Anzac day: one day of the year when many agents stop the hard sell

Thursday, March 21, 2019

31 Arthur Street Surry Hill Photo: Supplied 31 Arthur Street, Surry Hills.
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31 Arthur Street, Surry Hills.

49 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra, is one of the properties open for inspection on Anzac Day.

31 Arthur Street Surry Hill Photo: Supplied

31 Arthur Street Surry Hill Photo: Supplied

This weekend’s auction clearance rate was the highest ever at 88.2 per cent. There were 737 auctions. The question of how to juggle this year’s Anzac Day, which falls on a Saturday, with the demands of the city’s strongest property market has been a vexed one for owners and their agents.

They’re keen to maintain interest in their homes in the lead up to auctions in later weeks, but also honour the fallen diggers.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW is urging agents not to hold auctions or open homes on the day.

“What we’re saying is that real estate offices should not be open,” said the institute’s president Malcolm Gunning.

“We should be respectful of the day, if [agents] do choose to do open homes or auctions it should be after 1pm.”

While most are heeding the call, there are 51 auctions scheduled to go ahead and quite a few open homes.

Some agents such as Di Jones in Woollahra are only opening the properties of those owners who have requested it. Many more, like McGrath Estate Agents, are moving inspection times to after lunch on Saturday in line with the retail shopping times.

Others, such as BradfieldCleary in Double Bay, are avoiding open homes altogether and having inspections on Sunday instead.

Most Raine & Horne offices won’t be opening properties on the day, but their Bexley office will be because of “marketing constraints”, said director John Gymellas.

“But as a show of respect, there will be no music or entertainment played, and Anzac cookies will be offered on the way out of open homes.”

And you know those portable signs on the side of the road pointing to auctions? “All our pointer boards will be leading to the local RSL, not the open homes,” Mr Gymellas said.

“It’s not much, but the aim is to honour and remember them.”

Another agent holding some open for inspections is Aris Dendrinos, the principal of Richardson & Wrench Marrickville. He said the decision was a difficult one, but was continuing with the opens because it was in the best interests of his vendors whose campaigns had already borne the Easter disruption.

The offices would be closed and the staff taking the day as a holiday. There would also be no flags or bunting around the homes and staff will be wearing rosemary in acknowledgement of Anzac Day, he said.

“We just want to be showing it to the people it’s been advertised for, to support the owner in trying to find the right buyer,” he said. “We don’t want to be spruiking for anyone else other than that.”

Alistair Masters, who has his award-winning Surry Hills terrace up for auction with hopes above $1.7 million on May 9, decided against an Anzac Day open home for the three-bedroom property at 31 Arthur Street.

“Just out of respect for the diggers,” he said. “We’re actually heading over to Turkey later in the year because my partner’s grandfather actually fought at Gallipolli, so it just didn’t seem right to be showing our house on that day.”

His agent Annie Hodgson of Spencer and Servi said the agency’s owner David Servi also did not want any open homes on the day. But to compensate she would be opening the house on the Friday beforehand and extending the campaign by one weekend.

“All the owners have been very understanding,” she said.

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