Auction Or Private Treaty? Choosing The Best Way To Sell Your Home

When it comes time to sell your property, the method of sale you choose can have an impact on the sale price.

And different homes and market conditions require different sales tactics. So what are the benefits of the more common methods of sale: auction, private treaty sale and off-market sales?

The main thing to remember is that there is no hard and fast rule for the best approach. A good real estate agent will be able to advise you which method of sale best suits your property and the current market conditions in your local area.

Private Treaty

Selling by private treaty is the most common sales method across Australia. It means putting a property on the market and advertising it with a price guide. That price should be agreed between the vendor and their real estate agent, who can advise on a fair market value. However, there are many ways the price can be advertised, from “offers over”, to a set price, or a price range.

Prospective buyers inspect the home and then make offers over a period of days or weeks which the seller considers and discusses with the agent. This process continues until the vendor achieves the optimum price for the property.

Private treaty sales work well when the real estate agent has a close knowledge of the local market and is a good, strong negotiator who is able to get the best out of buyers – whether there is only one offer or several offers on the table.

Marketing to a broad base of potential buyers across a range of channels is important in this type of sale. And while it’s a reliable and well-understood method of sale, it lacks the drama and intensity of an auction. It can also be slower and more drawn out than an auction, but suits people who don’t want as much pressure around a sale.


Anyone who has attended a property auction, particularly on location, will appreciate the excitement of selling under the hammer. Emotions are high, the auctioneer brings an element of performance, and buyers have the transparency of face-to-face bidding. On the downside, auctions can be stressful, and legal requirements must be fully understood and followed.

Auction campaigns typically run over four weeks. So selling by auction is best suited to properties where there are likely to be a number of interested parties who will compete with each other in a compressed time frame to secure the property. This typically has the effect of pushing buyers to put their best foot forward, while the seller maintains a level of control by being able to set a reserve price.

The auction itself can be fast and furious so having a calm and professional agent on hand is necessary for both sellers and buyers. Place Estate offer a range of services for vendors who decide to sell by auction with experienced staff who have a deep knowledge of property in Annerley and the surrounding areas.

There’s a lot of talk in the media about auction clearance rates, and while they are one measure of the health of the property market, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. For instance, are auctions the most common method of sale in your area? How many properties sell prior to auction? And how many were passed in vs sold by negotiation after auction?


In the right circumstances, an agent with a quality database of committed buyers may suggest an off-market approach. In this situation, there may be some initial marketing including a photo shoot and brochure with details of the property shared with a targeted cross-section of the database. The agent can show potential buyers through the property before the house is officially advertised as being on the market. The right buyer with the right offer may be enough to move forward and close the sale quickly and quietly.

In the event of no sale occurring off-market, the vendor then has the option of moving to sell either by auction or a more public private treaty sale and the agent will market the property more broadly through the regular channels.

You need good marketing and a strong negotiator

Whichever method a vendor decides to adopt when selling, the marketing and negotiating skills of their real estate agent are critical. A key competitive benefit of working with the Place Group of agents is the power of its network. On top of our local knowledge and connections, agents can tap into thousands of prospective buyers across the group via a range of channels including a significant email base, property websites, print media, brochures and signboards.

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