Romantic investors looking for a spectacular gift for their loved one could be in luck this Valentine’s Day.

That’s when New South Wales’ first auction of a property starting with a reserve of just $1 is set to take place.

The owner of the large Blacktown house decided to do something different and break through the barrier of “textbook auctions”.

Neil Tyagi said he wants the auction of his home to have a lively, exciting atmosphere that everyone- not just the buyers - will enjoy and remember.

“Buying a property should be fun. I wanted to do something different, and I’ve never heard of a property setting a $1 reserve.”

Starr Partners Fairfield director Raj Bhandari, who is responsible for the sale, said there is expected to be high demand for the four bedroom house which sits on a flat 576sqm block.

The property would be well-suited as either a family home or an investment property, so he is confident there will be no shortage of buyers on the day. 

“Bidding on the day is likely to start out low and pick up quickly. We are confident with our strategies and know that there will be plenty of competition on the day to help the vendor achieve an optimum result.”

But, interesting and quirky as it is, could the tactic actually be a clever way of getting around the under quoting practices employed by some selling agents?

Underquoting of potential sale prices in auction price guides has long been a problem in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

In Queensland, legislation banning price guides was introduced last year but, to date, no such measures have been adopted in New South Wales or Victoria.

However, NSW Fair Trading launched an investigation into the practice of underquoting in November last year.

Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox said underquoting is a serious offence and will not be tolerated by NSW Fair Trading.

“Not only does it seriously compromise the integrity of the real estate market, it puts enormous financial stress on innocent home buyers.”

Agents who engage in underquoting face a maximum penalty of $22,000 or, depending on the severity of the breaches, an agency could have its licence cancelled.

NSW Fair Trading is said to be closing in on some agents known for underquoting.