Agent entices buyers with harsh truths and $10K reserve

A first-year agent believes being brutally honest with his buyers will help him sell a parcel of land that is “near impossible to build on”.

Ben Cotton from LJ Hooker Maitland said the 999-square-metre block of land he’s taking to auction on Saturday is the most difficult sale of his young career.

According to the listing, the slope of the block means the agency and the owner “believe it would be near impossible to build on at this point in time”. The block is also subject to flooding and heritage conservation.

The listing has a reserve of $10,000, which reflects the challenge of trying to get it sold, according to Mr Cotton.

“With the restrictions that are imposed, we've been very clear with the advertising and listed mostly the things that are wrong with it, which obviously will have a bearing on where the price could possibly end up,” he told REB.

Mr Cotton said one challenge is the lack of comparable sales, which made it difficult to provide a price estimate, and was also why the vendor was happy to disclose the reserve.

“With a difficult one like this, I think the public will be the best barometer we’re going to get and they can tell us what it’s worth at the end of the day,” he said.

“I was originally going to have a nice and short ad, but I thought it was probably best to cover as much as possible to let people know it is zoned B4, it’s subject to council approval, it can flood, it’s heritage and then go from there,” he said.

Despite the challenging nature of the listing, Mr Cotton said he had been able to garner interest from as far afield as Sydney, which is 170km away.

“It’s had a pretty broad reach, so I couldn't say it has only been locals; we have had people from outside the area enquiring about it,” he said.

“By the same token, there’s the signage that we’ve put up front facing one of the busy roads that it runs parallel to, and attached to the board was the reserve of $10,000. We have had people who have seen it and called up asking more about it.”

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