The One That Got Away

This Saturday just gone I had four auctions. That’s right. FOUR.

They were all over the place – in Elsternwick, Toorak, Brunswick and Heidelberg. I had to ask one of my colleagues to assist me because the travel time would have prevented me from attending one.

Each of the auctions had one thing in common – they all sold under the hammer. Bidding was strong, fast and shared between multiple buyers, not just two. In every case I appraised and understood recent comparable sales in the area.

However, there was one property that surprised everyone – 116 Buckingham Drive in Heidelberg.

“What was it about this property that took us all by surprise?”

I missed out on this property, and not just by a small margin, but by a margin so great I didn’t even place a bid.

So what was it about this property that took us all by surprise?

The Property’s Drawcards

For starters, the streetscape was fantastic. Leafy, hilly, quiet and neat as a pin. Every homeowner in the street was house-proud and the neighbourhood emerged with friendly cheer despite the rain coming in sideways.

Secondly, the home had an incredible vista from the yard, the rear living space and the kitchen. Banyule Flats Wetland, Yarra walking trails and some of Melbourne’s prettiest rural-in-metro views were on offer for the lucky buyers. 

The fact that it was within the Viewbank Secondary College zone also couldn’t be ignored.

But the real drawcard was the size of the home. With four bedrooms, a large study, two bathrooms and large living areas, it could cater to growing families, young families, teenagers and even multi-generational family units.

The Auction

The bidding started off well considering the weather had turned for the worse. Brad Pearce from Miles Real Estate strode out with the auction bell.

The street was filled with cars parked nose-to-tail on either side. I did a rough head count and came up with 130 attendees. In a sea of umbrellas, the crowd was a sight to behold.

Four bidders jumped in early, but it was the final two who created a great show. A young couple edged to their pre-discussed limit and then continued to stretch beyond. The competing bidder, an older man with his wife by his side, placed strong, fast and consistent bids and was obviously confident enough to look like he meant business.

Whether he was bidding for a son or a daughter, or bidding for himself, it was hard to tell.

What I did notice was the moment he reached his comfort limit. An inexperienced bidder may not have picked up on this, but I did. At $1.23 million, bidding was in $500 and $1000 increments.

“At $1.23 million, bidding was in $500 and $1000 increments.”

Brad skilfully teased out every single dollar from the younger couple. He called the “third and final call” phrase at least twenty times, always pausing to ask the younger couple if they could go an extra $500.

He asked them if they could face further weekends of inspections or evenings in front of Each bid elicited pained expressions, careful deliberations and gasps from the crowd, and the auction continued for a further ten minutes.

The older bidder expressed his frustration with the drawn out final calls, obviously forgetting that the auctioneer was working for the vendor.

The Final Result

Had the younger couple read their competitor’s body language better, they may have snagged the property with a slam bid of $1.24 million, instead of dribbling out bids in tiny increments.

But they didn’t, and he won the auction on a final bid of $1.24 million.

With no local recent sales to support such a result, all I could conclude was that it only takes two emotional bidders to drive up a great auction result. This was certainly the case for 116 Buckingham Drive.

For more information about Heidelberg, read our suburb profile here.

Points of Interest in Heidelberg, Postcode 3084

Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE
Warringal Shopping Centre
Austin Health
Banyule City Council

About the Author

Cate Bakos is an independent buyers advocate and qualified property investment advisor and has proudly been a property investor for 17 years. Cate has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry (Hons), Certificate 4 in Property Services (Real Estate), a Certificate 4 in Financial Services (Mortgage Broking). She is also a licensed real estate and a Qualified Property Investment Advisor accredited by Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

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