Methods of Sale


Selling by auction is the preferred option for many. An intensive, high-profile auction marketing program attracts genuinely interested, cash-in-hand buyers. Vendors do have the option of accepting offers prior to auction day. Potential buyers can register an interest with the agent and ask to be informed if an offer is made.

Bear in mind that a buyer cannot attach conditions to an auction purchase. Once the bid is accepted and the auctioneer's hammer has fallen, the sale will be unconditional and you will be required to pay the agreed deposit immediately (usually 10%). It's important therefore to do all your research on the property before the auction. For example, you might want to arrange a building inspection, or obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) before the auction. You will need to arrange any mortgage requirements and consult your lawyer in advance.

You need to register to take part in the auction, and know what to expect on the day. If you haven't been to a property auction before, it's a good idea to attend a few to familiarise yourself with the process. Auctions are fast-moving events. Ask the agent marketing the property to explain the auction process to you. They can even assign someone to bid on your behalf if you prefer not to do so.

For more information on the auction process, we have created an Auction Process page for buyers, and also a list of the benefits of selling at auction.


The tender process has a set deadline (time and date) by which prospective purchasers put forward their best offer for a property. Offers can be conditional or unconditional, and can be considered prior to the tender deadline. However, we encourage purchasers to use this time checking out the property and getting their finances in order, so that they are able to make an unconditional offer at the close of tender.

As a buyer, it is advisable to focus on making sure your offer is the best offer, and therefore the one most likely to be considered. Whilst vendors may negotiate with hopeful purchasers after tenders have closed, you cannot present a low offer and assume that the vendor will want to take this further.


Buying a property with a fixed asking price is the traditional sale method. The Vendor sets a fixed asking price and buyers make an offer according to their budget and perception of value. Negotiations then take place, facilitated by the sales consultant.

Price by Negotiation

Selling by negotiation invites prospective buyers to submit an offer at any time, which can be accepted, declined or - more often - negotiated. Sometimes a deadline date for offers can be called to ensure all interested buyers are given the opportunity to submit their offer.

Usually, a vendor will have a preferred sale price in mind. Buyers, however, can find it frustrating to not have a price guideline and might in these circumstances, consider using the RV (Rateable Value) as a basis for their offer. However the only way to gauge market value is to look at similar properties that have sold in the area. Therefore a better approach would be to research sales of such properties for an indication of the 'going rate'. An easy way to do this is to request a list of comparable recent sales from your Harcourts agent.