The news that auctioneers Sherry Fitzgerald are to increase their commission rates by 50% is outrageous. Unfortunately, it is also to be entirely expected from a profession of such cowboys.
Their colleagues in the industry claim they won’t follow suit, but I wouldn’t hold my breath! Back in February, IPAV lobby’s chief executive Fintan McNamara revealed that commissions in the auctioneers’ cartel might have to go up – He had the brass neck then to claim that it was due to financial hardship! Sherry Fitz will be the first of many to raise commission rates.
Why would they do this you might ask. Apparently, now that house prices have flattened, auctioneers intend to compensate themselves by ripping off consumers even more than ever. They maintain that when demand slackens there is only one way of reacting: that is, to raise costs to the customer. If such a ploy is to work, they will all need to act in unison. Now, that is what some of us would call a cartel.
Virtually the only group that could possibly hope to pull such a fast one is Ireland’s auctioneers. They are so used to a paradise of unregulated, unaccountable anarchy that they cannot stomach the idea of working for a living, like normal mortals.
And strangely enough, none of the same crowd of cowboys was ever heard screaming for commission reductions when the market was booming.