The Top End has definately picked up a little right now (in activity – not price)

Posted on 26 Mar 2012, 5:47 p.m. in Market Updates, Selling

$3-Million-Plus Market
The Top End has definitely picked up a little right now (in activity – not price)


The New Way to do Business at the Top End – An Abercrombys Private Auction – 11 Bates St Malvern East selling over $6 million – Jeff Gole and Tim Derham

Thursday 22nd March: The Abercromby Private Auction – possibly the new Expressions of Interest. Private Auctions are where a home is advertised usually for a mid week auction and only those who register interest are allowed to attend.

11 Bates St Malvern East was a great example of how it works. A number of pre arranged private inspections during the course of an advertised auction campaign. A few days before today (Thursday) all potential buyers register interest and are required to indicate a starting bid – in today’s case $5.9 million was the written starting bid (I’m not sure what that proves, but anyway).

They are by invitation only (and some people I watched being turned away at the door, so its true) and today at 11 Bates three parties turned up. Two did – well I think two did – the spiel was given by Tim Derham and he read out there were two pre recorded bids. One bidder asked to see them and she was duly shown the written bids – what surprised me was she accepted them without asking Tim to point out who that actual written bid was from, but we move on. Anyway this feisty lady tried all manner to lower the bids (and good on her) until a $50,000 bid was accepted after Tim had cheekily asked for a $200,000 rise (well he tried hey!) and it was eventually passed into the lady – a deal was done behind closed doors over the magic $6 million mark post auction. Surprisingly despite the written bid, no-one else bid, eg the writer of the bid – mmmm!

Digressing slightly this was in our opinion about the right money for this very rare and truly great home as we figured $3m for the land and $3m for the home and the rest was going to be emotion. Read our James Home Rating if you wish.

But back to the Private Auction – not only is it a civil way to conduct proceedings at the Top End but it also probably circumvents the new cooling off period laws because it is indeed an advertised public auction (well I think it does – if its by invitation only does that make it a public auction – one for the legal boys).

This is the third of its type we’ve been to over $3m in recent times and all have worked (for the seller). As a buyer the normal rules apply at auction – do your homework on value, have representation at auction to protect your privacy and manage the bidding or lack of; and of course have a suitable post auction strategy to prevent the irresistible force of “Slapper” in full voice running you up the flag pole above fair and reasonable.

The more we see the Abercromby guys in action, the more impressed we are with how they do business at the Top End. Yes Tim Derham can hit you between the eyes when you least expect it and Jock can chew your ear off on why a home is worth such and such without necessarily dropping a fact into the conversation (he gets some very big deals over the line); but when you look at their line up which includes Rob Vickers Willis and Andrew Harlock this Top End boutique agency is truly the hired gunslingers (with some morality) who are knocking the Top End around a bit right now. No we don’t get anything from them, but we at James like the way they are doing business right now with the Private Auctions (its innovative and its working) – has a relative degree of transparency about it (although please you need the pre auction preparation and post auction pass-in skills if you are to give as good as you get – they are working for the vendor not you the buyer) and they are actually pleasant guys (not working for you but pleasant). Jeff Gole is a solid, ethical and experienced addition to the Abercromby family. Liking your work right now boys.


35 Stonnington Off Market – Over $6m
Off Market: 35 Stonnington Place Toorak also Jeff Gole and Tim Derham (they’ve had a good week these old blokes). Went through this off market home about a month ago. Pretty well the Toorak new build formula – big, thoughts of pretension, all the features but lacked a little soul when you lined it up against the calibre of  11 Bates St above. Was around the $6m mark the right money? I feel so and that represents a 25% rise on its last buy price during the GFC. Yes we may be in a market that may fall some more but we also may be in a market that has corrected and will begin to rise again. If you know for sure where we are in the cycle can you let us know please – us agents out here are waiting for that sign from God!

SOURED FROM Mal James – Principal Buyer Advocate, 23rd March 2012

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