Fashion designer Wayne Cooper’s Luxury Sydney home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburb of Tamarama failed to attract a bidder at auction yesterday.

The entire process has been disastrous from start to finish with Wayne Cooper being convicted of assaulting her last Friday.  An apprehended violence order was amended so he could attend the auction.

A bidder offered an opening offer of $2.2 million, with the auctioneer rejecting the bid and opening with a vendor bid of $2.9 million. From that point on there was complete silence from any “real bidder”.

The one size fits all auction mentality is just not cutting it.

The sale of Luxury Homes is for specialists and unfortunately the agent responsible for conducting the campaign was not a Luxury Agent and not a recognized member of The Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate – the invitation-only worldwide peak industry body.

I find it amazing that agents choose to sell homes in the same way regardless of value – failing to recognize the difference between those involved in purchasing Luxury Homes. The market in Australia is proving week after week that clearance rates for properties over $1 million are extremely low – yet agents continue to cling to auction as a way of getting vendors to spend thousands of dollars on advertising their home in several newspapers in a very short period of time, or simply because they don’t know how to tell things as they are to their client.

Little if any thought is given to post auction strategy and research done by the National Association of Realtors is now indicating that almost 90% of buyers first find their home online – so why are agent’s still encouraging vendors to spend so much money on newspaper advertising? The answer is that it helps promote the agent – it’s a disappointing fact that so many agents give such poor advice.

The other issue at the moment which is making auctions more than difficult is that buyers are taking longer to make purchasing decisions – a 3 or 4 week concentrated campaign rarely works for Luxury Homes. Ms Marsh (Wayne Cooper’s former partner) had opposed yesterday’s auction because she feared it would not attract a good price due to the weakening market – she was totally right!

In fact Ms Cooper was so determined to have the auction postponed that she took her case to the Supreme Court – unfortunately she was unsuccessful.

Having worked with McGrath Estate Agents early in my career I understand that the auction method of sale is pushed onto vendors and agents are under enormous pressure to convince vendors to auction their properties – unfortunately there is little evidence either domestically or abroad to support auctioning and wasting thousands of dollars on what is fast becoming outdated newspaper advertising.

It has been reported that the McGrath Agent responsible for the sale has blamed the domestic violence issue for the property’s non-sale. I would suggest that proper training, advice and strategy formation from the beginning would have resulted in different advice being given as to the correct sale method and I strongly believe that Luxury Agencies like Marquette Turner Luxury Homes are by far the best choice when selling top-end properties.

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes has been awarded the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate’s 2008 Most Outstanding Luxury Agency in the World operating for less than 2 years – beating around 6000 agencies and 121,000 Luxury Agents.

Michael Marquette

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