oc | Tuesday 7th December

Are you serious Scott Cam – Are you serious CAV?

good or Bad


Congrats to Josh and Elyse, great win on The Block and well done to all the other contestants.

I like watching The Block Grand Finale normally – but

Are you serious Scott, CAV, Frank and Nicole?

Was I watching a real show or Hollywood (where there are no rules)?

If there are no rules, what was Consumer Affairs Victoria doing there?

My concern revolves around the pass-in of Ronnie and Georgia’s home:

  • in law
  • in fairness
  • in Frank’s dudded buyer
  • in the the message it sends about what’s Ok at Victorian auctions going forward.


I thought in Victoria where the passed-into highest bidder has met the reserve in first-up negotiations, he or she, by law, buys the . This is from the CAV and the Government website.



That didn’t happen. Am I missing something?

I am not talking about a minor technical breach here.

If CAV says this is OK, what sort of chance of fair play does any buyer have at any Saturday auction.

Does nobody care about the buyer who was dudded?

I would have thought Exhibit One for any court case, are the rules above and the screenshot below.

I would have thought Exhibit Two would have been discussions (appropriate?) that went on behind the scenes after Scott Cam’s very poor advice, shutting the auction down.

Ronnie and Georgia’s home was passed into Frank’s buyer as the highest bidder and his client’s early post auction offer clearly met the reserve, so why did he not buy it then and there – why did further negotiations continue?

In fact why did Frank’s buyer not buy it at $2,620,000 – the Reserve?

Why would anyone bid at auction under what we saw on The Block – what protections do we as buyers really have?

Frank would have been told the reserve after the Pass-in (or was he told a Clayton’s reserve)?

Frank met it and then some? End of story?

But no, another buyer, represented by Nicole, who it wasn’t passed into, who didn’t even bid during the auction, bought it. Why do we have auction laws and rules?

Why are Frank or Nicole not speaking out about this – the rightful buyer (Frank’s) appears to have been completely dudded and by their silence, they as licensed representatives of buyers, seem to imply this sort of auction behaviour is OK.

Where does the CAV, Channel 9 stand?

We are told The Block is real, so is this ok to do at a Saturday auction?

No, it is not.

Hey Scott, Hey Bill, Hey Frank, Hey Consumer Affairs what am I missing. These guys are

I won’t go into the other risky actions led by Scott, with regards to ignoring the agent’s advice about reopening the bidding or removing the selling agent and bringing in buyer agent Nicole (who works for the buyer), to deal directly with the inexperienced selling contestants – WOW.

Scott is a great host – but as a real estate advisor – mmmm.

Best the real estate advice is left to professionals like Bill – the contestants hired him, why were they not allowed to take his advice – why did he not conduct all the negotiations?

I suppose in the end with no rules, Scott got more cash (debatable) – even if fairness was trampled on, the rightful owner tossed aside, the professional selling agent ignored, the spirit and the laws of Victorian auctions sidelined – I suppose that makes it ok.

Looking forward to the buyer advocates’, CAV’s and Channel 9’s responses.

Stop Press:

Here are the responses to the Pass-In, Monday morning – Age Article 29/10/17 – Adrian Lowe Allison Worrall

If true, these are seriously troubling responses – what about the real buyer who was tossed aside?

Frank Valentic said in the article he made two offers — $2,675,000 and $2,725,000 — but both were rejected, he said after the auctions.

Frank you should be sticking up for your client. You know how to use Social Media.

Nicole Jacobs said due process was followed. “Not unlike most auctions on the street where they pass in, there was a bit of confusion” she said.

You are joking Nicole! Why didn’t you bid for starters – why did you put your buyer at such great risk?

A Consumer Affairs Victoria spokeswoman said the auction process was legally compliant.

I’m speechless CAV!

How can they say this – There was no confusion – the reserve was on the screen all the time, it didn’t change and Frank Valentic’s first offer of $2,675,000 technically should have bought the property – yet he didn’t buy it and Nicole Jacobs and Consumer Affairs and Scott and others think this is Ok.

The responses appear totally inappropriate, wrong in law and bereft of any concern for the

….poor buyer who followed the rules, but doesn’t own the property. Where are the thoughts for his or her family? Huh!

