Pre-Christmas sale strategy delivers rich returns

One agent effectively cornered the market by holding an auction on Monday night that delivered a result 27 per cent above the reserve.

Scott Belsey from Hockingstuart Albert Park sold the property for $1.88 million after the reserve was set at $1.48 million.

The Albert Park terrace home, which is about three kilometres from the CBD, was listed online on 5 December and then hosted Saturday open homes on 6, 13 and 20 December.

Mr Belsey told Real Estate Business that he had originally planned to hold the auction in February, but realised he could maximise demand by striking just before Christmas.

The auction was held on the night of 22 December rather than 20 December so that prospective buyers could have one last chance to inspect the property.

“If you wanted a double-storey Victorian terrace in Albert Park and you wanted to buy before Christmas – that was your only option,” Mr Belsey said.

“The reason why [the strategy] worked and went so well was because it was such a desirable style of location in one of the best pockets of Albert Park.

“If it was an apartment in, say, Port Melbourne where there’s a huge pile of them, that tactic of going to auction that late in the year may not have worked.”

Mr Belsey said the auction had a wonderful community feel, with 100–150 bidders, neighbours and passers-by in attendance.

“There are some really nice restaurants down the road and a lot of people from the pub also wandered up after seeing the signs and the people wandering over,” he said.

The auction attracted more than 100 bids from the crowd after starting with a vendor bid of $1.4 million, Mr Belsey said.

“It jumped in $20,000 increments and kept going without a pause. The last $100,000 of bidding was done in $1,000 or $2,500 increments,” he said.

Mr Belsey told Real Estate Business that the property requires a bit of work, but that the cost of the renovations should be offset by the expected price gain.

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