company’s proof of identity.

Your bidders number

After registration and before the auction you’ll be issued with a bidders number.  This number is usually written on a card which you will need to show the auctioneer when making a bid.  As soon as you have this card you are able to make a bid.

Registering for an auction does not mean you must bid. Registering simply gives you the right to bid.

Bidding at auction and confidentiality

Registering to bid at an auction can cause confidentiality issues for some buyers, especially if the agent is aware of your budget and circumstances.

One way to avoid this is to employ a buyers agent to do the bidding on your behalf, by issuing a strictly limited Power of Attorney. Under these circumstances your name does not need to go on the register – just the details of the buyers agent bidding on your behalf.

The terms of the Power of Attorney can be as specific and limited as you want, such as keeping it to a particular property on a set date, and also be subject to a separate document stating the bidding limit.

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