Kevin Green Real Estate, which is based in the Western Australian town of Mandurah, will put 25 homes under the hammer on Sunday, with one home already sold ahead of the auction.
Principal Adam Green said the agency didn’t expect to get more than 15 listings when it started prospecting in November, but that demand had been so strong that numbers were ultimately capped at 26.
“Doing this many together meant we could bring the cost down of doing an auction, which plays a big part in how people choose to [sell],” he told REB.
“It’s been embraced by everyone and the Mandurah public has been really curious about what it’s all about, so the number [of homes for sale] blew out.”
Mr Green said the agency felt it had to do something to differentiate itself from strong local rivals and attract buyers in a weak market.
CoreLogic RP Data statistics for December show how poorly the suburb of Mandurah has been performing.
The median house price fell 2.6 per cent over the quarter, fell 0.1 per cent over the year and rose 3.8 per cent over the previous five years. The median unit price fell 8.8 per cent over the quarter, fell 14.1 per cent over the year and fell 30.3 per cent over the five years.
Mr Green said buyers had provided a mixed response to the idea of a mass auction.
“Some people don’t like the idea of auctions in WA, but because we've made it subject to finance, we have made it achievable for them,” he said.
“Some people think it’s a good idea. Some people have said they’re not sure about it but will come along to have a look.”
Mr Green said vendors had generally responded positively to the concept, although there had been some anxiety.
“A lot of the vendors are a bit nervous because it’s a new process, but because we’ve managed to keep the costs so low for them – vendors are smart people and they know what the market is like, so they’re willing to think outside the box and give it a shot,” he said.
“If we don’t sell it on the weekend, we’ll go to private treaty and start doing the open homes again.”
Mr Green said Kevin Green Real Estate planned to hold another mass auction event, with the next one tentatively scheduled for April.
[Related: Agency auctions 100 homes on one single day]