PHOTO: Agents are slashing prices to a handful of select buyers.

Desperate real estate agents are bolstering nervous buyers by secretly offering lower prices in a bid to boost auction attendances, sales, and prices that have been falling for months.

Real estate agents are secretly dropping quoted property prices by between 10 per cent and 16 per cent to select buyers in the final days before an auction in a bid to generate greater interest, correspondence between real estate and buyers’ agents reveals.

Prestige properties in Melbourne’s inner south-east advertised online for between $2.5 million and $2.75 million are being offered in targeted correspondence to possible buyers for between $2.3 million and $2.5 million, a difference of about 16 per cent.