Ray White agent Dean Vasil at an Earlwood home that went to auction without a reserve. Picture: Toby Zerna
Ray White agent Dean Vasil at an Earlwood home that went to auction without a reserve. Picture: Toby Zerna

Crowd ‘in awe’ at hoarder auction with no reserve

It had no reserve - offering the prospect of a price as low as $1, if it was the only bid - but a junk-filled inner west house delivered the opposite result when it went to auction.

The rundown Californian bungalow in Earlwood sold under the hammer for $1.51 million, which was reported to be hundreds of thousands of dollars above expectation.

The rainy auction attracted 47 registered bidders, including optimistic bidders who budgeted about $100,000 and wanted to "try their luck", selling agent Dean Vasil revealed.

"They just wanted to have a go … I think everyone was a bit in awe of the $1.51 million price," the Ray White-Earlwood agent said.

Early bidding hinted the auction may deliver on its promise of a bargain.

The opening bid was $1 and was followed by a $500 bid. Then it went to $500,000 before auctioneer Tim Snell received a series of rapid fire offers above the $1.3 million mark.

It was an unusual sale considering many of the rooms in the Birrellea Ave home were clogged with hoarded items, including boxes stacked to the patio ceiling.

The home sold for $1.51 million. Picture: Toby Zerna
The home sold for $1.51 million. Picture: Toby Zerna

Abandoned furniture was strewn across the garden, assorted rubbish filled the shed and the marketing photos showed a kitchen with piles of dirty pots and pans on the benchtops.

Mr Vasil said he did not know the full details of how the property came to be in this condition but the sellers were elated with the result.

"They were very emotional after the sale," he said. "They will be starting a new life in a different location with a lot more extra money."

The sellers took a calculated risk by not setting a reserve - usually the mechanism homeowners use to protect themselves in the event of a lower than expected buyer turnout, Mr Vasil said.

The home requires a lot of work. Picture: Toby Zerna
The home requires a lot of work. Picture: Toby Zerna

"They had trust in us and that it was a healthy market," he said.

The buyer was a family who were understood to be planning a renovation or rebuild project at some time in the future. They will take vacant possession of the property.

Feedback at the open for inspections had suggested some buyers were prepared to spend somewhere between $1.1 million-$1.2 million, despite the lack of a reserve, Mr Vasil said.

"The other bidders, there were some who wanted to spend $100,000, others $800,000, they saw the comical side to it. It was probably never going to sell for that but they felt they had to try."

The Earlwood auction is the second no reserve sale in six months after an Epping home came up for sale in similar circumstances.

There the vendor said they wanted to help a home seeker get into the market with a lower price.

That auction saw bidding start at $20, before jumping to $1 million by the third bid. It sold for $1.871 million - well above the $1.5 million mark comparable homes had sold for in the area.

Earlier on Saturday, a three-bedroom house on nearby Gornall Ave sold for $1.875 million - $275,000 over the reserve.

A dozen bidders registered for the auction and bidding kicked off at $1.5 million.

Mr Vasil, who was again the selling agent, said the property had been his agency's most popular property in 20 years.

The Earlwood buyer is planning a renovation or redevelopment.
The Earlwood buyer is planning a renovation or redevelopment.

"Before the auction we had 450 email inquiries," Mr Vasil said. "The first open home had more than 100 buyer groups. It was crazy."

Auctioneer Alex Pattaro said bidding was rapid and many of the interested parties tried knockout bids without success.

"Competition is so strong at auction there is no tactic that's going to help you win," he said. "You have to bid to your heart's content and if it's not enough, it's not enough."

Originally published as Crowd 'in awe' at hoarder auction with no reserve



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