The state’s peak real estate group has asked property lovers to use common sense after a Melbourne auction had to be stopped while spectators dispersed today.
For the remainder of this weekend public auctions are capped at 10 people, while from June 1 they will be allowed to have 20 people in attendance.
Real Estate Institute of Victoria vice president Adam Docking said it was important punters respect social distancing restrictions that remain in place for the industry.
“Use your common sense and definitely follow the directions of the agents,” Mr Docking said.
If they could see people already waiting in the street, attempting to enter the property was likely not a wise choice, he said.
It comes after Jellis Craig auctioneer Grant Lynch was forced to stop a backyard auction part way through as people tried to enter the property in breech of the restrictions.
Mr Lynch said with 8 registered bidders they had been forced to allow only “key decision makers” to enter the backyard of 2A Forest Rd, Blackburn.
Families and partners were relegated to the car or the street in front of the home, but despite no signage identifying the auction spectators attempted to attend.
“As we were underway you could see a lot of people walking towards the gate, trying to get in,” Mr Lynch said.
“About half way through we had to stop … to tell them to disperse. They were like moths to a flame.”
The pause did little to harm the auction, which soared $115,000 past its reserve to a $1.435 million sale under the hammer.
“It absolutely went off,” Mr Lynch said.
A downsizer from South Yarra moving to be closer to family in the area won the keys, beating several families intent on the Fasham Johnson house.
The four-bedroom home is close to the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, shops and cafes.
Full Circle Property Advocates’ Rob German was listening from the street and said the situation had shown the level of competition in the market.
“The seller has done very well,” Mr German said.
“It was a good auction … there was competition galore.”
Mr Docking added that ideally those interested in attending an auction, even if not to bid, would contact the agent ahead of time so they could avoid becoming the 11th person attending, or the 21st from next week.
“I’m very happy with the way that the agents have handled things so far,” Mr Docking said.
“It’s a very good problem to have, and as long as everyone is respectful it will be OK. We’d prefer to have the crowd we can have there.”