You're just bought the house of your dreams. It's a 3,217 sqft Queen Anne beauty on a street lined with giant old maples and pines. After the movers leave and you have placed your furniture and hung your pictures, you notice how the halls echo and many rooms are practically empty; what to do? Head to an auction !
The Quinte and Prince Edward regions abound with excellent auctions from early spring til late fall. Many auctions are held on site at old homesteads. As you prepare to go to your first auction, it's a good idea to pack a folding chair (for sitting under the old apple tree and visiting with people you haven't seen in ages), cool drinks and snacks, a little 'auction booklet', a good pen or two, a HAT(make it a big wide-brimmed one to keep off the burning mid-day rays), sunscreen, bug repellant AND an umbrella (preferably without a pointy end ~ you don't want to be accidentally poking Mr. Migilicutty in the eyeball when the bidding reaches a fever pitch !) .
If you are interested in fragile items such as china or ornaments/collectables, bring plenty of packing material such as paper for wrapping fine items and a few boxes. It is also a good idea to pack some old blankets/sheets and some rope to wrap up any furniture in, prior to moving it.
To avoid coming home with an SUV packed to the rim with stuff you'll never use in a million years, or having to call up your brother in law with the F-150 extendacab and all of his friends to come and pick up the beautiful old piano that has been left in a damp shed for 40 years yet you couldn't resist buying it because the auctioneer PRACTICALLY gave it to you), read the auction list (of items that will be sold) ahead of time . Make a preliminary list of items that are of interest to you.
Once you have your list, make a preliminary decision on how much each item is WORTH TO YOU. By this I mean, how badly do you really need/want it in your life or home. Write this amount next to each item.
By doing the above 'prep' work , you will not only keep within your budget when auction fever hits, you will also avoid coming home with stuff you don't need. Instead, you will come home with items that you have predetermined have a place in your century home and which you have purchased at a price that fits your decorating budget.
Bring this list with you !! This is what your 'auction booklet' is for.
Plan to arrive at the auction at least 45 minutes before the bidding is scheduled to start. With your handy 'auction booklet' in hand, sunscreen protecting your skin, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses protecting your head and eyes, begin to search out each item on your list. Do not get distracted by other objects that catch your eye. Time is precious and the bidding will begin before you know it. You mean business and are here for a purpose !
When you come across an item from your list, examine it closely. Is it a reproduction or is it the genuine article ?
Is it in good condition or are there hairline cracks or chips that you wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pre-inspected?
Has an old harvest table from your list been repaired over the years in a manner that is not in keeping with the period in which it was made?
As you go through your list and inspect each item, make price adjustments in your auction booklet. Determine and RECORD the HIGHEST amount you will be willing to bid on that item should an auction war start.
This will stop you from getting caught up in bidding fever and overpaying for an item. Some items from your list you will get well within your price limit. Others you will miss out on as someone else bids higher than you. At least when you leave for the day, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you came prepared and got some excellent deals.
When the bidding for one of your items starts, let a few other people bid first. Get an idea of how many competitors you are going to have for this item.If you feel you have a good chance at attaining this item within your price limit, jump in the game. Consult your auction booklet and keep the price that you have PRE-DETERMINED in mind as you are bidding.
Oh. The auction is about to start. Find a good spot in the crowd and get ready. May you find all the treasures of your dreams, and not catch buyer's remorse by overpaying or buying things you really don't want or need.
Happy bidding !
Interested in historical sites, heritage properties and antiques? Read more at the Active Rain 'Heritage Properties, Historic Sites and Antiques.' Group