Anatomy of an Auction

by Gina Kantzas and Mal James

with contributions from Kathy, Randall, Maddie, Phoebe and Sim

Saturday, November 14th, 2020

The Return to Melbourne's Street Auctions

How good has it been to break the shackles this week? Walking the hills, laying on the beach and/or back to work – it was hard to find negatives with a double doughnut day, every day.


Another thing to cheer about was the return of the world-famous, Melbourne Street Auction.


This week we dusted off the cobwebs and got back on those streets. Today our sole reporting focus, one such street auction @ 75 Coppin Street, Malvern East, in the Gascoigne, a beautiful home and a $5m volcano.


Our younger brigade at James Buy Sell suggested we tell a story in videos of Melbourne’s greatest real-life theatre; pre, during and after the event.


So for something a bit different and just in case you’ve forgotten how good auctions can be, here goes and we hope you like it.

75 Coppin - Bought Site Unseen

We loved this home, as you can see by our video and rating below – although it was not the first we rode alongside our client with – it was easily the best.


We are letting the video and the rating tell the story about the home.


As for the client – that’s private, except to say 75 Coppin was bought site unseen.


This is a new Covid normal – 2 of our last 3 buys, circa $4m, have been bought site unseen.


Relatives and friends’ opinions are welcome and very important back up to this work.


There were multiple opinions on 75 Coppin over the last 3 weeks.

Our Video Walkthru

A lot has changed in 2020 with Covid and one of those things is communication.


Increasingly videos have become a vital part in helping us tell the story as we see it.


The video below is no doubt long and laborious for many, with a few twists and turns (it twists back) over the 8 minutes. So, it won’t be a YouTube blockbuster any time soon.


However, for the two people who actually watched it all the way through, it was important in their decision making and we at James were clear at the end, where we felt this home was heading.

Our Supporting Rating - (part of)

Values, Pricing and Rating - a fortnight out

Agent quote was and remained $3.9m to $4.2m. This could be justified under the SOI rules, as what sales have there been in the last 6 months to say otherwise. It was never going for that, despite the land size argument.


We initially said $4m to $4.5m in our estimates.


However, as time went by, intel said there was building interest from several heavy hitters. That led us to recalibrate. We adjusted our advice a week ago to: “over $4.5m and could actually get $5m under the expected heat”, which ultimately it did.


A pre-auction joust was wanted but ruled out after discussions with Gowan. We felt and ultimately our clients accepted, that the risks were too great in missing to an unknown.


Today, prior to auction our clients knew and trusted where they needed to be, so as to have a fighting chance.

Pre Dawn

Good auctions are exciting, but they are also tough and whilst many think auctions are all about, he or she who has the most money, wins – in our experience we seldom find that to be the case. Often it’s more mental than money.




Pre Auction Routine

Almost every auction we go through the same routine. We do that so we are not routine.


Final Prep


It's a Street Volcano

Although it was $800,000 over the reserve, there were no real surprises. This 5 bidder auction script was written a few years earlier when the seller bought an A-grader well and renovated it exquisitely (Architect Michelle Stender & Master Builder Crisp Projects).


Brilliantly marketed and auctioned by Gowan Stubbings and Julia de Campo of Kay and Burton – the quoting, the follow up to our questions and the no BS, was spot on.




Post Mortem

Three bidders within 2% of each other at the end. Was it money or was it prep?





Thank you

We could not have bought this home for our clients if it was not for trust.


Trust by the referrer in us.


Trust by our client in the referrer, which ultimately allowed


Trust between our clients and us.


Our clients are private and we thank them for buying this great home and for this article.

Buying Agent: Mal & Gina James Buy Sell

Selling Agent: Gowan Stubbings Kay and Burton