Negotiate to bring it home

Published on 16/07/2012


Nearly half the properties auctioned in Melbourne these days are being passed in, which is forcing buyers to improve their negotiation skills.


The critical role that negotiation can play in snaring a good deal was highlighted yesterday at the auction of a three-bedroom weatherboard cottage at 19 Lee Street, Flemington.


Marston Cook passed in the renovated house to the only bidder, buyer’s advocate Melissa Opie of Keyhole Property Investments, for $800,000, despite the agent posting a vendor bid of $810,000. Ms Opie said she was later told the reserve price had been cut by $10,000 to $840,000. She eventually bought the property on behalf of an investor for $820,000.


”In a good market, the property would have got $900,000,” Ms Opie said. ”It’s important to try to understand the vendor’s motivation and to be prepared to walk away.”


Agent Glen Coutinho, who last week opened a new RT Edgar office in Boroondara, expected to pass in at least one of the three units he auctioned yesterday at 95 Manningtree Road, Hawthorn. But 200 people, including six bidders, turned out and the units sold under the hammer for a combined $1.475 million, about $125,000 above reserve.


Warehouse conversions continue to pull young buyers. Five bidders zeroed in on a two-bedroom warehouse unit at 4/105 Neill Street, Carlton, quoted at $550,000-$600,000. Nicholas West, of Nelson Alexander, said the property was on the market at $590,000 and sold under competition for $631,000. He said single young female buyers were particularly strong in the inner-city at present.


Anthony Gattuso, of AG Property, passed in an unrenovated brick cottage at 457 Station Street, Carlton North, for $800,000. It drew three bidders and sold after to an investor for $830,000. ”In the inner-city, we are bucking the trend,” Mr Gattuso said. ”The Carlton-Fitzroy-North-Fitzroy area is sought by people seeking a quality investment or lifestyle.”

Chris Tolhurst

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