News Corp Australia Network
A cash buyer took an early morning flight from Sydney to bid at the auction of a Hollywood Hills-style home in The Gap that eventually sold under the hammer for $2.075m.
“It was our work Christmas party last night,” Pulse Software head of technology Craig Atherstone said.
“Both my partner and I work from home in Brisbane but I flew down for the party and came back this morning. The plane was delayed, but I made it in time.”
Three bidders joined him on the back deck of the stunning Spanish-inspired house at 73 Yarrabee Rd, The Gap for the morning auction, with cicadas and birdsong the only competition for auctioneer Justin Nickerson as he stood with the D’Aguilar Ranges as a backdrop and introduced the renovated home that was coming to market for the first time in 12 years.
Opening bids were invited and Ray White Paddington sales agent Judi O’Dea approached a couple with two young children to see if they would be interested in an opening bid of around $1.8m.
The answer was no and another young couple standing on the deck with their backs to the view started the auction with a bid of $1.6m.
It would be that couple’s only bid.
Mr Atherstone, standing behind an outdoor sofa and with his parents for support for this his first auction, took the bidding to $1.65m and then a couple leaning against the frameless glass pool fence returned fire with a bid of $1.7m.
Bid increases of $50,000 between these two parties continued until $2m when the auction was paused to negotiate and Mr Atherstone watched on as the lead bidders were invited in to the ‘wine cellar of negotiation’ on the second level of the four-bedroom home.
“This is so different to how auctions are run in Melbourne,” said Suzie Norwood, who had flown up from Victoria with her family to support her friends who were selling the house.
“They don’t negotiate privately with a bidder. They might go in and ask for instructions from the sellers but then they come back out so there’s full transparency.”
On queue, Mr Nickerson returned to the 40-strong auction day with an update.
“Thanks for your patience. We’re taking our highest bidders aside, giving them the chance to negotiate back and forward with our owners, hopefully they reach an agreement on price, the important thing to know here in Queensland – auctions always do reopen. We are going to reopen the auction very shortly indeed, to give all our registered parties another chance to compete for the property.”
A few minutes later the auction resumed with the announcement that an increased bid of $2.075m from the lead bidders put the four-bedroom house on 1ha on the market.
With no further bids the house sold to the private couple near the pool fence.
“If I had more time to think (I might have bid more),” Mr Atherstone said. “Unconditional is hard. If it was a normal sale I probably would have pushed harder, but this is my first auction.”