Property Selling Methods – You mean there’s more than one?!

So you’re ready to take your property to market – should be pretty straightforward from here, right? But with a number of different options available to you when it comes to sales methods, you may find that it’s not quite as simple as you thought. With some input from Homesales let’s look at some of these methods and what they entail….


Sale by Private Treaty (or “For Sale”)

Although it sounds like something off Survivor, this is the standard and most popular way to sell a home here in WA. This is where a home is put on to the open market with a defined price or price range, and the agent runs a marketing campaign surrounding the sale of the home, which often includes online advertising, signage, open homes and email campaigns to potential buyers on their list.

Some home owners may have a contract presented within days while for others, it could take months to sell. The length of time to sell by private treaty can depend on several factors including price, location, style of the property and interest in the area.

One of the main advantages of selling by private treaty is that with a specified price or price range, you are ‘weeding out’ the buyers who can’t afford that price range and hitting buyers who are looking either in or above it. Interest in the property may be less, but you will find buyers who are more serious about purchasing.

Are you wondering why you aren’t selling even though you’ve followed the agent’s advice of selling by private treaty?

Homeowners are often reluctant to either drop their price or take the property off the market for a month. They feel that someone will fall in love with their home and see the same value in it they do. This may happen, but it could take many months to do so.

If you don’t have the time to have your property sit on the market for months and months, it’s best discussing any pricing concerns with your agent, and listening to their thoughts.



Auctions are becoming increasingly popular with some property types and with particular agencies. This sales method is especially useful in markets that are in high demand, where a property is unique (and therefore challenging to price) or for a property where there is expected to be a lot of competition. They generally tend to tell the true value of a property as potential buyers will only bid an amount they feel the property is worth.

Generally, they are a quicker method of sale (there is a short one-month marketing campaign ahead of the ‘big day’). Because the time frame is short, you might find your agent wishes to conduct more open homes to give the opportunity for more people to come through the door.

Your agent will likely ask for feedback from those attending open homes, and this feedback will generally be around what the potential buyer thinks of your property compared to what else is on the market. These questions will allow the agent to help you set a reserve price.

Auctions are based around the hope of a number of interested buyers showing up and competing with each other to obtain the best price.

A big advantage of this method is that with no listing price, you may find buyers will come through the property, fall in love and make an emotional decision to buy it no matter what.

The downside is that due to specified dates for auctions, you may find some potential buyers drop off the radar before auction day.

It is worthwhile speaking to your agent and working out whether it is practical to accept offers prior to auction if there seems to be good interest.


Off Market Sale (or a “Silent Listing”)

In highly competitive areas, savvy buyers are in touch with local agents to see whether they can ‘get the jump’ on the competition by requesting to be contacted ahead of properties going to the wider market.

This is a great option in a situation where both vendor and agent are comfortable that the asking price is competitive and there is a pool of ready and waiting buyers (perhaps having recently missed out on a similar property purchase). It also saves you with marketing costs, as well as the hassle of having public open homes.

The major disadvantage of selling your property in this way is that you’re not really “testing” the market. That is, you don’t know that there’s not someone out there who is willing to pay over and above your asking price, driven by the competition of market demand.

Remember, there are numerous sales methods your agent can suggest and if you are wondering why your sales agent has suggested one sale method over another, always ask. They should have no problems in explaining their reasoning and providing you with examples of the differences between the various sale methods.



Thankyou for input:
ACTON Cottesloe & Dalkeith



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