Is the public auction system going – going – gone?

Is the public auction system going – going – gone?
Is the public auction system going – going – gone?

The practice by unethical real estate agents to – ‘quote them low and watch it go’ could very well finally be a thing of the past – well in Queensland anyway (for starters). Governments from all political persuasions have struggled for decades to establish a best practice platform for the real estate industry.

Queensland is close to implementing the new legislation although they are struggling at the last hurdles given they are seeking that agents are not permitted to provide any price guides. The reforms have now been altered to permit agents providing a price guide on the internet.

This just keeps getting dumber and dumber given this whole process could be fixed so easily – all that’s required is for the vendors to publish their reserve price to all parties making inquiries. The prospective purchasers then make up their own minds as to what they believe the property is worth based on the published reserve price – a clean and transparent selling process.

I have always argued (successfully) that the difference between a good real estate agent and an average one is about 10% of the sale price. The difference by not quoting the agents price guide is that this figure is generally skewed to the attraction price as against the selling price which is exactly what should be the case in this day and age.

If a buyer wants to pursue a property at the vendor’s reserve price then all well and good. If on the other hand they construe that the expectations are too high then let the property run a reverse course – which is interesting as this then goes back to the respective agent’s negotiating skills. I’m not exactly sure what parts of this the agents don’t get as reserve price quoting will reward the agents with superior negotiating skills – which is exactly what vendors should be looking for.

There is a great role for public auctions in the real estate industry, just the system requires critiquing because rogue agents will always struggle with the truth. Watch this debate get very heated in coming weeks and months although rest assured there will be major changes across the board to the Australian property auction system.

Another fascinating week that had the “experts” (whatever they are) calling the end of the biggest Sydney property boom in a decade – what a load of rubbish!

To add some weight to these idiotic statements there are approximately 637 (and growing) suburbs that make-up Sydney. Yet in typical lackadaisical reporting fashion we read “dwelling values across Australia’s capital cities have recorded declines” – so they take the weighted averages over 637 suburbs in the case of Sydney to get an accurate positioning? Anyone applying this methodology is simply delusional as this in no way accurately defines real estate market trends – until such time as it is suburb by suburb this collective data is as useful as an ashtray on a motor bike.

30-04-2014 1-59-49 PM

Source: Digital Finance Analytics

30-04-2014 1-58-58 PM

Source: Digital Finance Analytics

The latest monthly banking statistics from APRA identify consistent lending to the end of March 2014. In February owner-occupied and investment loans were $1.231 billion and in March they came in at $1.236 billion. The ‘Big Four’ increased their market share from 84.3% to 84.4% which will have many suggesting that should there be a correction they will be in all sorts of bother.

What I would like to see is a graph showing where their respective loans were as we should remember during the global financial crisis (GFC) Mosman was tipped as having the highest delinquency rate in Australia where it was later proved it had the lowest.

As they say, be careful about calling yourself an expert. An ex is a has–been and a spurt is a drip under pressure. For some, it’s human nature to predict/promote themselves as some type of modern day Nostradamus who quite remarkably possess this innate ability to read the future.

Recently we read that in America, Dr Marc Faber is predicting that this year we will witness a 1987-type stock market crash although this time it will be much more severe. For those who have no idea what exactly happened here it is Black Monday – 1987.

Given what transpired recently in the GFC, I would think that the vast majority are erring on the side of caution – which history has conclusively shown to be the smartest path.

Robert Simeon

Robert Simeon

Robert Simeon is a director of Richardson Wrench Mosman and Neutral Bay and has been selling residential real estate in Sydney since 1985. He has also been writing real estate blog Virtual Realty News since 2000.

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