Is it worth auctioning your property on a long weekend?

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The wheel never stops turning in the world of real estate, and it’s no different when it comes to a long weekend. Less properties are auctioned on a long weekend, but this isn’t because vendor’s are worried buyers will be putting a weekend away ahead of bidding on the house they’ve been dreaming of during the previous three weeks of the sales campaign. Serious buyers will show up regardless – rain or shine. The only buyers vendors miss out on, are the odd few who are brave enough to bid after one inspection on the day of auction – and buyers like that are not thick on the ground (especially in a flat market).

The main reason sales agents don’t encourage auctions on a long weekend, is simply publicity. The auction day is one of the best advertising tools an agent has. It’s not so much the ‘vendor’s’ day in the sun, rather it’s the real estate agency’s ‘day in the sun’! It’s their chance to fly the flags and let all the neighbours – who have naturally wandered out to watch the performance – know that their street is the best street in Melbourne, and when they decide to sell; the auctioneer’s agency is the one to choose!

The agent gets to collect numerous names and numbers of anyone who’s turned up to watch and feed them directly into their database. Therefore, if auctioning on a long weekend, less spectators show up, and their advertising won’t be as prominent as any normal Saturday. Hence the reason poorer listings – the properties that don’t quite tick the ‘stand out in a crowd’ box – are usually the ones chosen to fill in the gap, reserving the better stock for other weekends.

Despite only 160 properties scheduled for auction, we were still busy with buyers and attended 5 auctions from Thornbury to Clayton.

SOLD under the hammer

32 Bewdley St, Ormond

32 Bewdley St, Ormond. Quoted at 560-610K there was no doubt this property would attract attention. Offering an ideal chance for a family to get a foot in the door in the much sort after McKinnon school zone, this 2 bedroom Art Deco ‘one of a pair’ offered a lot of potential, and as expected, attracted a large crowd despite the long weekend. Opening on a vendor bid of 580K, three bidders immediately got involved. It didn’t take long before it reached its pre-set reserve of 640K – however the pace didn’t slow. The winning couple looked as if they had plenty more to give, hardly pausing to take a glance at each other as the price climbed higher. It sold under the hammer for 684K. Worth ‘mid 600K’ this was a top of the range result in the current market conditions.

211 Gooch St, Thornbury

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, 211 Gooch St, Thornbury, was also performing well. Opening on a genuine bid of 600K, 2 bidders took to the platform pushing the price up in 10k increments until $660K where it slowed to $2,500 increments. However the price needed to get to $685K before it was announced on the market, and at this point, the second bidder had reached his limit. It sold under the hammer for the ‘on market’ price of $685,000.

Passed in on a genuine bid and sold via negotiation

29 Dromana Ave, Bentleigh East

29 Dromana Ave, Bentleigh East – The Bentleigh market tends to perform well all year round and so far this year it hasn’t disappointed. It’s recorded a healthy 6.4% rise in house prices over the first quarter. However Bentleigh East doesn’t always perform as well. Located further from the train station, interest is often diminished unless the property is a stand out – and this property is a good example. A completely renovated 4 bedroom 2 bathroom single level town residence, it attracted families needing space, but not able to afford a ‘full block’. Quoted at 560K – 610K the auction opened with a vendor bid of 560K and took a good while – including getting out the way the traditional ‘half time break’ before buyers were willing to show a hand. The auctioneer wasn’t all that happy with the small 5K increments the three bidders were offering, however he graciously accepted that it was going at least in the right direction, although announced loudly at $600K that this was the level it should have started at in the first place! At 610K – still not on the market – the property passed in. It was later negotiated for 630K – good buying for the accommodation on offer.

Passed in Vendor Bid

11/27 Beena Ave, Carnegie

11/27 Beena Ave, Carnegie – It possibly wasn’t the best weekend for the vendor to auction a small one bedroom property facing the rail line – and the handful of people who turned up were evidence of this. Opening on a vendor bid of 270K, the auctioneer could sense the lack of interest, and only took a few minutes working the ‘crowd’ before passing it in with a yet undecided reserve.

2/46 Kionga St, Clayton

2/46 Kionga Street Clayton. An entertaining auction during which the agent put on a fine performance in the style of a rather poor comedian! He tried to convince the crowd ‘Kionga’ was aboriginal for ‘strong capital growth’ – (although it didn’t get much of a laugh, especially from the lady stood next to me in green slippers – obviously a neighbour!). The auction opened on a vendor bid of 340K with the agent calling for 20K increments. With no one harking to his request he placed another vendor bid of 360K. This time he tried his luck at calling for 10K increments once again with no success! Not to be put off however, he came back with a 3rd vendor bid of 380K. This time he asked for 5K increments. Still not sensing a bargain, no one raised a hand – in fact you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife! So, holding up two fingers in the fashion of V for victory, the agent asked for ‘2 minutes’ whilst ‘seeking instructions from the vendor’. He returned a little later than the 2 minutes promised, only to tell the crowd he’d been instructed to place yet another vendor bid of 390K! Whether he was going for a record in vendor’s bids, I can’t tell you, however despite four being placed, the result was recorded as passed in on normal bid. The reserve is yet to be decided.

Catherine Cashmore

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