Agent seals his biggest deal of the year at 11.15pm

One agent can thank his late-night negotiating skills for scoring a new suburb record just before Christmas.

Hockingstuart Northcote director Sam Rigopoulos sold a historic four-bedroom property for $2.78 million in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote.

The previous Northcote record was a $2.52 million sale made earlier in the year by Nelson Alexander, which surpassed a $2.47 million sale by Hockingstuart Northcote in 2010.

Mr Rigopoulos told Real Estate Business the house was sold in post-auction negotiations following a boardroom auction attended by five parties.

“The buyer and seller were both keen to make something happen, but both were very protective of their best interests,” he said.

“It took just a little over four hours of negotiations to get that one done, and at about 11.15pm we finally reached agreement.”

Mr Rigopoulos said it is always difficult to convince a buyer to pay a record price for a property.

“The main thing you can look at when you’re breaking new ground is to look at similar properties and try to find value differences,” Mr Rigopoulos said.

“On this occasion, there had been a couple of properties that had sold near to the mark but were a little bit smaller.

“The growth that this property has enjoyed in the time it had been owned by the current owners also gave them confidence on their investment.”

Mr Rigopoulos said another reason for the record price was the historic nature of the home, which is about eight kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.

‘Terracedale’ was the second home built in Northcote, in 1873, and once housed the suburb’s first telephone exchange, Mr Rigopoulos said.

“It’s a tremendous piece of land – about 1,600 square metres running along the Merri Creek, which is a really picturesque setting. It’s almost like a farm in the inner city, which is quite nice,” he said.

Mr Rigopoulos said the Northcote market has been performing strongly, and that he had sold a modern 550 square-metre property in the suburb for $2.15 million earlier in the year.

“We’ve had a tremendous 12-18 months, with a lot of really good money being paid for family homes in particular,” he told Real Estate Business.

“The area is becoming more popular with young families, who are seeing more value in the inner north as opposed to the inner east. It’s still got a fair way to go in terms of value and growth, I think.”

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