There are strict rules about how an auctioneer conducts an auction, and how attendees must behave. Penalties may apply to anyone who breaks these rules.
The auction rules and an information sheet that explains auction laws in Victoria must be displayed for at least 30 minutes before the auction starts. The rules and information sheet are set out in the Schedules to the Sale of Land (Public Auctions) Regulations 2014, which also set out the announcements an auctioneer must make.
Before bidding starts, the auctioneer must tell bidders:
- the auction will be conducted according to the auction rules
- the rules prohibit bids being accepted after the fall of the hammer
- bidders will be identified on request
- it is against the law to make a false bid, hinder another bidder, or in any way intentionally disrupt an auction
- substantial penalties apply to anyone who engages in illegal auction conduct
- whether or not there will be vendor or co-owner bids
- any additional conditions that apply to the auction.
During the auction, anyone can ask the auctioneer a reasonable number of questions about the property, the contract, or the auction.
The auctioneer may:
- refuse a bid at any time during the auction, including when the auction hammer is falling
- if there is a dispute over a bid, resume the auction at the last undisputed bid or start the bidding again
- refer a bid to you at any time before the conclusion of the auction
- withdraw the property from sale at any time.