Auctions send agency's sales soaring

An inner-Sydney based agency has doubled its sales since 2008 with a focus on auctions, and especially in-room auctions.

“We feel confident putting everything to auction,” said Michael Smith, principal of Raine and Horne Marrickville.

“Some people may say, ‘why put that to auction when there are a hundred others just like it?’ But every property is different.”

Mr Smith, who opened the office in 1987 with his wife, Yvonne, said auctions now account for 85 per cent of the agency’s total sales, well up on the 40 per cent ratio three years ago.

Raine and Horne Marrickville recently earned a top ten finish in the ‘number of sales’ and ‘dollar value’ categories at the recent NSW & ACT Raine and Horne awards.

“So far this year, for example, around 95 per cent of all properties submitted for auction have sold, which is a tremendous achievement,” Mr Smith continued.

Mr Smith said developing a regular series of in-room auctions has also contributed to its achievements. Not only do they take the weather and noisy neighbours out of the equation, they provide buyers with a neutral and relaxed atmosphere.

“It’s a professional environment,” he said. “Buyers are more comfortable, more incognito and are more at ease.”

“The presentation is very good too; we have professional photos and floor plans on display. And the properties actually look better. At an onsite auction, you see all the negatives,”

Large crowds are often attracted to an in-room auction night, with around 12 properties selling on average.

“Around 120 people [attend]. At least 100. You can have up to six people supporting one buyer, so they’re big events.”

Although very rare, Mr. Smith has seen buyers who miss out on the home they wanted still leave with a new house - another positive of having an in-room auction.

“It has happened,” he said. “I’ve seen where their eyes were on a property that ended up just outside their price range, and three auctions later they bought a different house.”

The in-room auctions have also garnered international buyers from as far afield as Canada, Croatia and the UK.

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