There’s more than one way to sell a property

Think about selling your property and generally one or two scenarios spring to mind: You’ll list your property for a specific price or take it to auction.

But the reality is there are multiple ways to sell your home, with each ‘method of sale’ offering different nuances and possible advantages.

Standard private treaty

Private treaty is the sales method most people are familiar with. You list your house at a set price, conduct open homes, and people either pay that price or put forward their offers.

The benefit of this type of sales method is clarity. From the outset buyers have a clear indication of the price of the property, and sellers also have a clear indication of the price they hope the home will attract.

That said, there’s always room for negotiation. If the property is not attracting the initial interest and offers you hope for, the price may need to be revised. Buyers may also put forward their offer indicating what they believe the property is worth.

When it comes to private treaty sales, there is also the option of listing the property without a price point. In this instance, the buyers contact the agent or attend the open home to determine what price the seller hopes to attain.


Auctions have become increasingly popular in Australia and can now be conducted online as well as in person.

In an auction scenario, the sales campaign usually lasts about 28 days, with the property advertised and open for inspection in the weeks leading up to auction day.

On auction day, potential buyers put forward their best offers and essentially ‘compete’ to purchase the residence.

The advantage of auctions is that the property can potentially sell for more than you anticipate, particularly if there’s a lot of buyer competition for the home.

Meanwhile, if a property is passed in and an outcome can’t be negotiated with the highest bidder, a general private treaty sales campaign will usually occur, using the auction bids as a guide for the listing price of the property.

Expression of interest

An expression of interest sale (EOI) sees buyers provide a written submission of what they would be willing to pay for the property by a set date and time.

The seller can then opt to take the best offer or, if it doesn’t meet their expectations and needs, can decide not to sell.

These types of sales are often used for premium properties or in situations where it’s hard to gauge the demand and price for the property.  

Top offer

Like EOI, top offer sales see the buyers put forward their best offer for a property by a set date and time. The vendor then sells the property to the person who puts forward the best price.

The benefit of top offer sales is that, like auctions, it creates a sense of competition and urgency. It also puts a specific timeframe on the sale.


An off-market sale sees a property transact without being marketed to the public at all. In this instance, the agent might present the property to people in their database rather than advertising it publicly and listing it on the real estate portals.

The benefit of an off-market sale is the privacy it affords. It also involves fewer marketing costs.

It’s a decision to discuss with your agent

The sales method that’s best for your property is a decision to discuss with your agent. It should be a method you fully understand, believe will benefit you and be something you’re comfortable with.

How we can help

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