Trades & Services
Auctioneers conduct sales at which property or goods are sold to the person offering the highest purchase price.
Senior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does an Auctioneer do?
Auctioneers conduct sales at which property or goods are sold to the person offering the highest purchase price. Auctioneers may specialise in selling certain types of goods such as livestock, produce, real estate, vehicles, plant machinery and equipment, antiques and general household auctioneers may also specialise in online auctions.
As an auctioneer, you may perform the following tasks:
- check the property or articles for auction
- list items to be catalogued
- arrange placement of advertisements in newspapers, magazines and online
- organise the display of merchandise for inspection before the auction
- talk to vendors (sellers) to determine the lowest price at which the vendor is prepared to sell (the 'reserve price')
- read out the terms and conditions of sale at auctions and, if necessary, present relevant documents (such as zoning restrictions applying to real estate)
- answer questions to ensure the terms of sale are clear
- comment on any special features of the item being sold, call a starting price and ask for the first bid
- ask for bids and carefully adjust the amount by which bids are advanced until the item being sold goes 'under the hammer' to the highest bidder.
Key skills and interests
To become an auctioneer, you would need:
- excellent communication and presentation skills
- good maths skills
- good 'people skills' and the ability to negotiate
- the ability to show tact and diplomacy at all times
- good organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure
- an up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation.
Working hours and conditions
Auctioneers may work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.
Auctioneers may be required to travel to inspect property or merchandise, or to visit prospective clients. They usually stand on a platform during auctions so they can be clearly heard and seen by all the people present. They need to be thoroughly familiar with the property or goods they are offering for sale so they can recommend a realistic reserve price to vendors. Sometimes they work outdoors (for example, when involved in an auction of livestock or real estate auctioned on site).
A drivers' licence would be required.
How to become an Auctioneer?
Entry Level Education
You can work as an auctioneer without formal qualifications. You would get some on-the-job training. The Real Estate Institute in your State will offer an auctioneers' accreditation course for real estate practitioners who wish to specialise in auctioneering. The Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia also offers courses in auctioneering and valuation practice.
Depending on State legislation, auctioneers of goods may not need a licence. However, property and stock auctioneers must usually hold a licence issued by the relevant State Office of Fair Trading.
Auctioneers of dangerous or sensitive goods, such as firearms or live animals, may require additional licences.
Employment of auctioneers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The real estate market is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, and employment of real estate auctioneers will vary accordingly.