Auction angst on the rise as bidders miss out

Katrina Condie 16 June 2021 17
LJ Hooker real estate agent Stephen Bunday

LJ Hooker Dickson real estate agent Stephen Bunday says people need to keep their emotions in check when bidding at auction. Photo: LJ Hooker.

Emotions are running high at property auctions across Canberra, and Real Estate Institute ACT CEO Michelle Tynan is encouraging buyers to remain calm and accept that they may not secure the home of their dreams at auction.

She said a recent incident where an auctioneer and agent were verbally abused by an underbidder after missing out on a sale was a rare occurrence.

However, Ms Tynan said buyers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the current market and the auction process can exacerbate their emotional response when the result is not what they had hoped for.

“People need to take five deep breaths and calm themselves down,” she said.

“If people miss out on the home of their dreams, it’s human nature to want to lash out, but they should be respectful to agents and auctioneers who are just doing their job.

“Unfortunately, not everyone gets the outcome they would like.”

That was the case on 8 May when Stephen Bunday from LJ Hooker Dickson took an Ainslie home to auction.

Mr Bunday said just as auctioneer Kaylene King slammed down the gavel, a bidder shouted out a higher offer, causing confusion.

“It was simultaneous,” he said. “Kaylene had called the sale three times and just as the hammer fell, a bid came from the right.

“We went inside and spoke to the owner who agreed to reopen the auction because it was determined by the auctioneer to be a disputed bid.”

Mr Bunday said the underbidders were offered another chance to bid, but declined.

“I can understand they were gutted and in shock because they had watched the hammer go down and thought they had purchased the property,” he said.

“But when we tried to explain that to reopen the auction was within the legislation, they just lost it and walked away, saying it was disgusting.

“They were really angry and felt like they had been ripped off. The whole thing was so ugly.”

Ms Tynan agreed Mr Bunday and Ms King made the correct decision based on the Terms and Conditions of Auction Sale.

“In this instance, the auctioneer went above and beyond, explaining the terms and conditions prior to auction, and people had agreed to bid under those conditions,” said Ms Tynan.

“When the gavel fell, it was a disputed bid so they no longer had a highest bidder.

“The auctioneer’s decision to reopen the auction and accept the higher bid was final.

“The underbidder refused to bid again so therefore the property was sold to the highest bidder. It was correct – they did the right thing.”

Ms Tynan said the terms and conditions are in place so buyers and sellers can understand how auctions work.

She said if people are serious about buying a property at auction, they should stand front and centre where the auctioneer can see them.

“Don’t stand at the back and hide, waiting until the last minute to bid,” she added.

If buyers are feeling stressed and emotional, Ms Tynan said they can choose to engage a buyers’ agent to do the hard work for them.

She also said attending ‘practice auctions’ before going to the auction of the property people want to buy can help.

“I say to a lot of people who are contemplating entering the market to attend auctions to see what happens because this can prepare them for what lies ahead.”

Ms Tynan said all around Australia buyers are letting their emotions take over, becoming frustrated and sometimes angry, and often bidding well in excess of their approved limit because they are so focused on getting a particular property.

Mr Bunday said real estate agents don’t want to upset anyone. He added the Ainslie auction incident left him and Ms King feeling “lousy”.

“It was really awful when it should have been a happy occasion,” he said.


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17 Responses to Auction angst on the rise as bidders miss out
Tim Gardner Tim Gardner 6:32 pm 20 Jun 21

Agents are not being fair in this current market, I know of 2 sales in 2 weeks that the asking price was accepted, then the agent comes back and says no sale and either puts it to auction or ups the asking price..bloody unprofessional.

russianafroman russianafroman 8:32 pm 19 Jun 21

BUILD MORE HOMES.

Philip Tan Philip Tan 8:22 pm 19 Jun 21

Good on the agents! Some people need to wake up and realise Australia is a capitalist society foremost. Whoever brings more $ to the seller WINS!

Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:21 pm 18 Jun 21

“In Spain loans for your own home is tax deductible”

I think only the interest component would be tax deductible.

Net medical/chemist expenses and children’s education used to be income tax deductible in Australia.

Frank Nesci Frank Nesci 2:43 pm 18 Jun 21

It would be great if Riot Act reached out to people at the auction in question. There was more than just the buyers that thought the agents actions were not fair and equitable. It’s definitely not a level playing field and the agents are driving the angst.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:12 pm 17 Jun 21

A similar thing happened to me at an auction just across the border in NSW. The vendor put in a bid after the hammer fell and the auctioneer informed me that although the vendor’s bid was “late” it nullified my bid but as I was the highest bidder I could now “negotiate” to increase my offer.

I declined to have anything more to do with the scam they were running. The second highest bidder then ended up buying the property for much less than I bid. Go figure that!

Elyse Albrecht Elyse Albrecht 12:42 pm 17 Jun 21

Caleb Albrecht lol apparently you can win an auction even after the hammer goes down 🤷🏼‍♀️

Jose Vega Jose Vega 12:10 pm 17 Jun 21

In Spain loans for your own home is tax deductible.... Investment loans are not... Majority live in their own home.

Robert Chisholm Robert Chisholm 8:12 pm 16 Jun 21

Are the ones winning the auctions developers, property portfolio holders using the equity on their other properties or what. Certainly the average buyer has no hope in this market. Two house in the street I live in went to auction. One in a very bad state of repair, but both sold for $650,000+. The valuations for same when I was researching them was $460,000 to $550,000.

    Sarah Young Sarah Young 10:08 pm 16 Jun 21

    Robert Chisholm it’s crazy, I think they should do a 1 house rule at the moment, I read something last week about buying an investment property with Hardly a deposit or interest if you already own one, first home buyers stand no chance! Maybe just wait until it all falls down due to irresponsible borrowing etc! It can’t carry on like this surely!

    Matthew Beale Matthew Beale 11:02 pm 16 Jun 21

    Sarah Young sadly it comes down to being able to buy in only very outer suburbs, if you have a deposit.

    It is a seller's market, given there are more buying than selling.

    I would not personally put a cap on housing purchases, and I am a fan of first home buyer incentives, such as stamp duty concessions, and help making their deposits.

    Joel Suryawanshi Joel Suryawanshi 10:01 am 17 Jun 21

    Sarah Young we are also forgetting that the greedy real estate agents are bumping up the prices and attracting investors from Sydney and Melbourne. Canberra's population is set to boom. This means housing prices will go up considerably. Little to no hope for first home buyers without parents' help.

    James Watt James Watt 4:07 pm 20 Jun 21

    Joel Suryawanshi if you were selling your house, wouldn’t you want your agent to maximise your sale price? Not sure why the agents are “greedy” they are doing their job

pollyhartley pollyhartley 3:27 pm 16 Jun 21

They’re lucky they missed out. Maybe they were yelling with relief?? They most likely missed out on buying a lead painted, asbestos filled, cold, damp, rotting dump for $1.5m probably. I hope they drove off and decided to embrace remote working and buy a house somewhere more sane where the quality and price of housing is so so much better than the ACT. I can’t wait to leave Canberra so I can own my own home.

chewy14 chewy14 1:53 pm 16 Jun 21

And im sure that the agents involved aren’t deliberately exacerbating the emotional responses by giving unrealistic price guides to potential bidders to attempt to create more competition. That would never happen.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 1:38 pm 17 Jun 21

    Good call. Next people will tell us the Used Car salesmen said the car was only ever driven to church on Sundays.

Ol L Ol L 9:37 am 16 Jun 21

Why be a rude goose? You lost out to a higher bidder, no ones running a charity here.

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