Auctioneer says it’s sold, underbidder offers more
THEY TH say lightning never strikes twice but, through no fault of his own, young Cooley’s auctioneer Jake Moore yesterday found himself at the centre of another controversy.
Just as he said “sold” and brought the gavel down at $3,725,000 for a deceased estate at 82 Ocean St, Bondi, in favour of young couple Stephanie Sandor and Jeff Etherington, the agent, Laing and Simmons Woollahra’s Rylee Page, yelled out: “Wait ...”
And the underbidder, standing beside her but not directly in the auctioneer’s view, raised her card and said “10,000 more!”.
For a horrible few moments, it looked like Mr Moore might be about to accept the bid. But he sim- ply turned and said to Ms Sandor, who had been doing the bidding: “Sorry ma’am, I just need to check if the underbidder raised her card before the gavel came down.” She replied: “But you said ‘Sold!’.” At this point, Mr Moore walked off to consult with Ms Page and the underbidder, before returning to announce to Ms Sandor and Mr Etherington and the bemused crowd: “They had ample time before the gavel came down, the property is sold to you!”
The incident had parallels with last July, when, due to a miscommunication with the agent, Mr Moore slammed the gavel down $40,000 short of the written reserve on a Redfern renovators’ delight.
Then he had to tell the builders who thought they’d bought the property that it was, in fact, passed in. They threatened to sue the agents, but the property ended up being sold to someone else.
In Bondi, Ms Sandor and Mr Etherington said they would have considered legal action, too, had they missed out.
“When the gavel comes down and he says it’s sold, it’s sold, right?” Mr Etherington said.
The Redfern case showed that is not always the case if the price is less than the written reserve.
In Bondi yesterday, the $3.725 million offer didn’t match the $3.8 million original reserve either — but in this case, after the bidding stalled, the agents adjusted the reserve after consulting with the executers. The underbidders who had missed out vanished immedi- ately after the auction, so it’s not clear if they were happy.
But Mr Moore, the agents and Ernie Page, Waverley mayor in the 1970s, who’d bought the Ocean St house for £4600 53 years ago, thought the right decision had been made. “I think he’d sold it,” Mr Page said.
The property was the deceased estate of his former wife, Marianne Page. They had divorced in the 1990s and she got the house.
Mr Page was pleased that the proceeds from the sale would be split between their five children, now aged between 47 and 63.
Core Logic said the auction was one of 400 scheduled for Sydney. With 286 of the results in, it put the preliminary clearance rate at 60.84 per cent.
Auctioneer Jake Moore with winning bidders Stephanie Sandor and Jeff Etherington.
Former Waverley mayor Ernie Page, and the house (below).