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Why would an agent shut an auction down early…?

A few weeks ago we unfortunately missed the opportunity to take to market an amazing property that everyone knew would attract a substantial amount of interest. I am talking about an opportunity that would appeal to owner occupiers, developers, investors, pretty much any buyer in the market that is searching for a sub-dividable block in a fantastic street. We initially appraised the property from $1,100,000 to $1,200,000. This was largely based on a client of ours that wanted to buy the property and had told us that he was prepared to sign an unconditional contract at this level.  I can only guess we missed the opportunity to list the property due to the executors of the estate feeling that the other agent could achieve a better price than we could, which we completely respect.

The property was listed for auction and it did create a substantial amount of interest. We had approximately 7 of our clients extremely interested in the property who were all advised by the agent that the property would be sold at auction and not prior, so all of our clients were preparing themselves for the action.

So you can imagine our clients response when they saw the sold sticker on the for sale sign 4 days prior to the action day. What is even more unbelievable is that buyers who had registered interest in the home, were not even called and advised that the owners were going to consider accepting an offer prior to the auction. There a few ways to describe this, unethical, morally wrong, not to mention outright illegal.

By law, an agent has to do everything in their power to achieve the absolute highest possible price for an owner. To not advise all the other interested buyers, that the owner was considering an offer prior to auction, and not give them an equal opportunity to make an offer is an absolute disgrace. The people that suffered the most in this case were without question the owners. The property was sold for a figure below $1,000,000, which would be heartbreaking if the owner were to know, that our client was prepared to pay up to $1,200,000 if they had to at auction.

So you have to ask yourself why? Why would an agent recommend to an owner to shut an auction down 4 days prior to the auction when they knew they had so much interest? You can only speculate on the answer, however it is hard to see any other explanation other than a deal being done with a developer and the promise of the resale.

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