Despite it being illegal, sneaky dummy bidding tactics are being used by real estate agents and home sellers today.
One of our sources shared these stories with us about dummy bidding tactics.
Sneaky Dummy Bidding Story 1
It was a long time ago when we were buying our second property in 1994 in Haberfield. We put in a pre-auction offer of $410k – they didn’t accept as they wanted $420k. On the day of the Auction there was a guys sitting casually on the fence. We bid up to the $410k that I previously offered, but sneakily the auctioneer still had not put it on the market, the dummy bidder was still bidding.
He bid above our $410k and we stopped bidding. My Dad (rest his soul) became suspicious when the agents kept following us for more bids. we told them to go see the other guy. My dad then confronted him and called it out amongst the crowd. The dummy bidder walked / ran away very embarrassed, as were the real estate agents. The auction stopped and the house didn’t sell. A few weeks later the agents were ringing me telling me I could buy it for, $380k to $390k. It seems all potential buyers were equally put off. I didn’t buy it out of spite and bought a better property for $406k in Five Dock.
Sneaky Dummy Bidding Story 2
I found my friend had been brought to a property by a particular real estate agent to dummy bid in Ashfield. It was a house I was interested in.
He and a few others were regulars at all the auctions pretending to buy, but constantly being outbid. The strategy was employed by a real estate agent himself rather than the sellers. Many times the house is not on the market when dummy bidder is still active.
Dummy bidders are usually by themselves, are very quiet and don’t get much attention. Not good when you are buying but maybe more acceptable when you are selling. Nearly every auction where I have known the seller, has had a dummy bidder, supported by the real estate agent. Registration hasn’t stopped this practice either.
Have you experienced dummy bidding at an auction as a buyer, seller or from the real estate industry?