Auc­tion­eer says it’s sold, un­der­bid­der of­fers more

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - REALESTATE -

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.

Pic­ture: Jeremy Piper

Auc­tion­eer Jake Moore with win­ning bid­ders Stephanie San­dor and Jeff Ether­ing­ton.

For­mer Waver­ley mayor Ernie Page, and the house (be­low).

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