Agent thrilled as house sells for 56 million per cent over reserve

Television cameras were on hand as a vendor’s gamble to set a $1 reserve for his property succeeded.

The four-bedroom home in the Sydney suburb of Blacktown sold for $565,000 at auction on Saturday.

Starr Partners Fairfield director Raj Bhandari, who had suffered sleepless nights in the lead-up, was relieved with the result.

“We were looking for somewhere between $550,000 and $570,000 as a decent price,” Mr Bhandari told Real Estate Business.

“The vendor was more nervous, but I wasn’t too far out. He had a lot of money at stake. From my perspective, we were nervous because we wanted to achieve a good result for the vendor and to come out with our reputation intact.”

Mr Bhandari said the auction had a fun, community feel, with more than 100 people in attendance.

“A lot of media were there – Channel Seven, Channel Nine, Channel 10, The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald,” he said.

“The first bid was $1. Then it moved to $30, then $100, then $500, then $5,000, then $50,000, then $400,000 and then it was a genuine auction.”

Mr Bhandari told Real Estate Business last month that he had tried to talk the vendor out of setting a $1 reserve.

"I told him it was crazy. The risk he’s taking could exceed the result he gets from the increased competition,” Mr Bhandari said at the time.

Although the strategy succeeded this time, Mr Bhandari said he would try to dissuade other vendors from repeating the trick.

“I’ll let them know that the media attention may not be as good the next time because it would be the second time,” he said.

“I’d also let them know they don’t have any protection and hope to talk them out of it.”

The median house price for Blacktown reached $537,000 in January, according to CoreLogic RP Data statistics.

That marked a 20.7 per cent jump on January 2014, a 41.3 per cent jump on January 2012 and a 60.3 per cent jump on January 2010.

[Related: Top growth cities of past decade don’t include Sydney]

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