oc | Friday 24th January

Have you been Powerlifted today?

Danielle Martin - passed in at $3,125,000. Bought after - $3,525,000. 1 Bidder - big lift afterwards.

Danielle Martin and Frank Mlikota – passed in at $3,125,000. Bought after – $3,525,000. 1 Bidder – Huge Powerlift afterwards.




Its 6.00pm Saturday and the James Clearance rate for $M+ Inner Melbourne was 74% on the 31 Auctions we covered today – the same as last week. James Bidderman, that is bidders per auction, was 2.2 bidders per auction – the same as last week.

Two things we saw today

1. Some huge Powerlifting of prices at post auction pass-ins – Hammer rate down on past weeks, meaning……. yep, high sellers.

2. A rock solid market on one of the largest auction days this year.

In our opinion, this is the most stable the market has been since 2014. In early 2015 it was flying with a rampant Asian influence and then drifted back down in Spring last year, as the Asian market temporarily left. In 2016 we had a lift in February due to no stock – a flattening in May with more stock and now the market seems solid and stable on low numbers of stock, compared to this time last year.

However lets not go crazy on the stock – there is still a fair bit to buy, if you know where to look.

We are advising our clients to be patient. When it makes sense – buy. When it doesn’t – don’t.

Which makes you ask – is all the Post-Auction Powerlifting (PAP for you acronym lovers) we saw today, really all that necessary – did buyers have to go there?

Picture this;

You find a home, you go to the auction, you bid and then the auctioneer says ‘hey, we are so close’ ………… ‘but if there is not a better bid, I am going to pass it in to …………..’ and he points to you and he does pass in and he comes over to shake your hand.

Congratulations………. what’s your name…………. and you are thinking – Mmmm thanks, have I bought it?

But you know you haven’t, as the auctioneer gestures and asks you to come and sit in this room.

You know the room ……………….. it’s the designated interrogation room, except there are cushions.

So he says with a smile, ‘let me go and find out the reserve’………….. yeah, like you are auctioning the home and you’ve told the audience we are close………….but you don’t actually know what the reserve is.

And as the auctioneer leaves (for his Powerlift think and consultation time), the other two agents in the room give you that awkward smile ………….and you’re thinking, do they actually need two of them in case I try to escape or ……………………..

Anyway, after what seems an eternity ……….you hear the footsteps and you lean slightly forward looking at the door in anticipation (it’s funny the two agents do it as well  …….. watch them next time, they also lean slightly forward) ………… and……………. the door opens.

OMG, the upbeat guy who left the room with a smile, saying we are so close returns ……………… look at his face, a close relative must have died and he’s only just heard the news…………..his head is tilted downwards, eye contact is no longer straight at you and he takes a deep breath…………….. and ………….. you are about to be introduced to some 2016 Melbourne Spring Powerlifting.

You are about to be told there has been a change, an error, a situation that has so shocked the auctioneer that he doesn’t know how to tell you ………………that the tiny, minute, so close reserve that he never actually knew, has now become a whole new figure.

Welcome to Inner Melbourne Powerlifting 2016 and how about the examples we saw today – there were some Olympic type efforts in Bayside, in Stonnington and in Boroondara – it was Melbourne wide Powerlifting post auction.

Next question: Is Post-Auction Powerlifting the Hot New Spring Craze? Stay tuned. Auctioneer’s White Powder has a whole new meaning now – I hope these guys aren’t going to wear tights at the pass-ins.

Footnote: They are only doing the job for their client, the seller, that you the buyer, actually allow them to do.

Andrew has been eating his Weeties with another huge lift of near on $400,000 post pass in at 110 Stanhope St Malvern.

Andrew McCann has been eating his Weeties with another huge Powerlift of near on $400,000 post pass in at 110 Stanhope St, Malvern.


Buying Before: At the start of the week we were involved in 15 negotiations on behalf of buying clients – 6 are ongoing and 9 related to auctions today, Super Saturday 22nd October.

Caulfield North (Adam Joske)
Kew (Greg Toogood)
Burwood (Steven Zervas)
Elsternwick (Bill Stavrakis)
Malvern East (Fiona Ansell-Jones)
Richmond (Daniel Joyce)
Brighton (Calvin Reid)
Mitcham (Matthew Scafidi)
Carlton (Charlie Barham)

The above 9 auctions were whittled down from around 100 searches and 30 visits over the last month.

