A guide to choosing the best method of sale

A guide to choosing the best method of sale

  • April 28, 2022

Given the uncertain times we’re in, with an election on the horizon and negativity being driven by the media around the property market, you can be forgiven for being a little lost when determining how best to sell your home. Fortunately, through years of experience, we’re experts at analysing the nuanced market conditions, the unique aspects of each property and the needs of our vendors to determine the most effective method of sale. There are a number of options, each with its own pros and cons, and selecting the right course of action is integral to optimising results, with much of the decision resting on how quickly you need to sell and how discrete you want to be. In a rapidly changing market such as ours, it’s invaluable to seek guidance from those in the know.


We frequently conduct off-market campaigns for vendors who desire complete discretion and don’t want their properties advertised on the open market, or for vendors who simply want to test the waters without having to fund a full marketing campaign. Instead we send targeted marketing to our relevant database contacts and conduct the process much like a private treaty sale, inviting interested parties to make offers. An off-market campaign is often used as the first stage of a sales campaign to gauge the market with known buyers before moving to stage two and advertising to the wider public. This second phase can often be a strategic tactic to force the hand of a buyer that may already be interested.

Without the urgency of an auction or the exposure of a private treaty campaign, employing a purely off-market strategy can often take a long time to find the right buyer and the right offer. However, there’s also the potential that buyers will make higher offers than expected to try and secure a sale and take the property off the market.

Private treaty

The private treaty method alleviates the stress of an auction but doesn’t limit the potential sale price. We agree on a price guide which fundamentally draws a line in the sand and encourages potential purchasers looking in this price range to inspect. We frequently employ this method, especially when the property type is in high supply and easily comparable, finding that it adopts the best components of an auction but without the pressure. It’s not uncommon to achieve results 5-15% above the initial guide but the key to a successful sale is to pitch to the right guide at the start of the campaign. However, no set time frame means there is a risk that the property will remain on the market for an extended period. Buyers also have a standard cooling-off period so they can get their financing in order or obtain any reports, allowing them to back out of the sale within this time.

Expressions of interest

An expression of interest campaign is similar to private treaty, with buyers invited to make offers, generally based on a price guide. However, a set closing date for the campaign generates a certain level of urgency for buyers to act. 


The auction method creates a sense of urgency by setting a deadline by which all interested parties must satisfy their enquires to be in a position to bid, with the auction process fueling competition among buyers. Once the hammer falls, there’s no cooling period, meaning the sale is final. A typical auction campaign runs for three weeks of marketing, with the auction conducted on the fourth weekend. You are given three chances to sell the property – before, at and after the auction. Potential buyers can make offers early but they have to be very compelling to stop an auction – we would recommend around 10-15% over the price guide. The auction method is particularly popular when the market is very hot or when a property is unique and requires the market rather than comparable sales to determine its value. However, auctions can be a stressful process and they require a lot of promotion and genuine interest to optimise their effectiveness.

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