Potential buyer attempts $10 bid in marathon auction for $1.24m house

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It took 45 minutes and left the auctioneer with no voice, but a Preston house in completely original condition sold for almost $1.24 million.

Two determined developers traded about 80 bids of $500 after the three-bedroom home at 15 Osborne Grove was announced as on the market at $1.2 million.

The underbidder tried offering as little as $10 to stay in contention, but it was knocked back by the auctioneer. The property sold for $1,239,500 after 108 bids.

Barry Plant Preston auctioneer Jim Dimitropoulos said it was the longest auction he ever conducted.

“For every single bid I received I had to call it down three times, so it got pretty frustrating at one point,” he said.

“I had no voice at the end of that and my throat was sore.”

Though the bidding increased in $10,000 rises until $1.2 million, Mr Dimitropoulos said the speed slowed right down.

“One of the buyers asked if I would take a $10 bid and I said no,” he said, adding the auction would have continued “until Christmas”.

“I felt this was never going to end, so lucky we had time.”

At the end of the day, Mr Dimitropoulos said, he aimed to achieve the best price for the vendor by extracting every single bid.

For buyers, slowing down the auction could be a strategy to make their competitor think they were done bidding or running out of money, he added.

There were three bidders for the development opportunity, but it came down to a two-horse race.

The buyer planned to build three townhouses on the 722-square-metre block, a deceased estate offered for the first time in more than 50 years.

Across town, First National Lindellas’ Dennis Dellas has held three hour-long auctions in the past year.

His longest went for one hour and 16 minutes at 61-63 Whitehorse Road in Blackburn last April, with a developer paying $3.64 million for the 1470-square-metre block. Another development site at 89 Thames Street in Box Hill sold for $2.77 million ??? $670,000 over reserve in just over 50 minutes in November.

In neighbouring Box Hill North, it took one hour and three minutes to determine the buyer for a development site at 70 Severn Street last December. There were four bidders and it sold for $225,000 over reserve.

Mr Dellas said some developers took their time, and it could take anywhere between three and five minutes for one bid.

“You’ve just got to fill it in … with verbal fillers during the auction, and we usually talk about the area, the suburb, what you can do with the property and having no buyer’s remorse,” he said. “But you’ve just got to make sure that they’re completely out.

“And the reality is that they’re thinking about it; they’re either on a phone call to someone else or they’re working out the currency figures.”

Mr Dellas added that auctions should not be rushed and his office scheduled its 90 minutes to two hours apart.

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