The Joys Of The Lonely Bidder


Week in, week out there are prognosications about what “the” market is doing. Most prove to be about as useful as fortune telling: generalised opinions around the obvious.

It may be that no man is an island, but many properties are markets unto themselves. There is no “the” market.

Which brings us to lonely bidders. Those who create their own Market of One.

Last seen at 44 Mathoura Road, sold to a lonely bidder post-auction for a little over $4 million.

There’s a fair bit of that about, suggesting that prognoses of runaway markets are, at least at the top end, living more in hope than reality.

Unique Matters

14 Mercer Road, Needs millions, but has the goods and buyers could see that. Stiff competition took it to a slightly over-weighted $6.1 million and that just shows what lack of choice can do.

222 Esplanade West, Port Melbourne. Expectations in the mid-2s and five hands-a-waving took it close to a three. No holds barred.

3/22 Grange Road. Good apartment, close to the Village. Quoted at early 2’s and sold for $2,780,000. High, but value.

Malvern. It’s the price, people.

4 Mayfield Avenue. Passed in. Enough said.

69 Coppin Street. Supposed to be a runaway with a MEL Cup field of buyers in pursuit. Quoted at early 2s, a vendor bid of 2.3 and now offered privately at 2.9.

Pardon? Who is kidding whom?

(This was previously reported as 23 Coppin Street. Right comments, wrong address. Apologies for the error.)

40 Thanet Street. Quoted early 3s, two bidders, passed in at 3.4. Now has a “Guide Price” of 3.975?


Game Scores

Lots of different games being played and, even by different branches of the one agency, by different rules.

What’s popular:

  • Underquote

    Always entertaining. Still on, still amazing that the umpires seem to have no clue.

  • Overquote

    More often played out of the public view where the champions play their vendors’ expectations to the skies – right up to the time when they start to condition them to the reality they knew would rule all along.

  • Offer Drop

    Another great hidden game. Don’t pass on an offer or change it so much that the vendor won’t accept. Keep playing until an offer is received (usually involving another listing) that works for the agent.

  • Impossible Offer

    The offer made that no vendor will accept. A key part of the game of Soften Up.

  • Play Dummy

    Still an all-time favourite. Must be seen (regularly) to be believed.

  • Looming Dummy 

    Inventive new game being played by one agency. Well-dressed couple looms obviously at auctions and never makes a bid. In post-auction negotiations, expect to be told the Loomers are ready to buy if the reserve isn’t met. Look for mid-40’s, designer sunglasses, but not for long. A disguise change is due.

Top End Trends by email

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AFR Seal of Approval

17 years after we introduced buyers’ advocacy to Australia, the Australian Financial Review reports that one in three investment property buyers is now using or considering using an advocate.

We will resist the urge to embarrass Ian Carmichael of Bennison Mackinnon by noting that it was he who said it could never work.

Hi, Ian.

David Morrell

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