Posted 06 Dec 17

Private Treaty vs. Auction: Which one is right for you?

There are two basic ways to sell a property. One is by private treaty and the other is at auction.  Most sellers are looking to secure the best price in the shortest amount of time. It’s important to take these factors into consideration when deciding which method of sale is best suited to you.
Getting things moving
If you’re keen to move quickly, an auction is often the best way to go. “Selling at auction sets a deadline, so owners can get a good idea of when their property is likely to sell,” explains Andrew Robinson, NSW Chief Auctioneer at Belle Property.
“An auction usually has a relatively short campaign of around 21–30 days. Typically, there will be three Saturday viewings, and on the fourth Saturday the property will go to auction. On the other hand, a private sale can go on for an indefinite amount of time, incurring higher marketing costs in the long run.”
Securing the right price
If you’re in no rush to move, you may want to consider a private treaty. This allows you to set a price upfront, although it can take time to find the right buyer. It’s also worth remembering that private sales tend to go for under the listed price.
If the initial price is set incorrectly, you run the risk of underselling the property, or having to reduce the price later. This can slow down momentum, which may put buyers off.
Although you have less control over the final price at auction, you can set a ‘reserve’ price (i.e. the lowest price you are willing to accept). If you have more than one buyer interested in the property, there’s a chance you will secure a better price than expected.
“If there are two or three potential buyers, and the auctioneer knows what he or she is doing, emotion can take a hold and a property may sell for well above the reserve,” says Andrew. “If you do want to go to auction, it’s important that you work with an experienced sales agent and auctioneer. The better an auctioneer is at working the crowd, the more likely your chances of success.”
Words by Emily Usher