Footnote: Maybe this is just a cunning plan for publicity by Channel 9 and Scott – and I’ve fallen into their trap. Trouble is some people think this show is real, especially with government involvement!

I look forward to reading articles in The Age Domain – hope they feel comfortable to get to the real crux of what happened.

Link to Press Release stating we believe The Block was Underquoting, CAV condoned and the Issues the Andrews Government need to address for buyers.

Link to Open Letter to Daniel Andrews and CAV

Link to Block Apology

Now back to Super Saturday?

Celebrating with a smooch bottom left! 10 Russell Street sells under the hammer $5,350,000

Celebrating with a smooch bottom left and we are not sure they were even bidding! 10 Russell Street, Sam Wilkinson sells under the hammer $5,350,000, 3 bidders.


Last Year Super Saturday

Today Super Saturday


duck28.10.17At 6.00pm Saturday, the overall Inner Melbourne $2M+ market results:

Family Home Clearance Rate of 79% on the 39 Inner Melbourne $M+ auctions we covered.

Combined with James Bidderman (bidders per auction) @ 1.8 on record auction stock numbers.

Almost identical to last year, with bidders slightly down and clearances slightly up.

Today was the second day of our 100-Auction Test and even though the market is now continually below 2 for Bidderman, it’s very hard to say anything other than today’s market performed strongly and slightly above our expectations.

We said last week the market may well be on an overall turn as the C-graders and the A-graders grow further apart – and we still believe the signs are there – however today’s numbers don’t lie.

If you are chasing a good home – an A-grader; then you will still have to compete strongly as a buyer and there is little relief in sight.

Strategy, strategy, strategy unless you have buckets of cash to throw at it (and you may need both).

James Market News returns after the Melbourne Cup.



Note: This article was written and published Saturday night before the Block Auctions were televised Sunday – a true coincidence.

Is Underquoting Returning – are the Clayton’s Reserves coming back?

The current market has the potential to return to the bad ‘ol days, and if that is the case, then it’s bloody disappointing!

The good work of the State Government, Consumer Affairs and the appear to have a real chance of being undone, by a few tricky agents readopting their tricky old ways.

History – May 2017

  1. We totally supported the May Underquoting legislation.
  2. We believe most agents embraced the May legislation.

Now – October 2017

  1. You are seeing a return of the big post-auction “Powerlifting” with the Clayton’s Reserve (That is a pass-in and then the buyer is told a reserve you have, when you are not having a reserve – ie a false reserve.)
  1. You are hearing agents saying that the quoting laws are damaging the market. Poppycock. The market is easing a tad, because there are fewer bidders on the weaker properties. These agent comments appear to be the start of a justification of going outside the spirit of the quoting laws.

    3. There is an increasing pool of agents who feel they have discovered the “answer” to CAV’s underquoting laws.

And that “answer” is “ignorance of the seller’s reserve”. Sorry Mal, I had no idea of the reserve.

We call them the Sergeant Schultz (Hogan’s Heroes) agents (I know nothing, I know nothing).

That’s right, some agents are ducking and weaving again by;

1) quoting low under the guise of best market “comparables”

2) discouraging offers and

3) claiming to not know the seller’s reserve

They are carefully circumventing the spirit of the laws and avoiding prosecution.

Well for God’s sake – no – CAV – please get the very big stick back out again.

Case Study – 3 Merton Place,  


It’s a beautiful little home which we rated 626 /1000 click here 

The agent quote was $1,400,000 to $1,450,000 all through the campaign.

Here is the Statement of Information for 3 Merton Place, Albert Park.


We advised our client the week before the auction that our assessment was a full $300,000 above the of the quote range on a $1,450,000 quoted property.

Our client instructed us to offer before auction.

Our Offer Process

Earlier this week our client was advised verbally by the agent, that 120 days was acceptable.

Earlier this week we advised the agents in advance, we would be making an offer on Wednesday before the auction, within the no cooling-off period – a professional courtesy.

The agents didn’t ask what our offer was – they just said they didn’t want any offer. We accepted their right to say that, but we made an offer anyway, as is our client’s right.

Our buyer went to the expense of a pest and building inspection, based on the quote.


