Saturday, 30 May 2009

House Auction!

I first saw a house auction on Neighbours, when I was still at primary school. It seemed an intriguing way to buy and sell a house, so different from the UK.

Some of the Aussie's I met while working in London were adamant it was a better system than the UK. Immediately after the auction contracts are signed, a deposit paid and there can be no backing out or gazumping.

Today a house in the street I am currently living was auctioned for sale, so I went along to have a look. Viewings had previously taken place so there wasn't much of an opportunity to look around. Your name and phone number are taken when on arrival. If you want to bid you have to further register with the auctioneer, provide a proof of identity and get given a bidding number.

Before the auction could start there were some legal notices that had to be read out about the mechanics of the auction and contracts. A description of the property also had to be provided.

And then we were to the action!! I was hoping for fireworks, two (or more bidders) slugging it out and the price dramatically rising by hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was going to have to sit on my hands to prevent myself from getting carried away in the excitement and bidding myself on a house I didn't want.

In the end it turned out to be a damp squib. The auctioneer had to cajole an opening bid from the assembled crowd and there we sat. No one else was biting. The auctioneer then placed a vendor bid (which I think was effectively placing a reserve on the property) and that was that.

It goes to sealed bids on Monday and if the vendor doesn't like any of those he either has to take it off the market or re-advertise for a second auction.

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