During the week, we dropped off 2 homes, as substantial due diligence showed they were not homes that met our buying clients’ desired outcomes – eg not what the buying client really, really wanted.

Of the remaining 7 homes, we offered on 6 before auction, with 3 knockbacks and 3 acceptances.

So lets focus on the bought befores and keep attacking that Melbourne urban myth that says, buying a Top End home in 2016 is “just putting your hand up at auction”.

Less than 20% of Top End homes are bought by us under the hammer and if you delve into the figures across the market, less than 20% of Top end homes are sold under the hammer.

We at James don’t look at buying before as a way of saving money – in fact buying before can be more expensive. Buying before has a focus on securing.

While not every home is a buy before opportunity, owing to legal reasons such as divorce, death, mortgagee etc; there are still a lot of auction homes that can be bought before.

However we can’t remember the last time an agent welcomed an offer before an auction – yet we estimate over 80% could be bought before auction – at the right offer.

Reflective of the sombre mood at 6 Missouri Brighton which passed in with no bidders at $2,000,000

Reflective of the sombre mood at 6 Missouri, Brighton which passed in with no bidders at $2,000,000. Maybe these guys needed a Powerlift. Love this photo by Val Smith.

Why are some agents so difficult to deal with before auction? – meaning they will do everything they can to avoid receiving, even hearing about your offer.

How about this concept.

Mal, I can’t sell before auction as it would be so unfair on the other buyers – this they tell you, as they are simultaneously bulldusting to the other buyers with their underquote. It’s not about care for buyers, it’s often about reason number 3 below.

Three key reasons agents/sellers don’t want to treat with an offer before auction

Reason 1) The seller really wants to go to auction as he/she believes that auctions always produce the best prices.

Sellers, here are two sides of the auction story:

Your agent is lowball quoting at $2 million plus; because incorrectly he or she believes that is the only way to deliver the best price for you.

In this instance an auction is needed because the unethical or unskilled agent has no idea that there are two parties at $2.5 million – because of course, he is getting no feedback from the buyers at that level – because of course, there is no trust between the selling agent and the buyers.

Sellers, you may recognise you have hired an unethical and incompetent agent, when the agent is telling you ‘I’m getting no buyer feedback at any level’, other than the bulldust under quote.

Anyway your home goes to auction and the home is sold at $2.51 million to the “highest” of the two bidders.

Great result, $500,000 above the bulldust quote – you as a seller are relieved – because the agent had been worrying you on other matters as well, like what he told you in the first place!!

You, the seller needed the auction because your agent would have sold before auction for $2.28 million, because he didn’t really understand his buyers.

HOWEVER ON THE SAME HOME let’s say, you the seller had engaged a competent, ethical selling agent, who was quoting $2.4 million to $2.54 million – a quote she adjusted over the campaign, from the initial $2.25 to $2.4 million.

In the last week before auction the competent agent was actually following up the buyers – she was giving honest thoughts on where things may be – including other buyers and the possible sellers reserve. Many of those buyers actually engaged with her and communicated more openly, because there was a level of trust.

From those interactions she could see that, yes there were two buyers at $2.5 million, but one she felt may be considerably higher. She spoke to her seller and with the seller’s permission engaged in a process that extracted $2.81 million from the buyer, two days before the auction.

That’s a $300,000 difference, that’s the difference between a good agent and a poor agent, the difference between a seller thinking all agents are the same and you just go to auction, rather than exploring selling before hand.

An auction by its process only gets slightly above the second best price, not by its process, always the top bidders highest price.

No juice in the bidding at 10 Glendene, Kew, Passed In $2,375,000, 0 bidders

No juice in the bidding at 10 Glendene, Kew. Passed In $2,375,000, 0 bidders. No chance for a Powerlift.

Reason 2) You go to auction because you actually get the best price. There are many times we have bought or missed for prices higher than what we would have paid before auction and auctions have produced some incredible results. We actually believe in auctions and they are transparent when under the hammer.

