Auction stress for sellers and buyers

Kevin Lampen-Smith, CEO of the Real Estate Agents Authority, says it receives one complaint for every 126 properties sold, with most linked to auctions. With 92,000 residential properties sold in the 12 months to May — according to QV.co.nz — that translates into 730 complaints.

Lampen-Smith says some property owners selling at auction feel pressured by their real estate agent to accept a lower price than their reserve, and says agents need to understand their clients may be stressed on auction day.

“This may make it harder for them to take in new information,” he says.

Among the complaints received by the REAA include a potential purchaser who was the highest bidder at an auction, although their bid was below the reserve. After a private negotiation with the auctioneer the bidder thought he had bought the property. However, the auctioneer re-started the auction, and the property was sold to someone else.

“The complainant had not been told the bidding would re-open after negotiations and was left feeling very confused and disappointed,” says Lampen-Smith.

In another case an auctioneer asked the seller if their property was “on the market” as bids stalled below the reserve. English was the vendor’s second language, and she said “yes”. The property then sold below the reserve price, leaving her with a lower sale price than expected.

Renters
A report out this week reveals that people are waiting longer before having children, or are intentionally remaining childless.

According to Statistics NZ the proportion of childless women aged 50-54 has jumped from 10 per cent in 1996 to 15 per cent in 2013.

A friend says he and his partner have put off having children because they are renters and are not able to buy a home in Auckland.

“We never know when the notice to quit will come, or what property we will be able to rent next,” he says. “How can we have children when we have to keep moving around, and who’s to say how many bedrooms we’ll be able to get at the next house. It just wouldn’t be fair to keep moving children around and changing schools.”

The big 50
On a lighter note the REAA has crunched the numbers on the real estate industry to find that one in every 335 people in the country is a real estate licensee. And though the average age of all licensees is 50, the average age of real estate agents is 58. The oldest licensee is 90, and the youngest estate agent is 18.