Do You Ever Buy At Public Trustee Auctions?

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What are public trustee options? Do you ever buy these properties and what are some of the pitfalls?

Speaker 1: So Courtney’s asking Hi team, do you have any experience with public trustee auctions? Have you…I’ve never even heard of it. I haven’t even looked into it.

Speaker 2: Yeah, we buy heaps of property off the public trustee and the Queensland government. When we’re buying [inaudible 00:00:17] we bought it off the public trustee down there. The cool thing about buying off the public trustee is they have to sell on the day.

So by the time it goes to the public trustee, it’s generally because it’s a mortgagee repossession, it’s a deceased estate with no family members in the country, or no family members that directly want to see the property sell for a premium price point.

It’s a property that’s gone through a fire and it’s extremely difficult to move on, or that’s got major termite issues, or along those types of lines.

What I’d recommend with buying it from the public trustees, they won’t give you any indication of price. They will just take the highest investor from the day, but often that highest investor offer is much lower than market value.

Definitely get your building and pest inspection done at your own cost before the auction because you’re buying at auction, you don’t get those terms in the contract, and because it’s a public trustee, often they won’t provide you with the building and pest report.

Make sure you’ve got your finance in order before the day so that you can close on auction terms, and make sure you’ve all set down all of your searches like your flood, your bush fire searches, your easements, you’re checking where the connection points are, the sewer lines are and all of those sorts of things.

So you’ve got to be very thorough before you consider buying something like that. But from personal experiences, they can be epic buying opportunities.

Speaker 1: So how would someone look at buying a public trustee property, or getting into public trustee auctions? How do you find out about this?

Speaker 2: There’s a website that you can subscribe to, for a service, and they’ll send you the public trustee auctions. If you’ve got real estate investors software, you can actually type in the public trustee and all the options that come up relating to that.

There’s also public trustee websites in each of the states in Australia where they list the properties that they’ve got coming up.

And then it’s just about looking at suburbs, and often the public trustee will identify one agent, or the state government in the state…that’s [inaudible 00:02:30] the housing commission house will identify one agent that they work with for a period of time, like twelve months to two years. And it’s about identifying who’s selling those properties in that area, and then building a relationship with them.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Speaker 2: I’m not going to talk about how helpful those relationships can be, because those agents aren’t supposed to give anybody an unfair buying advantage, but from our experiences, like if you’ve got that relationship, you will win on the day.

Speaker 1: Okay.

So have you heard any horror stories when it comes to public trustee auctions?

This person saying, Courtney saying being an unconditional contract, the way that if finance falls over they may lose their deposit.

Speaker 2: You’ll one hundred percent lose your deposit. Like, it’s auction terms, effectively. So, you need your finance in order before you go into something like that.

I can imagine that there’s people that have been really burnt by public trustees because again, you buy the property in its current condition and form, and you’ve got no leg to stand on liability-wise after you’ve made the purchase.

So, definitely getting your due diligence done before, like making sure you’ve got all that suburb stuff, market stuff, straight stuff in place, but then property specific stuff.

You’ve got your title searches done, you’ve got your building and pest inspections done, you’ve got your easement searches, your flood searches. Like, you really have to be thorough with this type of product because it’s [inaudible 00:03:53] to an auction on a weekend. They expect you to come ready to buy or be prepared to walk away.

Speaker 1: Yeah, and it’s not just like…I remember seeing stuff when two thousand eight when the market crashed, and everyone was talking about this sort of stuff in America, like buying this sort of stuff, and how it was just a gold mine.

So, as Ben was saying, there are really good opportunities, but it’s not just like, panning for gold and everything you gets going to be good. There’s some real rubbish properties out there, and there’s some really good ones.

So, as Ben said, do your research, do due diligence beforehand, so that you can get a good one and not end up with a dud.

Speaker 2: This is the thing, right?. People spend a lot of time focusing and obsessing on how they can buy better, but sometimes buying better, and an example of this is like, if you’d have to had five hundred k to spend five years ago, you could have bought a two bedroom unit in Manley which would now be worth 1.2 million dollars. Or you could have bought a house in Adelaide in the hills, like a brand new property that’s now worth 550k. Like, sometimes buying well and buying fifty grand below market value’s important, and I always try and do it for myself personally.

But sometimes by focusing on just making money on the way in, you forget about all of the other things that are important when you buy, and that long term potential by buying the rising market, by buying quality property at the right time with capital growth potential, with cash flow potential, with manufactured growth potential.

So don’t get so caught up in trying to save 20 grand that it ends up costing you six hundred k over five years, which has happened to so many investors right now.

Speaker 1: Hey guys, I hope that you enjoyed the answer to this question, which came from my live Q&A episode with Ben on YouTube.

We will be doing more of these in the future. If you want to check out Ben, then he is offering free strategy sessions to On Property listeners. To find out more about that, go to, and you can see all the details over there.

That’s it for today, and until next time, stay positive.

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