If you’ve been following The Block, I think you’d agree that last weekend’s auction results threw out a few curve balls; none more surprising than the series’ underdogs Tess and Luke taking out top honours. Their property went for an eye-watering $3.62 million ($630,000 over reserve), with the couple pocketing an amazing $730,000 for their efforts.
“The auctions played out within my expectations in terms of price, with the price ranges I predicted being between $3.2-3.5 million. I expected that one house would go over this range as well, and it did with Tess and Luke’s being sold for $3.62 million,” says buyer’s advocate on The Block, Greville Pabst, who was nonetheless surprised at the winning result.
“To my surprise, both book-end houses sold for the lowest price and I was surprised at the price paid for Tess and Luke’s property. From a real estate perspective, I thought the two end properties were the best on The Block,” says Greville.
“I thought Mitch and Mark’s house would sell for more. In hindsight, maybe going first in the auction order wasn’t the best move as bidders held back to gauge how things were going to play out before putting their hand up,” says Greville, who was bidding for several potential buyers on the day.
And while Greville was surprised by the winning result he did concede that Tess and Luke’s property had lots of appealing features. “I think people were drawn to the formal dining room at the front, the large rectangular kitchen dining table and separate parents’ retreat area. Plus, the entertainment room upstairs, with the feature glass floor, was liked by many buyers who inspected the property.”
Ultimately, he believes that the auction order had a significant impact on the end result. “For instance, for Jesse and Mel who went last, the buyer pool had started to thin out meaning there was less money left in the room.” He nevertheless purchased their house on behalf of a buyer who is thrilled.
As for any key differences, compared to past auctions, Greville noted there were many more independent buyers this year. He also thought that the houses attracted owner-occupier buyers, rather than investors, which made it more difficult for some of the buyer’s advocates.
And in a sign of the times, Greville used a digital platform called Gavl to bid on the day. “It allows buyers the opportunity to watch and bid in real time on auctions via the Gavl app. This means my clients can be engaged in The Block auctions, if they can’t physically attend auction day, which was the case for my potential buyer in the UK.”