However, on a weekend where there are a 1000+ auctions and you hear about 5 record prices and maybe 20 to 50 “incredible results” – it’s still less than 5% of all the results – 25% didn’t even sell – and another 25% were passed in and maybe didn’t sell for as much as wanted and……………

Reason 3) You go to auction – agent laziness. To be frank and don’t tell anyone – I would much rather get a big number from a buying client and go to auction and win. Why – it’s less work and less hassle. I get Thursday night off, I get all of Friday off and I can wear my snazzy suit and be a hero. Also, I don’t have to have those difficult buyer conversations – explaining that yes indeed we may be paying more by going early, than what we may have to pay on Auction day, but we have bought what you really, really want.

I’m a lazy sod aren’t I – unfortunately so are others – the last thing some agents want is an offer before auction. That means more work, late nights and Fridays is not on the golf course – heartbreaking isn’t it?

A couple of finishing thoughts on buying before.

1.      Offering before is a risk – a knockback can actually be negative. A good buyer agent on the buying side and a good selling agent on the selling side will explain those risks. As stated numerous times, buying before or going to auction is not an exact science – its all about risk v reward and intentions – the or the price.

2.      The bought before needs to be timed well – considerations are campaign timing, cooling off, buyer and seller positions.

3.      The bought before needs to be presented as duck a l’orange not dead bird and peel – meaning present in a way that a receiver may feel comfortable.

4.      There are some very clear times that buying before is not the preferred method in an auction.

Such as:

5.      One of your competing buyers has a home to sell and you don’t.

6.      You are owned as a buyer within the company by another selling agent and you are not dealing with the lister.

7.      The seller is high on price.

8.      You are unclear of your own level of interest versus interest from other buyers.

9.      You are not good under enormous pressure – you don’t have real poise.

10.  You’re too busy at work earning $1,000 (after tax $500) on Friday instead of focusing on your $3,000,000 possible purchase and your $500,000 tax-free windfall/loss with a good or bad decision.

At James Buyer Advocates we have certain rules in offering before.

1)     We do not bid against ourselves to create the look of a market

2)     We do not offer a figure that we know will be withdrawn prior to signing, just to win the offer, but later pullout.

3)     Our offers are sincere, solid and usually very strong.

4)     If we are going to offer – as a professional courtesy we advise the agents in a timely manner in advance of the offer.

5)     If we offer we do not put impossible deadlines on, ruling out other buyers. Deadlines only get applied when our offer, looks like not meeting a 24 hour consideration and acceptance period.

6)     If we withdraw our offer- then it is withdrawn.

Some more big lifting att 11 Kasouka Road Camberwell against a vendor bid and a one bidder pass-in by the agents Tom Ryan and Richard Earle.

Some more big post-auction Powerlifting at 11 Kasouka Road, Camberwell against a vendor bid and a one bidder pass-in to $3,700,000. Agents Tom Ryan and Richard Earle.


This week, Super Saturday, is all about showing you market flavour. Big on Flavour and small on Opinions (there’s a change hey!).

Volcanoes (4+ Bidders)

Canterbury, 57 Alexandra Avenue (James Tostevin) – Under the Hammer $3,881,000, 6 bidders

Elsternwick, 66 St Georges Road (Bill Stavrakis) – Under the Hammer, $2,670,000, 6 bidders

Malvern East, 45 Paxton Street (insert) – Under the Hammer $3,265,000, 5 bidders

Malvern, 16 Glendearg Grove (Tim Derham) – Under the Hammer $3,500,000, 4 bidders

Glen Iris, 32 Rosedale Road (Daniel Wheeler) – Under the Hammer $2,950,000, 4 bidders

A Volcano in the rain. 16 Glendearg Grove, Malvern sold Under the Hammer $3,500,000, 4 bidders

A Volcano in the rain. 16 Glendearg Grove, Malvern sold Under the Hammer $3,500,000, 4 bidders

Norms (2 or 3 Bidders)

Hawthorn, 36 Hawthorn Grove (Richard Earle) – Under the Hammer $5,020,000, 3 bidders

Glen Iris, 133 Finch Street (Andrew Hayne) – Under the Hammer $3,700,000 3 bidders

