Santa? Already?

The bloke in the red suit has his dates mixed up. It’s still November and, right there under the tree, there are more presents than you can count.

Children, you must have been very, very good.

Some due to be opened just this week are:

… all of them EOIs. The interest will be in which are snatched up and which are left unwrapped.

Fast Movers

Private Auction, Private Fail?

Private auctions are on the increase, but are they working?

The acid test is a SOLD sign and we’re not seeing a whole lot of those.

One On One

More and more it’s coming down to just one (real) bidder and a post-auction negotiation.

Case in point: 3 Highgate Hill, Toorak.

Sold on Sat for a squeak over $4m. Not expensive for a Nic Bochsler.

Last Year’s Boxing Day Sale! Still!

Believe it or not there’s still a great big pile of presents, some of which have been on nobody’s gift list for more than a year. Including:

Peninsula Makes Waves

Seems like every second home is for sale – especially farmlets.

Are the banks tightening up?

“Underquoting not a problem.”

And you know that has to be true, because an agent said it.

Quite a big splash in last Friday’s Age lamenting “Underquoting accepted as the new norm”, revealing step-pricing and including some agent responses that really belong in the Comedy Festival.

“Sales agents denied step-pricing was a deliberate strategy to trick buyers. It was simply a case of keeping them up to date with offers and adjusting the price guide accordingly.”

Of course it is.

“We’re not valuers, we’re negotiators and marketers…”

… and we’re certainly not manipulators – we just throw in price indications for … well, for fun.

“Marshall White’s John Bongiorno said underquoting was not a problem.”

And that really sums up the suicidal path the agents are taking. At the time of writing there were 111 comments on the story – the vast majority spelling out the appalling ways agents have been treating buyers.

There are also close to seven thousand responses to a survey asking whether step pricing is a problem and only 11% of those say it isn’t.

This is no storm in a teacup that agents (and the REIV) can ignore, it’s their death-knell.

Is there any other industry that is so prepared to alienate its buyers while being threatened by a tech avalanche?

David Morrell

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