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Running an auction can be like delivering a baby – there is no rushing it

By Holly Darwon

ON Saturdays I feel a bit like an obstetrician after the war – I’m delivering every hour on the hour.

The similarities aren’t limited to the frequency they are also comparable in that each one takes as long as they take.

Last Saturday my day started at Hendra.

It was a beautiful brand new home, built to the highest standard with a unique entertainment area which was positioned at almost eye level with the starting stalls at Eagle Farm Race Course.

The auction drew a huge crowd, buyers and neighbours spilled off the footpath and filled the street.

It opened in the early $1 millions and the bidding quickly escalated, with four bidders thumping it out until bidding reached $2.3 million. At this stage I had to pause proceedings and began a negotiation between our highest bidder and the owner.

When this happens it’s because the highest bid is below a price that I can announce the property on the market.

This negotiation can take a while, but regularly only takes about ten minutes. But not this day. After 50 minutes, made up of short sprints between a number of registered parties and the owner, the bid was finally increased to $2,425,000 and the property was called on the market and sold.

Huge applause from the surprisingly still sizeable crowd signalled the successful sale and I knew it was time to get my skates on.

It was now 10:55am and my next auction was four suburbs away at Windsor at 11am – it was time to make some calls to the agent and get moving.

Obviously I was amped after a successful outcome, but now it was time to get my head into the next game. As I whipped across town I started to consider the possible knock on affect from this auction on the rest of the day.

I arrived at Windsor at 11:05am, the crowd was in position and while I hadn’t seen this home I have auctioned many in the area over the years so was comfortable I could cover the introduction without going inside.

Walking straight from the car to centre stage I commenced with formal greetings and salient descriptions and was into the bidding at about 11:10am. An opening bid of $750,000 was called out from a lovely young family standing just to my left.

From that point it was electric. “$775,000” came the return. Four bidders then banged off each other for more than $200,000 until the property sold under the hammer for $995,000 to that fresh faced family on my left.

More applause and cheers as the young family celebrated.

After hugging the owners, congratulating the buyers and walking to my car I glanced at my watch, 11:16am. That was a quick one. Sometimes Saturdays can be like that and now there was time for a coffee before the next one.

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