Here is the offer presented and dated the Wednesday before the auction. Our offer (unconditional, with a deposit cheque and an acceptable settlement time) was duly delivered and acknowledged on the Wednesday.


Interestingly, or coincidentally the offer was not refused until 4.20 pm Friday – why did it take three days? – this made it difficult for the selling agents to change the internet quote, which as of today (the day of the auction) remained on the internet at $1,400,000 to $1,450,000 – despite a refused offer of $1,600,000.

We do understand the agents attempted to contact some buying parties and tell them an offer had been refused – so tick if that was the case – but why the quote and three days to refuse a rock solid offer and then no quote change and then a huge reserve (compared to quote) – none of this was stated in the auction preamble.

However, to today’s auction.


We opened the bidding – with a straight $1,600,000 bid.

Bidder number 2 offered $5,000.

We asked if it was on the market.

The answer was a firm No.

A few more bids took place – the auctioneer was asked continually about being on the market, about the quote and…….. The auctioneers response was “No – I understand my obligations under CAV.”

At $1,725,000 the auctioneer again went inside and returned to say the property was not on the market, but the reserve would be $1,750,000.

We took instructions from our client (an investor from ) – she stated that she did not wish to do business like this and we walked away as instructed.

The property was passed in, $275,000 over the advertised $1,450,000 quote and sold after at $1,750,000.

So returning to the New Quoting Laws:

  • Is this the sort of situation the CAV set out to allow? The Clayton’s Reserve with Sergeant Schultz agents
  • Is there in fact, anything wrong here?
  • Should owners be held accountable?
  • Have we as buyer advocates done anything inappropriate? We accept that you could argue our offer beforehand had buoyed the seller up and encouraged him to go for glory.

We are not saying this is a straight out case of underquoting and we actually like Tony Pride and Margaret Duncan – let’s leave personalities out of this – this is an example of what is happening increasingly across the market and our worry is this may well turn into a trend.

Low quote, offer responses delayed, Sergeant Schultz reserves – it’s a moving beast and ……. You could make a case that it was great agent work by the agent and it’s just sour grapes from us.

You could also make a case about what sort of agent didn’t know there were multiple bidders at a price $300,000 above a $1.45m quote – and therefore the quote was inappropriate and the actions while legal, pushed all boundaries.

Let’s not worry about this one case, it’s not a Robinson Crusoe one – it’s becoming an increasing trend and there-in lies our concerns.


The Underquoting laws are workable, but only if the spirit is adhered to by the vast majority of agents?

Many of our buying clients are also sellers and we recognise the need to quote conservatively, in this market, at the beginning of the campaign; BUT only within the spirit of the law and the actual law and those quotes need to be updated when more information comes to hand.

We also recognise the right of the seller to change their mind or to leave it to the last minute – there are grey zones and that’s probably ok. 3 Merton could have easily been one of those cases.

Our concerns lie in the fact that we have the potential to return to the red zones – the bad ‘ol days – to where underquoting was rife. That would be wrong and counterproductive for our industry.

We have tried to keep the facts as straightforward as possible and offered to send a copy of this report (before publication) to the agents mentioned. We have given fair warning to get their house in order and respond if they wish – which we would print in full and unedited. The agent said let’s talk Monday.

Maybe CAV need to review the current market place and make some legal tweaks, as to how vendors communicate the reserve to their selling agent AND NIP ANY BUD THAT MAY BE BUDDING.

This may be only buds; but buds can grow into trees and trees can grow into forests.



Cameron Way Woodards  79 Rowell Avenue Camberwell under the hammer 6 bidders $3,000,000

Cameron Way (Woodards) 79 Rowell Avenue, Camberwell under the hammer, 6 bidders $3,000,000.

Camberwell, 79 Rowell Avenue (Cameron Way) Under the Hammer $3,000,000, 6 Bidders

Toorak, 1 Highgate Hill (Gowan Stubbings) Under the Hammer $5,820,000, 5 Bidders

Kew, 82 Argyle Road (Gerald Delany) Under the Hammer $5,800,000, 5 Bidders

All James 39 Auction Reports



What's so funny? 2 Elwood selling after auction $5,500,000

What’s so funny? 2 Elwood, Brighton (Robin Parker) selling after auction $5,500,000, 2 Bidders.

