It’s worth having a conversation with your real estate agent about what the best approach might be for you after you understand what each of the different sales methods are.


An auction campaign, which sees buyers battle it out on the day, is a powerful selling method when used in a strategic way. This type of a sale sees a standard campaign followed by all the buyers physically coming together, usually on a Saturday, to make bids.

The seller controls a reserve price, under which the property cannot be sold, while competition on the day will determine the outcome. If the property does not reach the reserve or no bids are made, the home is termed ‘passed in’. At this time, the seller can decide to sell using another method if they choose.


  • Can achieve high prices in strong markets
  • High clearance rates provide more certainty of a timely sale
  • Buyers more apt to be competitive when facing each other
  • Home can sell before or after the auction


  • If it doesn’t sell on the day you may need to start over
  • Can be nerve wracking for sellers and buyers
  • If the reserve price is set too low there can be the risk of selling too cheaply
  • If the reserve it too high, there is a risk it won’t sell at all

Private treaty

The most common method of sale is through private treaty, which requires buyers to enquire and make verbal and written offers while the home is listed. This is the type of sale most buyers and sellers are comfortable with, however homes that do not sell and are listed for some time can quickly become ‘stale’.


  • Allows the ultimate control over whether to accept offers or not
  • Provides plenty of time for back and forth negotiations
  • In markets with little competition it doesn’t reveal any lack of interest


  • No guarantee of a timely sale
  • May not take full advantage of competitive buyers

Expressions of interest

This type of selling campaign requires buyers to provide their offers, including the deposit, in writing in sealed envelopes by a closing date. This can be seen as a combination between an auction and a private treaty – encouraging buyers to make bids but not providing the emotional situation of an auction day.


  • Allows some of the benefits of an auction, without the nerve wracking experience
  • Requires buyers to put their best hand on the table
  • Still allows space for negotiation on the offers presented


  • Unusual technique, so some buyers may feel uncomfortable
  • Doesn’t provide the competitive experience of an auction
  • Doesn’t provide the competitive experience of an auction