oc | Friday 24th January

Still some very hot ones, but a few a little chilly.


Special report in from today’s South Pole Auction. 14 Golding Street, Canterbury (James Tostevin) sold Under the Hammer $2,177,000, 3 bidders.




Its 6.00pm Saturday and the James Clearance rate for $M+ Inner Melbourne was a very solid 83% on the 29 Auctions we bid at or reported on today.

James Bidderman, that is bidders per auction, was a little light on compared to recent weeks at 2.1 bidders per auction and there were a large number of bought before results – in fact 6 of the 29 we covered today.

We all know the market has strength on the back of seriously low stock levels compared to last year – around 25% down – but the current stock numbers are probably not too far off the year before.

We also know that each of the markets are different and have the propensity for quick change (with more stock) as we go into the Grand Final and the Melbourne Cup.

So rather than hear the same ol, same ol from Mal, we asked some of our key reporters for their general observations today.

This is their first up efforts – I enjoyed reading them – I hope you like them.

Now let me guess where did that bid come from? Andrew James sells 11 Armadale in a volcanic auction (4 bidders) - $4,500,000

Now let me guess where did that bid come from? Andrew James sells 11 Adelaide, Armadale in a volcanic auction (4 bidders) – $4,500,000.

This is a market flavour edition – less on analysis and more on observations.

Thank you to three of our reporters Randall, Catherine and Val.

At James we do not agree with every reporter or agent comment but we do not edit agents or our reporters opinions.

Hawthorn, Kew & Camberwell

One agent remarked that their auction was looking quiet and then three bidders appeared – this general feel was repeated more than once today. Crowds weren’t completely subdued, but it did seem like some auctions might not get going beyond an initial bid or two before doing so.

Potential buyers wore serious faces as they gauged sentiment for the homes on offer and neighbours stood in the wings with arms folded and not yet displaying the joie de vivre and laughter that comes with the warmer spring crowds. A child’s bid, often remarked upon by auctioneers for levity, was ignored today as they dispensed with some of the cosy banter.

We witnessed two-way battles with an occasional third bidder popping into the mix. They weren’t run away dogged affairs, though these battles had enough vigour to sit on a vendor reserve or a bit more. Randall Smith

Malvern East to Toorak & South Yarra

There’s high demand in Stonnington. Even though homes might have concerns or issues, it seems most are papered over easily when prices are high, demand is strong, and auctions are well attended. On a coldish and wintry morning with clouds bearing down and rain threatening, there’s still quite a large group of people gathering to watch the auction of an apartment in South Yarra, although there was no decisive buyers in the group. You can just feel that real estate is an interest with a lot of folks, like politics and sport – homes and what they’re worth.

For many people, it’s information – for others, it’s just an outing – but for a great deal of people in the swanky suburbs it’s a real yardstick of your wealth. You feel that presentation, decorating, and agents are all keenly assessed by the interested public for when it’s their turn to upsize, downsize or invest.

Today in Stonnington a great range of homes were offered. For the downsizer, or investor, a historic mid-century gem with the treed outlook over the Botanic gardens didn’t get the attention it deserved. The family homes in Armadale and Malvern East were seriously hotly contested.

The so called young and upwardly mobile have perhaps moved out to the more affordable west or hipster inner Bayside, as prices in Stonnington continue to grow with no signs of slowing.  Catherine Ross

Brighton & Lower Bayside

Brits dominate Bayside’s immigrant population but post-Brexit sterling is weak.  The Euro is wobbly and then there’s the US election.  Will it all go pear-shaped?  How very confusing.  So, I shall use a supermarket shopping analogy.  I know about that.  I see two distinct types -The Savvy Shoppers and The Musthaves.  The latter have a rigid list and pay the price, whatever.  The former have no list.  They make bargains work for them.

Today, in Bayside, I saw both types of shopper but no obvious bargains.  There is no doubt that prices have hit spectacular levels in homes that people just have to have.  Maybe the bargain hunters will have to look elsewhere.  Oh, and buyers from Asia or Australian Asian buyers are still out there with some force. Val Smith


11 Keats Street, Sandringham (Stephen Tickell) sells after auction for $3,750,000, 0 bidders – well there must have been one – were they from this casual mob of onlookers.


Malvern East, 19 Brunel Street (Andrew Hayne) – Under the Hammer $3,440,000, 3 bidders

Hawthorn East, 58 Auburn Grove (Scott Patterson) – Under the Hammer $3,100,000, 3 bidders

Hawthorn East, 34 Anderson Road (Glen Coutinho) – Under the Hammer $2,900,000, 2 bidders


Albert Park, 29 Faussett Street (Greg Hocking) – Under the Hammer $2,120,000, 6 bidders

St Kilda East, 58 William Street (Gowan Stubbings) – Under the Hammer $1,895,000, 6 bidders

Glen Iris, 2/25 Cloverdale Road (Al Craig) – Under the Hammer $1,162,000, 5 bidders


Camberwell, 14 Marlborough Avenue (Doug McLauchlan) – After Auction $3,360,000, 0 bidders

Sandringham, 12 Norwood Street – Passes In $3,400,000, 0 bidders

Hampton, 4 Bendigo Street – Passes In $3,200,000, 0 bidders


A mixed day, today with 3 successes and 4 misses. The misses were all auction properties; William St, St Kilda East (Tim Picken); Hunter St, Kew (Kathy Malcolm); Violet Grove, Hawthorn (Campbell Ward); Cloverdale Road, Glen Iris (Al Craig) and the gets were Anderson Rd, Hawthorn East (Glen Coutinho); Off Market in Armadale (Elliot Gill ); James St, Prahran (Tom McCarthy) – we only bought the last one because of the street name!!

