Despite the best attempts by Marshall White auctioneer Mark Williams, the Burke Road home, which sits on an oversized block of more than 400 square metres, failed to attract one bid from the 50+ crowd. It was eventually passed in on a vendor bid of $900,000.
Mr Williams said he expects the property to sell privately, and discretely, to one of the several parties that showed an interest during the 5-week campaign.
The auction result surprised many – particularly the agents – who recently sold a townhouse across the road, on a smaller block and without a study, for almost $1.1 million.
Agency Marshall White was praised for its honestly in disclosing the home’s history to prospective buyers.
The duty of disclosure has been a controversial issue since late 2004, when two real estate agents in Sydney were fined $20,900 by the NSW Office of Fair Trading for selling the family home of Sef Gonzales, without telling the buyers it had been the scene of a triple murder three years ago. The agents eventually gave the buyers back their $80,000 deposit.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria says there is no general legal requirement in Victoria to disclose a property’s past. “If a prospective buyer asks about a property’s history then the vendor and agent are obliged to respond honestly,” said a spokesman.