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Misleading and Incorrect Auction Reporting

I have just read the Sunday Telegraph’s property section and in particular under the “Sales action: South”, after attending several of the auctions reported here on Saturday and taking into consideration that I must be objective, there are several discrepancies but none more glaringly obvious as the paragraph regarding the property result in Lilli Pilli.

One of my staff attended this auction. If there were 3 bidders they must have all have introverted personalities to the extreme as no hands were raised which therefore makes it very difficult to pass the property in to a bidder at $3.1mil? Which begs the question, which auction did the writer of this editorial attend? From the article I would say none and definitely not the one in Lilli Pilli which had only one bid, a vendor bid of $3.1mil. I had assumed that these pieces were written by journalists that had attended the particular auctions they focused their articles on. Now that I understand that reporters are reliant on getting the information 2nd hand from the agent it explains why reporting of general market conditions can be so off the pulse and so far from reality. Any buyer/seller/person interested in real estate reading that article would think that 3 bidders competed for that property up until $3.1mil at which point negotiations stalled. In actual fact, no bidder put up their hand.

It is an offense of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 for an agent to report that a property passed in when in fact it passed in with a vendor bid.  Since launching our auction tracking system we have noticed many discrepancies with what results are recorded for in the Sunday papers but none has been so inconsistent from an editorial piece.

To be fair when I checked the Sun Herald’s real estate section, the Home Price Guide’s auction results show the property passing in, no figure available but at least they didn’t embellish the ┬áresult in a paragraph of incorrect, misleading reporting.

I think the media has a responsibility if they are going to report on the real estate market that some effort is made to check accuracy.

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A Bidder’s Guide For Auction Day

Most people know that you need to register prior to bidding at a residential property auction. You don’t have to bid, once registered, but if there is even the remotest of chances that you might be tempted to put up your hand and bid you need to register prior to the Auction.

The NSW Office of Fair Trading has a Bidder’s Guide that explains what ID you need to register and the finer details of who should register if say, you are a couple, or you are bidding on behalf of another party. The agent selling the property also has Bidders Guides on hand at the auction.

The main things to remember are:

  • Bring proof of identity which shows your name and address and is a government issued or financial institution card or document, most people bring their driver’s licence
  • Other options are council rates, vehicle registration papers
  • Remember passports do not have your address included
  • See the Bidder’s Guide for other options

At registration:

  • When you register the agent will take your name, address and number of proof of identity and give you a bidder’s number
  • If you register with the agent prior to Auction day you need to show your proof of identity again on the day and the agent will give you a bidder’s number
  • If you arrive late, you need to register with the agent but you can put up your hand to let the Auctioneer know you want to make a bid once you are registered

Some points that you might not know:

  • The agent is not allowed to use your details for marketing purposes ie sell to a 3rd party
  • The agent can not show the vendor your details, or anyone else
  • Post auction the Bidder’s Record is stored securely by the agent

If you are not comfortable or confident about bidding on the property of your dreams you can employ a “Buyer’s Agent” to do this for you. More on that in a future blog…

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