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Which method of property sale works best for you?

By Andrew Bell

There are all sorts of different ways to sell real estate here on the sunny Gold Coast. If you're thinking about taking your home to the market for any reason, consider what you want from the sale process to figure out the best method for you.

Private treaty

Perhaps the most straightforward of sale methods, this involves listing a property for an asking price or with the price available to buyers on application.

A buyer can make a conditional or unconditional offer on your home with no time limit. The offer may be below or above your asking price – it's up to you to accept the offer that best suits you.


Properties sold by deadline are listed for a limited time, usually four weeks. The end date of the listing is advertised and creates a greater sense of urgency among buyers. 

This method is perfect if you want to create more immediacy around the sale of your home, but also want to maintain a level of privacy that an auction might not grant.


When a property's price is listed "By Negotiation" or similar, it's difficult for a buyer to estimate how much the property is likely to sell for. Rather than asking for a price, sellers invite buyers to make offers based on their perception of the market value and enter negotiations.

This method helps you achieve a fairer sale price – you're less likely to overprice or undersell when market valuation and buyer intent determines the sale price. You might also find this method attracts more serious buyers, as others may be put off by a lack of advertised price.


Very similar to deadline sales, buyers are invited to submit confidential tenders, or expressions of interest, by a set date. Tender documents are a form of sale and purchase agreement, and can be written to include special conditions from both the buyer and seller. 

Sellers may accept offers before the deadline and can choose to enter further negotiations with buyers to change conditions or price. This method offers you total control over the selling process, as buyers cannot see who else is interested or how much they're offering.


Auctions are held at a set time and place at the conclusion of the property's marketing campaign. An agent will govern the auction with a set of strict rules. Buyers will announce their bids, often in rapid succession. As the seller, you may also bid until your reserve price – the confidential minimum value you'll accept for your home – is met. After the reserve is met, the highest bid must be accepted. If the reserve is not met, the highest bidder earns exclusive rights to negotiate with you.

The nature of an auction creates heated competition amongst buyers, which can lead to a high sale price if the conditions are right. Remember that any auction sale is unconditional and final.

Your chosen sale method will depend on what's most important to you as a seller. For assistance putting your property on the market, talk to the professionals at Ray White Surfers Paradise today.

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