Brighton, 2 Elwood Street (Robin Parker) After the Auction $5,500,000, 2 Bidders

Brighton, 356 New Street (Nick Johnstone) Under the Hammer $5,410,000, 2 Bidders

Middle Park, 57 Park Road (Warwick Gardiner) Under the Hammer $3,845,000, 3 Bidders

All James 39 Auction Reports


82 Argyle Road Kew sold under the hammer $5,800,000

G-E-R-A-L-D @ 82 Argyle Road, Kew sold under the hammer $5,800,000, 5 Bidders.

Kew, 82 Argyle Road (Gerald Delany) Under the Hammer $5,800,000, 5 Bidders

Camberwell, 10 Russell Street (Sam Wilkinson) Under the Hammer $5,350,000, 3 Bidders

Hawthorn East, 7 Lovell Street (Tim Derham) Under the Hammer $5,180,000, 4 Bidders

All James 39 Auction Reports


Feeling brand new! The Market is alive!

Phil de Fegely – Feeling brand new! The Market is alive! 2 Blackfriars Close, Toorak, $4,160,000, Under the hammer, 2 Bidders.

Malvern East, 33 Grant Street (John Bongiorno) Under the Hammer, $6,125,000, 3 Bidders

33 Grant Malvern East James Home Rating - click here

33 Grant Malvern East James Home Rating – click here

Toorak, 1 Highgate Hill (Gowan Stubbings) Under the Hammer $5,820,000, 5 Bidders

Toorak, 17 Toorak Avenue (Justin Long) Under the Hammer $5,600,000, 2 Bidders

All James 39 Auction Reports


31 Arthur Street Brighton, passed in 0 bidders $4,625,000

31 Arthur Street, Brighton, passed in 0 bidders $4,625,000.

Brighton, 6 Cole Street, Passed in $11,200,000, 1 Bidder

Hawthorn, 46 Wattle Road, Passed in $6,300,000, 1 Bidder

Camberwell, 16 Kintore Street, Passed in $5,000,000, 0 Bidders

All James 39 Auction Reports

Mental Health


This article talks about issues connected with suicide, which you may find confronting due to your beliefs, culture or situation.

While talking about suicide is encouraged, not all talk is said to be good talk and we have attempted to follow the more public guidelines set out in conversationsmatter.com.au and encouraged by beyondblue.org.au

At least 3 real estate agents have taken their own life in the most recent of times.

Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst 15 to 44 year olds, however our industry seems to be regarded as a high risk industry, according to the limited data easily available.

The three questions this article asks and discusses are:

  1. Are you ok – are you experiencing issues?
  1. What can you do to help or to get help?
  1. As a group or a profession what are the experts suggesting we consider?

This article has been written to point:

  • individuals having symptoms
  • worried colleagues and
  • company leaders

in good directions to where those answers may be found.

Bblue 1

Wellbeing and Real Estate

It is suggested that suicide be discussed as part of the whole wellbeing issue and personal stories can help.

Whilst I have had no strong feelings of suicide, I have been subjected to what I consider large loads of stress and anxiety at times and have found that my general health has deteriorated UNTIL I have personally taken steps to change OR my friends have stepped in and suggested I take steps to make changes in my life.

The keys areas of stress and anxiety for me have been:

  • My inability to manage staff over the longer term
  • The 24/7 constancy and the expectations that go with it
  • The lack of time and skill to look within
  • My inabilities in the early days to let go of rejection by clients, co-workers and bosses

My stress and anxiety significantly reduces and my general wellbeing improves:

