Vendors Brad and Christine Kerr put on a brave face after 17 Beresford Ave, Chatswood, passes in on a vendor bid of $1.7 million. Picture: Richard Dobson
CHRIS and Brad Kerr say they’re “heartbroken” after the Californian bungalow in their family for 93 years passed in for what seemed a ridiculously low price.
Just two bidders competed for the three-bedroom home on a 757 sqm block at 17 Beresford Ave, Chatswood and agents couldn’t get them to offer even $1000 more than the vendor bid of $1.7 million.
After the gavel fell, Karen Davis, of Standen Estate Agents, said: “Last year our vendors might have got $2.4 million for this but now we’re having to ask them to consider $800,000 less than that.”
On better days past, would have undoubtedly been a “hot auction”, with buyers excited by the rare property’s uniqueness and potential.
The vendors had spent a lot of time and effort into getting 17 Beresford Ave, Chatswood up to scratch
Standing in the back yard, it was as quiet and peaceful as being in the country, with kookaburras laughing away in the trees above.
The deep block backed onto a laneway and the people next door have a granny flat above a garage; neighbours a few doors away are in the process of building the same thing.
But banks’ tighter lending rules mean buyers have less money to play with.
At today’s auction, before the vendor bid, the highest real bid had been $1.65 million.
And extracting bids throughout really was like pulling hen’s teeth.
One of the agents suggests potential bids to some of the competing parties. Picture: Richard Dobson
Auctioneer Ben Mitchell suggested an opening bid of $1.6 million; the bidder offered $1.5 million which Mr Mitchell refused. After a battle, he managed to get the woman to come back with $1.55 million. She got a bottle of French Champagne for that.
The second bidder wanted to go up by $1000s, again which he refused.
And that’s precisely how the auction proceeded — a massive negotiation process to simply get people to offer barely anything.
It didn’t seem to make a scrap of difference when Mr Mitchell reminded buyers that the last sale in the street had been $2,228,000 — that was then, and this was now.
The opening bidder accepts her bottle of French Champagne. Unfortunately it didn’t motivate her much. Picture: Richard Dobson
After the gavel fell, the agents managed to get the bidder up to $1.67 million, but it was still a way off the $1.75 million reserve.
“Yes we are heartbroken,” Mr Kerr said. “We expected to get something more reasonable than this.
“This is garbage.”
Mrs Kerr, whose mother, Yvonne Foster, had lived in the home up until four years ago when she moved into a nursing home. She passed away about a year ago.
“I’ve spent a lot of time and effort to get the property up to this condition — we’ve rewired it, painted it throughout and done up the original floorboards …
Auctioneer Ben Mitchell addresses the small crowd that had gathered in the street for the auction. Picture: Richard Dobson
“It’s not just the money, it’s the emotional attachment.
“My grandparents bought the house, dad was born here, my great grandfather even lived here … four generations of the Foster family!”
They estimated her grandparents had bought it for about 5000 pounds.
“This is old world Australiana,” Mr Kerr said. “With the streets all named after World War I soldiers and battles.
The couple are hoping further offers are forthcoming in coming days.
“What’s being offered now is just a bit too cheap,” Mr Kerr said.