Don’t be surprised if you see a big crowd of people gathering in front of a house. You see this a lot when you drive around on the weekend. This is not a gathering after a flashmob or an accident, this is the auction of a house. And everyone is invited! So, join me.
Since we live in the neighborhood we received an auction invite. Who knows, it might inspire us to also sell our house. Side note: this might be a bit hard when you live in a rental though. But the real estate agents remain persistent. Every other week there is a new note in our mail box, asking us if we want to sell our house.
This auction was one that I did not want to miss out on, since they invited us for complementary coffee. Not that I am such a big coffee drinker, but I suspected this might attract a large crowd.
You just follow the signs and balloons to the auction. Yes, they sure take it serious here.
So while I walked up to the house that was being auctioned I already saw people walking away from the house with a cup in their hands.
The free coffee is not home brewed coming out of a thermal bottle, which would probably be the case in the Netherlands. No, Melbournians are spoiled when it comes to coffee, if you want to attract people you serve them proper coffee from a mobile café!
Half an hour before the auction starts the house is open for inspection. Then everyone gathered in the garden, there were more than 100 people present! After a welcome by the auctioneer, he first explained the formalities. Then a couple of words about the house, which is location, location, location. Apparently the house itself is not that great as knocking it down was one of his options, judging by the rest of his description and the pictures you are not getting into a move-in-ready house here:
Then it was time for the action. “Does anyone have an opening bid?” After a short silence a “one million” offer was made. Two couples started bidding until 1.3 million seemed to be the last offer. Just when I thought things were over, the auctioneer walked into the house for a talk with the owner. After he came back, he said that a sale would be guaranteed. So if the offer would not have been satisfactory there would not be a sale. Then the whole thing started again. It seemed like some people waited for this, as now another couple started to get involved in the bidding as well.
They continued bidding in 10.000 steps and finally in 1.000 steps until it came to the last going once, going twice……..sold with a hammer clap on a piece of paper and clapping from the crowd.
For that amount of money, over € 1.000.000 (!) I expect a bit of a palace, but it ‘only’ gives you a three bedroom, two bathroom place.
Mostly these houses are being torn down and more houses are built on the block. This block has 723 m2, so would the regulations here it would probably easily fit two free standing houses.
The whole thing got live streamed on Facebook, in case anyone remote wanted to get involved as well. Although this was just another ordinary auction here, it sure was insanity to me!