  • When I go on holiday – which I have done at the rate of 15 weeks a year for many years and my happiness and my income has gone up.
  • When I realise I am not good at something – eg managing large numbers of staff. I have reduced accordingly – my income and happiness has gone up. I focus on the areas I get meaning from and let others cover my gaps.
  • When I embrace meditation and turn off my work phone after tea, on holidays and even at certain times of the day, my “me time” and my income goes up. Effectively I have learnt to “let go” – but I’m far from perfect.
  • When I get assistance. A number of times I have sought help from professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, health clubs and have found their assistance very good for short periods of time, as it has allowed me to get back on track. In the longer term I have found time away and meditation most helpful, however some experts do not recommend deep introspection, without professional assistance, if you are having mental health issues.
  • When I talk to my friends and family. I don’t have a lot friends, as many will tell you I can be hard work; however the few that I do have, make a real difference to my overall happiness. I’m not a big talker on the personal stuff – but it does help to do so at times, when I am amongst trusted friends.
  • Even though I am separated/divorced – I still live within a strong family unit – I make efforts to be part of the family, to look at the bigger family picture above all other matters and in return I have found great comfort within my family, in difficult times.

We all like to boast in our industry about our abilities to perform under pressure, to be rock solid and impervious to stresses while getting record results. However if you peel the layers back, shine a real light on the top agents, chisel away the cast iron veneers of the top dollar earners – then in our business you will see vulnerability, mistakes, fears, stress – just like you may have – you are not alone – and probably not that different from the next bloke or gal.

The following information is taking directly from Beyondblue.org.au

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 8.25.16 AM

So question one, are you ok?

What are the warning signs?

Sometimes, when a person has a deteriorating mental health condition or a person faces a serious, negative life situation, he or she may consider suicide or harming him or herself.

This is not the case for everyone with depression or anxiety, but it’s important to be aware that for some people their condition may become so severe that they may believe these actions are their only option to relieve unbearable pain.

Suicide warning signs

    • A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future.
    • Isolation or feeling alone – “No one understands me”.
    • Aggressiveness and irritability – “Leave me alone”.
    • Possessing lethal means – medication, weapons.
    • Negative view of self – “I am worthless”.
    • Drastic changes in mood and behaviour.
    • Frequently talking about death – “If I died would you miss me?”.
    • Self-harming behaviours like cutting.
    • Engaging in ‘risky’ behaviours – “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die”.
    • Making funeral arrangements.
    • Giving things away (clothes, expensive gifts) – “When I am gone, I want you to have this”.
    • Substance abuse.
    • Feeling like a burden to others – “You would be better off without me”.
    • Making suicide threats – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”.


Question two, what can you do?

Talking to someone about your suicidal feelings

Having suicidal thoughts can be scary. You may have never had them before, or perhaps the thoughts have been there for a while and you are not sure what to do.

You may be ashamed to talk about it or worry that people will judge you or not take you seriously and just tell you to “Get over it”. But talking to someone you trust and feel comfortable with about how you are feeling can help.

Let someone know

  • Share how you feel with someone you trust and feel comfortable with, a family member, teacher, doctor or other health professional.
  • Try and think about it as any other conversation. You can describe what has happened, how you feel and what help you need. It’s best to be direct so that they understand how you feel.
  • Be prepared for their reaction. Often people who learn that someone is suicidal can be quite confused and emotional at first. Just keep talking and together you can find a way through it.
  • Ask your friends/family member to help you find support; in person, online, over the phone.
  • Understand that others do care. It is important to have support from your friends but if you tell them about your suicidal thoughts you cannot expect them to keep it a secret. They want to be able to help you stay safe and that usually means calling in extra help.

Keep safe

In the first instance you need to focus on finding ways to stay safe. Once you are safe you can work out how you are going to get the help you need.

It can be hard to think clearly when you’re feeling suicidal, so having a plan already in place means you can focus on following the steps until you feel safe. Find out more about making a safety plan.

  • Remember that thoughts of suicide are just thoughts; you do not have to act on them. These thoughts might only last a few minutes; you might feel differently in a few hours.
  • Postpone any decisions to end your life. Give yourself time to get the support you need.
  • Remove anything in the house that you might use to impulsively harm yourself – maybe give it to a friend.
  • Keep crisis line phone numbers or web links in your mobile phone for easy use.
  • Avoid being alone. Have someone near you until your thoughts of suicide decrease.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. They can intensify how you feel and make decision making more impulsive.

Question three, what can we as an industry do?

The general opinion seems to be, we can start a conversation.

In line with doing that – here are three websites we consulted.


1. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

2. https://www.headsup.org.au/

3. http://www.conversationsmatter.com.au/

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