Auction Problems



From: Michael McDonald

A friend of mine bought a house on the weekend in Melbourne at an auction. After the auction, they signed all the contracts, but then the vendor refused to sign.

What rights does my friend as the purchaser now have?
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Reply: 1
From: Rick Kirk

Hi Michael,

If the vendors haven't signed after the Auction I'd say your friend doesn't have a leg to stand on. Apart from the obvious annoyance of it all there's really nothing taken place other than the vendor deciding they didn't want to sell (before they signed the contract).

To my knowledge this is perfectly legal.

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Reply: 1.1
From: Manny B

Howdy there,

if I had a building inspection report done & a pest inspection, I'd be looking at remuneration for this...

I didn't know the seller could refuse to sell after it has been announced "on the market"... so if you are saying that they can refuse to sign later, does this mean that us buyers can also refuse to sign if we are the highest bidder?


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Reply: 1.1.1
From: J Parker

No signatures- nothing you can really do, except let the RE agent know of your immense disappointment and hope that he/she can pressure the vendor a little more.
Cheers, Jacque :)
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From: Steve Mcleod

As the highest bidder you too can refuse to sign.

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From: Dale Gatherum-Goss


That is right, as the highest bidder you have not bought the house, you have won the right to sign the contracts to buy the house - and nothing more.

Whilst your friend cannot do anything, I would certainly advocate a nasty letter to the local MP, Office of Fair Trading, and the REIV as the sooner the industry is taken to task for unfair and unconscionable behaviour the better.

I would also embarrass the agent by writing a letter to the local newspaper.

Then again, I don't play fair when I'm pissed off . . .

Have fun

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From: Felicity W.

I must remember never to piss you off....
Keep smiling
Felicity :cool:
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From: Joanna K

I always thought that at auction both the vendor and purchaser are legally bound once the gavel hits the table and if either party refuses to sign the auctioneer has the power to sign on behalf of either party.

Maybe it's a Sydney thing - maybe I'm wrong - i don't know.

Kind regards

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From: Steve Mcleod

It's not a Sydney thing it's what certain people would have you believe.Real Estate Mistakes by Neil Jenman is an excellent read about buying and selling property,a must.

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From: Asy .

As someone said earlier, if you are the highest bidder at an auction, you have won the right to sign the contracts at the price bid.

It is very rare that vendors agree to have the agent knock the hammer down then don't sign.

You need to find out what happened. Did the vendors agree to the price, then change their minds? IF this is the case, then the agent will be just as annoyed with the vendors as you are, trust me. If, however, the vendors did not agree to the knockdown price then the agent should be taken to task.

I still believe Auctioning is the best method of selling properties in some areas, irrespective of the fact that some vendors are fools.

I would, however, go and ask the agent what's going on, and try to get to the bottom of this, assuming you still want the house.


"Don't forget what happened to the guy who suddenly got everything he ever wanted...
He lived happily ever after.
(Willy Wonka).
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