Victorian sheriff knew Braybrook house had $630,000 valuation when it sold for $1,000

The sheriff’s office had a confirmed kerb-side valuation of $630,000 for Zhiping Zhou’s Braybrook house, which was sold for $1,000 in December 2010. 

Kell Griffin, the real estate officer of the Victorian Sheriff who conducted the auction, testified that he knew Zhou held equity of $165,000 in the six-bedroom Braybrook property and that Zhou owed his “judgement creditor” $125,000 when Griffin accepted a bid for $1,000 from Ronald Kousal. 

Griffin also confirmed that the $1,000 paid by Kousal did not cover the $1,152 costs incurred by the sheriff’s office in having the property valued and advertising it in the Herald Sun and the Government Gazette

The $630,000 valuation by Brendan Smith of WBP valuers was up from the $585,000 assessment made by the Maribynong Council in 2008. 

Griffin testified during day three of the trial that on the day of the auction, December 16 2010, there were two bidders in attendance. 

Kousal made the first bid at $100 and was followed by a counter-bid for $200 by the second bidder (not named), before Griffin accepted Kousal’s third bid of $1,000

Griffin said that he had followed out his duties “to the letter of the law”. 

He said he was “looking for more bidders” but had accepted Kousal’s bid because it was the highest bid and there were no further bids. 

The judge ruled that Griffin was not qualified to answer the question of whether or not he believed he had obtained an equitable price for the property. 

Under Victorian law, the sheriff’s office cost’s are paid first, then creditors and any remaining money would then be distributed to the defendant.



Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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