Sellers: Cheryl and Grant Mitchell

Their property: A traditional villa with 4 bedrooms plus rumpus. Mostly refurbished on a full section in Grammar Zones.

Sellers' motivation: Moving up north for retirement/lifestyle change.

How they decided on me: I had appraised their home some six years earlier and had kept in touch. They knew I sold more homes in their vicinity than any other agent.

Selling Method: Cheryl and Grant took many years to make the decision to sell. Because of this they were very cautious about the sales method and were anti-auction. I went through a list of all recent Remuera sales and explained the pros and cons of each property. I was able to do this because I knew 90% of the homes. The CV was $1,050,000 and they would have been happy to achieve $1,100,000. We talked about the likely demand factors (strong demand) and the difficulty of correct pricing. An asking price of $1,195,000 was a real option but I was concerned it might frighten away our best buyers. Finally we decided to auction and ask buyers what they thought the home was worth.

Marketing: We advertised weekly in the Property Press (full then half page colour advertisements) and the NZ Herald (quarter pages). We erected a photo signboard on the front fence. The home featured on the websites , and (feature listings attracted 10 times more hits than most standard listings). Colour glossy A4 size brochures were distributed throughout the neighbourhood, attached to the sign and displayed prominently in the B&T Remuera branch office & window.

Results: A pre auction offer of $1,030,000 was presented after the first weekend. To benefit our vendors all Barfoot & Thompson pre auction offers are non-retractable for 2 days and must be unconditional with a 10% deposit attached. We rejected the offer without counter-signing. Not countering is a recommended practice during an auction campaign. It avoids the risk of losing buyers to competing homes for sale. The bidding opened at $800,000 and quickly climbed. Five bidders took the price to $1,175,000. The top bidder's final bid was $1,200,000. The auction stalled, the top bidder was asked to increase and stretched to $1,210,000. With skilful management of the process I ensured that the property sold for a figure $35,000 higher than the under-bidder.

Main Success Factors: Achieving a great sale well above expectations is no fluke. This sale was managed to perfection using my unique reserve-setting strategies that are designed to protect my vendor’s position and hopefully exceed their expectations.