Private treaty

Sale by private treaty requires the seller to set a price or price range from the beginning of the campaign. Correct pricing from the outset is crucial to securing a quick, successful sale. Sellers have a tendency to set unrealistic prices and hope buyers can be negotiated down. However, while there is always a little room for negotiation, setting the price too high is more often than not counterproductive.

Price your property too high and it won’t attract the right buyers, with a risk it will linger unsold on the market and lose any competitive edge. This is where an experienced agent becomes a vital source of information, offering well-researched price guidance based on local knowledge and comparable sales.

Private treaty sellers and buyers can negotiate the sale price and terms, which may be conditional on certain criteria being fulfilled. For example, the purchase may be dependant on the outcome of a building and pest inspection or finance approval.

There are four main methods of private treaty sale and your agent will advise you of the most advantageous for your circumstances and timeframe.

  1. Fixed price
  2. Price range
  3. Offers from
  4. Expressions of interest


An auction environment creates a sense of urgency and heightened competition. There is a definitive sale date and a prescribed timeframe in which buyers must act or they risk losing the opportunity. The theory behind an auction is that your home will sell at true market value at the time.

Buyers are given a price guide which may vary throughout the campaign depending on the level of interest. Based on this feedback and comparable sales, your agent will work with you to set a reserve price for the auction, being the minimum price you are prepared to sell for. By now you should have a good idea how many buyers are genuinely interested and planning to bid. Marketing for an auction needs to be highly focused and your spend will include the price of an auctioneer.

Should the property sell on auction day under the hammer, the property is considered sold and there is no cooling off period for the buyer or the seller. Buyers need to have all their ducks in order – finance and building and pest inspections – prior to the auction and a deposit must be made immediately (generally 10% of the sale price, unless otherwise pre-negotiated in the contract of sale).

If the property fails to sell at auction, you can continue marketing the property via private treaty with an asking price. However, if a property passes in, often there is an opportunity to negotiate with the highest bidder to secure a sale.


Give your property the very best chance of success with a professional, tailored, cost-effective marketing campaign that reaches the target market. We bring together exceptional photography, copywriting and floorplans to create high-impact marketing collateral that resonates with potential buyers. We engage all possible purchasers, locally, interstate and internationally.


You’ve made the decision to sell and you want to do everything in your power to achieve the highest possible price. Presentation is key to appealing to the right buyers and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get it right. Your agent is an excellent source of advice on what work will be worthwhile and financially beneficial.

First impressions count

How does your property present from the outside and is it inviting to buyers? Check details such as roofing for cracked tiles or rusted sheeting, guttering, exterior paintwork and woodwork, as these items can be instantly off-putting for potential buyers if they’re tired or broken. Clean all windows, glass balustrading and pool fencing.

Clean and de-clutter

Clean rigorously and don’t be shy to invest in professional cleaners (especially if your property has been tenanted) as they can take the pressure off and really make your home shine. Buyers will always heavily scrutinise kitchens, bathrooms and wet areas so pay particular attention to these. De-cluttering is possibly the single most important thing you can do, so scale back your home as much as possible to create the impression of space. Consider giving your unwanted items to charity. Animal and cigarette odors must be dealt with well in advance of open homes, so use air fresheners, keep the home well ventilated, steam clean carpets and keep pets and smokers outdoors. Remove all evidence of pets at open homes – hide bowls and beds.

Professional styling

Full or partial styling is becoming the standard these days, and your agent will advise you if it’s worthwhile for your sale. This can bring the home to life, add warmth and give buyers the best understanding of just how good your property can look. It’s especially important if your property is vacant, making the difference between a tired looking space and a fresh, welcoming one.

It’s all in the details

Small details can make a big impression, so spend some time repairing or enhancing features that detract from your home if they’re old and outdated. You can update light fittings, tapware, handles and window dressings inexpensively, yet they can make a huge difference. Similarly, more significant investments such as new carpet, fresh paint or polishing floorboards can completely transform a space.


A tired garden will instantly detract from your home. It doesn’t take a great deal of time or effort to really spruce up your outdoor areas but the investment will pay off, whether you tackle it yourself or engage a professional. Clear out and weed overgrown gardens, add mulch, plant new shrubs or flowers, re-turf the lawn if your grass is dead and re-paint fences for a welcoming first impression.

Timing open homes

Talk to your agent about the most strategically advantageous time to show off your home. Take into account when the light is best, noise factors, the ability to park and local traffic.

Relevant documentation

Provide the agent with a copy of the council and water rates, recent pest treatments, any DA approved plans for renovation and if possible a site plan demonstrating that the council approvals are in place for all current works. In the event something is not council approved, disclose this to the agent so it can be made as a special condition on the contract.