A Sunday Age investigation has found that 27 per cent of all auction results published by the industry body in June were missing critical information – including the sale price, passed-in price or the reserve. Many auctions were not reported at all, distorting clearance rates that are used by buyers and sellers to gauge market strength.
Is that why we’re seeing such good clearance rates down in Melbourne (around 50%), whereas up here in Brisbane clearance rates have been as low as 15%? Perhaps.
So this sort of data can obviously improve the look of the property market overall, but it can also make one agent look artificially better than another. RT Edgar director Michael Ebeling said agents who were doing the right thing were being disadvantaged because their competitors’ clearance rates seemed better because they withheld information.
So how can the consumer make a decision as to which agent is having the most success with auctions, or even whether they should sell their property via auction or private treaty, if accurate information is not available?
According to REIV head Enzo Raimondo:
If a person really wants to know the price for which a home sells, they can attend the auction.
- - The Age
That sounds a bit lame to me. How can a person attend a broad selection of auctions for each agent they are thinking of using to sell their property? It just doesn’t happen. Yes, it’s easy to find out if one particular property sells at auction, but how do you find out how well 4 different agents did when they might each have 3 auctions over a one or two month period?
In my view, the Real Estate Institutes in each state should require the mandatory reporting of all auction results, whether they sell or not.