The advice of a good agent is invaluable in selecting the sales method for your property

It used to be that private treaty was the only way people would sell their home. Now there are plenty of other ways to sell property — there are auctions, tenders and even off-market sales. Since it’s not often that any of us get to sell property, it can be hard to know which sales method. Fortunately, as we discuss in our free downloadable guide to selling property, this is where your chosen real estate sales agent comes in.

If you’ve selected a real estate agent with knowledge of the local property market, as well as a varied track record of sales – in other words, an agent who has sold a lot of property, in a lot of different ways — then they will be able to give you some expert advice on the best sales methods to sell your home.

Before you get to discussing sales methods with any agents, however, it’s a good idea to understand what each method will involve. Take a look at the three most common ways to sell property in Australia:

Private treaty

This is the best known, and still most popular, way to sell property. It involves publicly listing your home for sale, at a price that reflects current market value, and then accepting, negotiating or declining offers from buyers. Note that this is different to selling your home privately, without an agent, although in the case of selling without an agent, you’ll still sell by private treaty, as you can’t auction your property privately.


The auction sales method has become an exceptionally popular way to sell properties where there’s a lot of buyer demand, which is why they’re ubiquitous in areas of Sydney, like the lower and upper north shore, northern beaches, inner city and even the inner west. It’s less common in western and southern Sydney, as well as in regional areas. Most auction campaigns run for around 4-6 weeks, culminating on auction day, where buyers compete with each other for the winning bid.

Tender (Expressions of interest)

This sales method usually suits people who are wishing to sell their home discreetly, and whose property is usually situated on the higher end of the market, but where an off-market sale is not suitable. When you sell your home by tender, no sales price is publicly listed; instead you receive confidential bids from buyers, which you can accept, negotiate or decline. A lot of prestige property around the eastern suburbs, the lower north shore, and Palm Beach on the northern beaches is sold this way.

The sales method you choose to sell your home depends on a lot of factors, including the local market, the type of property you’re selling, and your individual situation – i.e., do you want all the bells and whistles of an auction campaign or would you rather to sell your home quietly? Your situation is something you should think about before you meet with prospective agents, so they will be able to advise the best method to suit your property and you.

To learn more about selling property in Australia, including selecting an agent and understanding each sales method, download our free education guide, called Selling Your Property: What You Really Need to Know, by subscribing to our website. Alternatively, for more property market news, insights and analysis, continue reading our blog.

As seen in..

Our educational blogs are designed to help you understand each of the steps involved in selling your property so whether you choose to work with a real estate agent or do it yourself you'll understand the work involved and be more efficient and aware of what you need to do. Our articles have been seen in these major online news and information portals..

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