The Melbourne real estate agent who ran Kristy and Brett’s disastrous The Block auction has since hit out at the couple’s scathing criticism of him, as he revealed what really went wrong.
South Australian couple Kristy and Brett profited just $65,000 on Sunday’s finale, which came hot off the heels of Steph and Gian and Eliza and Liberty’s mega windfalls – $1.65 million and $1.05 million, respectively.
The controversial husband-and-wife team, who emerged as ‘villains’ on this season of the Channel 9 show, immediately hurled blame on their agent, Belle Property’s Sam Inan, after he opened bidding at “high twos”, despite Kristy and Brett saying they wanted to kick off at $3.2 million.
What transpired was rather uncomfortable viewing, with Inan being brutally called out on national TV for doing a subpar job.
“Our agent s**t the bed with our game plan,” a flabbergasted Kristy said.
Midway through the auction, when things weren’t going to plan, Brett got in a frosty confrontation with Inan as they convened privately.
“What the hell?” Brett said. “You mentioned high twos, we spoke about starting the bid at $3.2m? Mate I can’t believe how that’s just gone. And now we’re begging,”
Host Scott Cam even had a crack, telling Inan, “Mate, I think you probably set the scene by mentioning $2.9m at the start. That got in everyone’s head. We just don’t mention anything. We know what the others went for.”
Further, Kristy and Brett were frustrated that Inan appeared to annoy ‘Lambo Guy’ Adrian Portelli by referring to his lucrative lottery business as a “raffle” during the auction, which Portelli later admitted turned him off making a bid.
“We do spend a lot of time, money and effort educating people about the nature of our business and unfortunately people like that… There’s a big, legal fine line between a raffle and what we do, so when we do hear the word raffle, we sort of shun that,” Portelli told Hughesy, Ed & Erin Monday morning. “It sort of put a negative spin on it, [and] I did back away a tad because of that.”
The problems didn’t end there, with Kristy and Brett also fuming that Inan declared the house was on the market, which essentially gave away their reserve price.
Speaking after the show, Inan claimed a Consumer Affairs representative was on his case during the auction, urging him to state when the house was on the market.
“With Consumer Affairs [Victoria] in attendance it’s very hard not to answer truthfully,” he said to Domain after the auction.
“You can sometimes say, ‘Look I’ll answer you when I’m ready.’ But the reality is, with Consumer Affairs there – and they’re knowing what the paperwork says – it’s very, very hard to do anything but tell the truth.
“They actually followed me around during the break and said, ‘You’d better make sure you reiterate that it’s on the market – I don’t think everyone heard you’.”
That aside, Inan claimed there was simply “no money left in the room” following the first two sales, which were both bought by ‘Lambo Guy’ Adrian Portelli.
He said buyers “didn’t see the value” in Houses 1 [Kyle and Leslie], 2 [Leah and Ash] and 3 [Kristy and Brett].
“When I spoke to some of the buyers that didn’t bid on our properties they said they didn’t see the value in our homes, full stop,” he said.
“It had nothing to do with whether they were cheap or affordable on the day. They just didn’t like them.”
Following the finale, there was an outpouring of support for Inan on social media, with thousands of viewers taking to a post of Kristy and Brett on The Block’s official Instagram page to say they “felt sorry” for the agent.
“Am I the only one who feels really sorry for this estate agent?” one person wrote. “He’s only human and he’s on TV. It’s easy to just slip up when you’re nervous. I think it is so wrong showing someone being grilled by 3 people while they stand there alone in front of a camera. Poor guy, at the end of the day if people actually wanted their property and wanted to support them they’d be buying it.”
Another added, “The way they spoke to the real estate agent shows why they are so undeserving of money.”
A third wrote, “Not the agents fault. Price is indicative of the attitude displayed throughout the season. No responsibility and no ownership from this couple. The first buyer spent $5mil and said Steph and Gian are great people.”
Inan told news.com.au he was doing fine, adding the awkward situation was “all in a day’s work.”
The Block 2023 auction results:
Steph and Gian, House 4: Reserve of $3.35 million, sold for $5.000 million = $1.65 million profit + $100,000 prize money = $1.75 million (a Block record)
Eliza and Liberty, House 5: Reserve of $3.25 million, sold for $4.3 million = $1.05 million profit
Kyle and Leslie, House 1: Reserve of $2.97 million, sold for $3.1 million = $130,000 profit
Kristy and Brett, House 3: Reserve of $2.97 million, sold for $3.035 million = $65,000 profit.
Leah and Ash, House 2: Reserve of $2.97 million not met, passed in at auction.