Armadale, 16 Northcote Road (John Bongiorno) – Passed In $3,500,000, 3 bidders

Hampton, 8 Gordon Street – After Auction $3,320,000, 3 bidders

Brighton East, 16 Camperdown Street – Passed In $3,205,000, 3 bidders

Kew, 4 Ridgeway Avenue (Richard Earle) – After Auction Above $2,660,000, 3 bidders

Kew, 94 Wellington Street (Antony Woodley) – Under the Hammer $2,350,000, 3 bidders

Caulfield North, 78 Bambra Road (Phillip Kingston) – Under the Hammer $2,280,000, 3 bidders

Albert Park, 64 O’Grady Street (Josh Stirling) – After Auction $2,265,000, 3 bidders

Malvern, 5 Gaynor Court (John Bongiorno) – Bought After $4,060,000+, 2 bidders

Elwood, 33 Vautier Street (Leonard Persichetti) – Passed In $3,435,000, 2 bidders

Kew, 94 Normanby Road (Sam Wilkinson) – Bought After $2,300,000, 2 bidders

Albert Park, 110 Page Street (Sam Paynter) – Passed In $2,070,000, 2 bidders

Glen Iris, 14 Yeovil Road (Andrew Hayne) – Passed In $2,090,000, 2 bidders


Lone Rangers (1 Bidder)

Camberwell, 11 Kasouka Road (Richard Earle) – After Auction $3,700,000, 1 bidder

Port Melbourne, 123 Clark Street (Danielle Martin) – After Auction $3,525,000, 1 bidder

Camberwell, 6 Sunnyside Avenue (David Gillham) – Passed In $2,900,000, 1 bidder

Elsternwick, 3 Hopetoun Street (Bill Stavrakis) – After Auction $2,420,000, 1 bidder

A day for the Ducks - no way says Leonard Persichetti - 2 bidders - but as yet still has not sold. 33 Vautier St Elwood

A day for the Ducks – no way says Leonard Persichetti – 2 bidders – but as yet still has not sold. 33 Vautier St Elwood.

Ducks ( 0 Bidders)

Balwyn, 42 Deepdene (Peter Vigano) – Passed In $5,500,000, 0 bidders

Malvern, 110 Stanhope Street (Andrew McCann) – Bought After $3,425,000, 0 bidders

Kew, 10 Glendene Avenue (Campbell Ward) – Passed In $2,375,000, 0 bidders

Malvern East, 14 Westgarth Street (John Morrisby) – Passed In $2,300,000, 0 bidders

Brighton, 6 Missouri Avenue (Warwick Anderson) – Passed In $2,000,000, 0 bidders


We receive a lot of requests from potential clients interstate and overseas.

These clients were referred to us and flew in to look at a property they had nominated as being the one they wanted to buy.

We organised a private inspection with architect Henry and a lunch to follow.

We received this note the day after. We will most likely never see them again.

Mal, Gina and Henry

Thank you very much for meeting with us yesterday.

We were impressed by the property.  We were more impressed by your questioning of our rationale, and the range of risks associated with our plans. Yesterday, at our meeting after the inspection, Yvonne had already formed the view that we should not proceed.  It has taken me longer, after a night to sleep on it, I agree with her.

Without your questioning we would have proceeded and with hindsight that would have been unwise.

Thank you for your wise counsel and excellent service.  We would use you both again in a heartbeat and recommend you unreservedly.

Gina – thank you for your swift actions and assistance.


Jeff and Yvonne


And on one we bought before:

Dear Simone

You are a Gem!

I am so glad we found you.

Thank you so much for your never ending enthusiasm and incredibly good communication skills. You listened and understood us and then you nailed it!

So well done I just have to thank you today.


J.A and A.A


Jump over to our Facebook to view our client story – Anna & Adam


James Market News is back after the Cup on November 12th for the run into Christmas – only 4 more weeks of new stock till February 2017 – but there should be an increase in off-markets all the way till Santa.

James Market News only talks about a fraction of the market at The Top End (auctions) – if you want to know what is happening in the other 80% of the market, ring James Buyer Advocates for a confidential and illuminating appointment on 9804 3133.

We can help with before auction offers, under the hammer strategies, with Powerlifting Pass-Ins, off markets, private sales, Expressions of Interest, boardroom auctions and more. We buy around 100 homes a year in Inner Melbourne for our clients.

Our money in The Cup will be on …………. Secret Number

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