December 1st 2009
On the weekend I attended an auction of a property. The agent told me a 'hook' price of $550,000 up. I found out that the house next door had sold a month or so earlier for $670,000.
At the auction there were initially three interested parties. When the price got to $640,000 there was only one bidder left (a young couple).
Then a new bidder jumped in (two men). Nothing wrong with that. Bidding then continued until the men had pushed the young couple up to $670,000 at which point they just stopped and the house sold to the young couple for $670,000. Fair enough.
Except that it all seemed a bit strange.
The men had been having a very friendly chat with the auctioneer before the auction when the couple were not present. Nothing wrong with talking to a real estate agent. They 'looked' like agents (whatever I mean by that?) They seemed matter-of-fact in their bidding.
There is nothing that I can point to that is solid but it all seemed a bit odd.
I was attending the auction as I had initially been interested in the property but had decided not to bid at my solicitor's advice. I went along to observe and learn. If I had been the serious bidder and felt that I was against dummy bidders is there anything that I can do there and then to challenge their bidding?
It seems to me that there is no sense in having a law which says that this is illegal without having a process through which that law can be enacted.
I am sure that you have written on this somewhere and would be grateful if you could direct me to where I can find out more.