All of these were in the $1m to $2m segment – most of our work is usually in the $3m to $7m segment, with some work in the $7m+ segment. It was one of those days when we were not bidding or negotiating on $3m+ homes.

Our mixed success, in this $1m to $2m price segment, was/is a direct result of our and our client’s assessment of lack of stock versus stop price versus commitment. Our buys are a reflection of commitment and opportunity. There is no shame in this market to be blown out of the water – the only sadness would be to give up. We are not and in our opinion you shouldn’t either – they say don’t get mad, get even – we prefer don’t get mad, get creative, get flexible and get a home.

Next week we have a special feature on a specific off market we bought recently, combining the skills of Kathy and James (architecture and building) with Gina (advocacy) to make our client comfortable enough to make this all happen – in a high pressure situation.

Below is our 3rd and final instalment in our series on . The numbers show you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it. Thank you.


Mal, don’t start with the Noise again.

We all want to well, to improve our position, to feel we are in front of where we were before.

A few of us like to negotiate, if improving our position does not hurt others and a few of us like to hurt others in improving our position. However most of us have some flexibility in the position of others, so long as it doesn’t hurt us and preferably helps us.

Over the years we have found there are a number of ways to negotiate well.

There is not just one way to negotiate well and there are a number of ways to negotiate poorly.

The method and measure we use for good negotiations is via question and answer.

What is it you really, really wanted to achieve and did you do that?

Good negotiators answer this question in the affirmative.

Poorer negotiators we find:

  1. Don’t ask the question or;
  2. Ask the question, but then realize they were unclear on the answer or;
  3. Ask the question, know the answer and realize they were influenced away from their desired outcome. Their desired outcome was changed or influenced during the negotiation ……….… by N   _   _   _   _. (fill in blanks) or to be brutally honest you were influenced away from a successful negotiation by Y _   _

This question and answer is this article’s focus on Negotiations. It could be subtitled what is really important to you and how do you best get it.

In particular we are going to concentrate on where you will get the greatest bang for buck – where you can have the greatest influence – where you can become a great negotiator within a very short period of time.

It’s easy to do but difficult to achieve.

Some of us at this point maybe thinking – nope, not was I was after – I wanted some wham-bam, beat them over the head, no risk, easily measurable, winning, knockout, negotiation strategies.

Apologies you want some Negotiation Noise – don’t you?

Your question and answer interchange will be a lot more succinct.

How much were they asking, what did I pay, what have others paid and what do others think of what I have paid?

It’s easily measurable and there are clear winners and losers – (in your mind).

That’s ok, and when we say Negotiation Noise in this context, we are not implying this is not a legitimate way to think.

We live in a capitalist society, in what is regularly stated to be the best city in the world; we live in relative peace and growth/money are the measurements, many in our society use to determine winners and losers.

So how many dollars and what do others think are legitimate questions – the answers for you are clear-cut … you have won or lost in the negotiation?

The next two slides maybe much more to your liking.


or these graphics are what you are looking for in “How to Negotiate”.


These are James internal training slides – so clearly we believe there is a place for tactics and strategy.

There is a place for Noise, we use it at times and we spend a lot of time trying to recognize it in our clients and in the other side.

However we promised you, in the series, that we would show you how to Negotiate well.

How to make major gains in your negotiation abilities.

Big Picture.

This is a structure for you to negotiate well and to do so from today and to do so in any future negotiation.

1. What is it I really, really want?

2. Is this it? 

3. How best do I get it?

These are really simple questions, yet for all of us at times the answers are difficult to find.

Our James Ratings, which we patented over 10 years ago, is based on these three powerful negotiation ingredients.

This is how you negotiate really, really well.

This is where the real bang for you buck is.

This is what any of us can do – irrespective of the forces on the other side.

Three more questions of you, before we finish.

1. What is a great negotiator’s tool of choice? _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _ (s)

2. Often, who is your greatest challenge in a negotiation? _  _  _

3. What is the biggest issue that great negotiators recognize, but still have to deal with in the course of any negotiation. What is the thing that makes the really easy a lot more difficult? _  _  _  _  _

To help you with the answers;

Answer to 1 has eight or nine letters (singular or plural) and the adjective would be good.

Answer to 2 has three letters and no the answer is not Him or Her.

Answer to 3 has five letters.

What is it I really want?


Is this it? 

How do I best get it?

That’s it – that’s how you can make major strides in your negotiations.

Oh, and is it appropriate to write ring James Buyer Advocates on 9804 3133 or does it diminish this article?

We agree with you, very tacky.

Let’s finish with the following slide instead;


Apologies to Madmen for grabbing one of their “Noisy” advertising photos and planting my big ugly head on the top.

3 characteristics of a great Negotiator …

What is it I really, really want?

Is this it? 

How best do I get it?

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