‘Reverse auction’ an Australian first

Steven Cross

A NSW southern highlands property is to be sold in a theatrical ‘reverse auction’ in which the price decreases instead of rises and the first bidder to accept the price wins.

Gary Harding proposed selling his Burrawang café using the method in order to "turn tradition on its head".

“The basic concept is that the price comes down, and the first person with their hand up gets the property,” Mr Hardy told Real Estate Business exclusively.

“The other part is the $10,000 reward to the person who tells the eventual buyer about the auction – kind of like a finder’s fee. Anyone can win that; they don’t have to be an agent.”

Award-winning auctioneer Damien Cooley, who will conduct the auction on August 26, believes it will be the first of its kind in Australia.

“The Department of Fair Trade have actually got no real guidelines on how you come up with a buyer as such, so what method you take to get to the buyer is fair game,” Mr Harding said.

“The REI [of NSW] were a little bit against it, but as far as my lawyer is concerned, there’s nothing to stop us.”

And with no reserve set, Mr Harding will be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

“I will effectively have control of the auction,” he says.

“Damien will have no idea where my bottom line is and neither does my agent.

“We’re setting the price to what we believe to be the current market value, which is $1.68 million, and then that comes down in increments until we get to a point where I can’t stand it anymore!

“The buyers will see a red and green light and I’ll have a horn which gives them a visual and audio representation of when the auction is over. So while the light is green, and Damien is calling out a number, that’s the price you can buy it for.

“If I reach my pain threshold where I can’t stand it anymore, I’ll stop the auction, change the light and sound the horn.”

“Bidders are effectively not competing with anyone; they're competing with the perception that at any moment someone, including myself, can buy the property.”

Steven Cross

A NSW southern highlands property is to be sold in a theatrical ‘reverse auction’ in which the price decreases instead of rises and the first bidder to accept the price wins.

Gary Harding proposed selling his Burrawang café using the method in order to "turn tradition on its head".

“The basic concept is that the price comes down, and the first person with their hand up gets the property,” Mr Hardy told Real Estate Business exclusively.

“The other part is the $10,000 reward to the person who tells the eventual buyer about the auction – kind of like a finder’s fee. Anyone can win that; they don’t have to be an agent.”

Award-winning auctioneer Damien Cooley, who will conduct the auction on August 26, believes it will be the first of its kind in Australia.

“The Department of Fair Trade have actually got no real guidelines on how you come up with a buyer as such, so what method you take to get to the buyer is fair game,” Mr Harding said.

“The REI [of NSW] were a little bit against it, but as far as my lawyer is concerned, there’s nothing to stop us.”

And with no reserve set, Mr Harding will be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

“I will effectively have control of the auction,” he says.

“Damien will have no idea where my bottom line is and neither does my agent.

“We’re setting the price to what we believe to be the current market value, which is $1.68 million, and then that comes down in increments until we get to a point where I can’t stand it anymore!

“The buyers will see a red and green light and I’ll have a horn which gives them a visual and audio representation of when the auction is over. So while the light is green, and Damien is calling out a number, that’s the price you can buy it for.

“If I reach my pain threshold where I can’t stand it anymore, I’ll stop the auction, change the light and sound the horn.”

“Bidders are effectively not competing with anyone; they're competing with the perception that at any moment someone, including myself, can buy the property.”

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