THERE was 20 metres and a $100,000 gap between the owner and the sole bidder at Brisbane’s first auction of the day on Saturday.
But it was a picture of Brisbane City in 1888 that helped bridge the gap and secure a $912,000 sale.
Moorooka couple Sahar Yasaei and Mo Araghian and their two young children were the only
people to turn up for the auction of 295 Days Rd, Grange.
They stood on the back patio of the four-bedroom house on an 810sq m block while joint owner Kerry Doherty, who lives at Caboolture, stood 20m away at the top of the driveway.
We didn’t think there would be many people turning up,” Mrs Doherty said afterwards.
“It’s such an uncertain market. Even driving in there was a lot of talk saying please stay at home but clearly there are people out there who are able to buy.”
Award-winning auctioneer Justin Nickerson and Belle Property Samford lead agent Georgie Haug ran messages between the parties throughout the auction.
“We’re looking for a development on this land so we can do two houses,” Ms Yasaei said while the agents discussed price with Mrs Doherty and her sister who was on the phone.
“It’s very hard to find empty land in Grange, mostly they are character homes.”
Mrs Doherty revealed the reserve of $950,000 and the bidders conversed in their native Iranian before replying with an offer of $850,000.
“Okay, they’re not going to sell it for $850,000,” Mr Nickerson said.
“I’ll give you time to have a chat about it.”
Moments later, the couple came into the lounge room with an offer of $901,000, to which Mrs
Doherty replied with $920,000.
“We’re pretty close,” Mr Nickerson said.
“They want to sell it today and they want to sell it to you. You’re the only people here.”
Further negotiations brought the price to an agreed $912,000.
“Now this is going to sound really funny but we do actually have to knock it down to you so have you still got your (bidding) number somewhere?”
The couple flashed the number two and Mr Nickerson turned on his award-winning auctioneer’s voice.
“So welcome to our large crowd, we appreciate every single one of you joining us, welcome to today’s auction, we have got an increased offer to $912,000. Georgie our instructions are?”
“We’re selling,” Ms Haug replied.
“We’re on the market, we’re selling,” he confirmed. “I’m going to call it three times unless the young fella’s going to jump in.”
The couple’s young son stopped chattering for a moment.
With a 75 day settlement agreed to, Mr Araghian was about to sign the paperwork but then paused.
“Oh, I forgot to add my terms,” he said. “I have one term. Can I have that painting of Brisbane?”
The print of Conrad Martens’ famous 1888 painting was hanging in the hallway and had been purchased by Mrs Doherty’s mother not long after the family moved to Brisbane from central Africa in the 1980s.
“I’m sure we can work something out,” Mrs Doherty said.
The auction was one of 59 scheduled across Brisbane yesterday.
Mr Nickerson said the market was the strongest it had been in 10 years going in to 2020 but
recognised the escalating global pandemic would have an impact.
“We are holding most auctions outside rather than inside, and if it continues we’d go to only
registered bidders attending auction and holding them at an independent house not the home, and we would be encouraging phone bidding,” he said.