It is difficult when you have found two properties that you like and they are both on different timelines. Especially if one is for sale by private treaty and the other by auction in a few weeks.
The temptation is to think that the private treaty property will be more straightforward since there is an asking price. However these can attract competition also and you might find there are many offers on the table at the one time. This will put a time pressure on, particularly if the selling agent has issued a deadline for best offers.
While auctions may appear scary due to the unknown factor of where the final bid will end up, the great benefit of this method for the buyer is that you know exactly what your competition is prepared to pay. In a blind auction, as can transpire with a private treaty sale, a buyer has to decide whether to believe what the agent is telling them regarding other offers – assuming the agent even discloses what they are!
Back to the timing dilemma. It comes down to a toss up between letting the first property go in the hope of getting the second one, or grabbing the first one and losing the opportunity of buying the second. Or you could simultaneously make an offer on the first and also make a pre-auction bid on the second. But what if you get a “yes” to both? There is no right answer. It comes down to which property suits you better, the affordability of each, being honest about the probability of securing the second property and, finally how risk averse you are.