Mortgagee auction of brand new Greenslopes house has surprise twist

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This house at 25 Merinda Street, Greenslopes sold under the hammer for $1.265 million.

A BRAND new tri-storey house, forced to auction after the developer defaulted on a loan, sold for $1.265 million yesterday.

There were wooden spoons for bidding paddles at the auction of 25 Merinda St, Greenslopes but from the moment the auction began it was clear this was to be a slow cooked affair, not a stir-fry.

There were only two public bids in the 30-minute auction and the eventual buyer never took the wooden spoon out of his jacket pocket.

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“It is strategy,” new owner James Lin said after the auction.

“You don’t bid initially, it won’t work. You only waste your time.

“I always buy the property like that, I wait to see where it settles and then bid through that.”

A $25,000 marketing campaign brought seven registered bidders to the five-bedroom property on 405sq m and they were among 45 people who lined the walls and sat on the coach, with a six metre void above them in the main living area.

The living area where people gathered for the 11am auction.

Moments before the auction started, McGrath auctioneer Justin Marsden was told the reserve price.

“Being a mortgagee and control auction we are not aware of the reserve until the auction starts,” McGrath Bulimba-Balmoral agent Gunther Behrendt said afterwards.

“I have no idea where the price is throughout the whole campaign. I still don’t know what it is, only the auctioneer knows, which is fine because we go about our business the same way.”

A representative of the property, who was waiting in a front room, instructed Mr Marsden to drop the reserve price during the auction to secure its eventual sale.

The auction opened with a bid of $900,000 from the couch, where a couple and their toddler were lounging comfortably. There was an answering bid of $1 million from someone in the kitchen.

The view toward the kitchen where bidders were standing.

“We’ve had better offers than this prior to as you’d expect,” Mr Marsden told the crowd.

“If it passes in it goes behind closed doors.”

The auctioneer then made a vendor bid of $1.2 million before hitting the pause button.

Mr Lin and his family were standing near the walk-in pantry and for the best part of half an hour, the real estate agent and auctioneer pounded the tiles between them and other bidders in an effort to bring the price closer to its reserve.

“They’re working hard,” one onlooker said.

During those private negotiations, Mr Lin made his first offer of $1.25 million and then increased it to $1.265 million. Mr Marsden returned to announce the property was on the market and with no further bids, it sold under the hammer.

The new owner of 25 Merinda St, Greenslopes, Daniel Lin (centre) with his parents James Lin and Chen Hueijung.

“That was very stressful,” Mr Behrendt said when he finally got to sit on the couch after the auction.

“The job of an auction agent is to get bidders to property. The bidding to inspection ratio was pretty good, one to six. The market was here.”

Mr Marsden agreed: “I would have thought you would have had more bidding from people but it just goes to show that people are still a little apprehensive but when someone else sees that there is good value in the market place they are happy to purchase.”

Locals in the 45-strong crowd, who had watched the house being built over a two-year period, were surprised by the result.

McGrath Bulimba-Balmoral estate agent Gunther Behrendt and the buyers of 25 Merinda St, Greenslopes, go through the paperwork after the auction.

“Wow, they’ve got a bargain,” said one woman who’d lived in the area for 30 years.

Mr Lin, who lives in the inner city, had been looking for a house for his son for six months and was ‘pretty excited’ by the result.

“I reckon we got a good price,” he said.

“A mortgagee sale always attracts people who come to buy.”

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