Category: Selling

Auction Versus Private Treaty – Which is Best?

When selling your home, one of the first details to discuss with your real estate agent is whether to sell at auction or via private treaty. Both sales methods have their pro and cons and your agent will advise you on which is best for you in the current market.

Here are some details on how both sales methods work to help you make an informed decision.

Selling via private treaty

A sale by private treaty is a standard residential property transaction where you work with your agent to set an asking price for your home and your agent then negotiates with prospective buyers.

When a prospective buyer makes an offer, you can make a counter offer via your agent and negotiations continue until the prospective buyer drops out or you reach an agreed price.

Once an agreed price is reached, contracts are exchanged and a settlement date is set (usually eight weeks but this is negotiable). After contracts are exchanged, there is a cooling off period wherein the buyer can pull out. This period varies from state to state.


Selling by private treaty is generally less costly then selling at auction. It also allows for a larger pool of potential buyers as terms can be more negotiable such as length of settlement period and buyers can place offers subject to finance or subject to sale of their own home. 

Selling by private treaty is also less stressful than an auction sale – for both you and your potential buyers.

This method of sale is best in a slow market, where an auction may not attract any bidders, and for those who do not have an urgent need to sell.


A private treaty sale may mean having your home on the market for a lengthy period – meaning a lot of work each week keeping your home picture perfect for open inspections each weekend and private inspections as requested during the week.

The cooling off period after contracts are exchanged could lead to a buyer changing their mind and dropping out just when you think the whole process is coming to a close.

You will also be starting at the asking price and negotiating down, as compared to an auction where the sale price is negotiated upwards. With an auction, there is far more possibility you could achieve or even exceed the asking price in a lively market.

Selling by auction

When selling by auction your agent will set a date for buyers to come together to bid for your property and will book an auctioneer for the day.

On the day, you and your agent will set a reserve price. When bids reach this amount, the property is said to be ‘on the market’. The highest bidder over the reserve price becomes the successful buyer.


An auction campaign can be very quick and your property could be on the market for as little as five weeks. If your agent advertises that you are open to offers prior to the auction you could even sell beforehand. If the sale passes in on the day (i.e. bids do not reach your reserve price) then you can still negotiate with potential buyers, starting with the highest bidder.

An auction creates a sense of urgency and flushes out serious buyers who need to act quickly if they really want to secure your property. Contracts are exchanged on the day and there is no cooling off period.


An auction generally requires a more expensive marketing campaign than a private treaty sale, plus you have the additional cost of hiring an auctioneer.

In a slow market an auction campaign can fail to attract any serious bidders, meaning additional costs for a new marketing campaign for a private treaty sale.

Selling at auction is stressful as you will be in the background on the day and your agent will be in contact with you throughout the auction for you to make instant decisions. You need to keep a cool head and have complete faith in your agent and your auctioneer.

If you’re thinking of selling in the near future, ask your local Century 21 agent for a free appraisal of your home and discuss what sales method would work best for you.



0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 14/12/2016 at 2:00 PM | Categories: Selling -

Four things to help ready your gardens for a spring sale

Four things to help ready your gardens for a spring sale

Well maintained gardens can have a positive impact on the sale of a property and the arrival of spring will have many potential sellers investing time in their yards. Below are some tips to help revitalise your outdoor areas before listing.

1. Lawn care
A well maintained lawn can look appealing to buyers, so it’s definitely worth putting some effort into. Regular mowing and watering combined with a commercially available lawn fertilizer and herbicide should help to overcome the effects of the colder months.

2. Mulching
A fresh layer of mulch can bring order to your garden beds with minimal effort. Another benefit is that mulch will help to keep weeds from sprouting. Mulch also helps to keep moisture in the soil, which is great as the weather warms up and plants use more water.

3. Pruning
Spring is a great time to prune many plants and most hedges. An added advantage is that pruning will help to neaten up plants that have started to encroach on walkways or driveways. Pruning will also encourage new growth on your hedges, which always looks great at an open home.

4. Watering
Make sure that you don’t let your hard work go to waste by letting the lawns and gardens dry out. Try and water earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon and avoid the warmer hours in the middle of the day. By doing this you can minimise the amount of evaporation that happens before the water gets into the soil. Of course, ensure that you follow any relevant advice regarding water restrictions in your area.

0 comments | Posted by Ryan Dunn on 16/09/2015 at 12:45 PM | Categories: Selling - Around the house -

What to do if your property is passed in at Auction

It can be a very frustrating experience to have your property passed in at auction.  The lead up to and auction themselves are often emotion-charged experiences and after all of that it can be hugely anticlimactic if the property does not sell at all. 

Realistically, the possibility that your property may be passed in should be a consideration when you are initially choosing an agent - you need to feel confident in the agent’s ability to negotiate the best deal on your behalf should your auction be unsuccessful.

So, what are you to do if the possibility becomes a reality - your property is passed in at auction? 

The first step is not to worry – the result is not necessarily a bad one.  The good news is that the majority of homes will go on to be sold afterwards, if not in the hours immediately post-auction then usually in the days following.  Many prospective buyers will even increase their offering from what was bid at auction in order to secure the property, sometimes reaching the reserve price. 

It is therefore important to stay calm and focussed – you are still going to be called on to make decisions and to do so requires a clear head. 

It is usually the case, and the law in some Australian states, that the first right of negotiation after a property has been passed in rests with the highest bidder.  These discussions invariably start directly after the auction has finished with your agent acting on your behalf. 

It is important to go into these preliminary negotiations with somewhat of an understanding as to why your property did not sell.  For example, you may have set a reserve price that is deemed to be higher than market value, and thus buyers were not prepared to meet it.  Having a general idea (aided by your agent’s advice) should help you to better reach a settlement that is favourable to you as well as being realistic.     

Depending on your need to sell, it will also be important to go into these discussions prepared to negotiate.  You want the best price; however your property may also have been sitting on the market for a fair amount of time, or you could be financially committed to another property that requires funding to settle.  It is important that your agent is aware of your situation and the importance of achieving a sale, keeping these in mind throughout their negotiations with potential buyers. 

Remember that your agent is looking out for your interests and wants to achieve the best possible sale price for you.  Accept that your agent knows the area and market conditions, and try to take their advice in situations where you are unsure as to what will be the best action to take.   

In the end, it is a possibility that every auction could end with the property in question being passed in.    Just remember to stay calm and focused throughout the negotiations that take place afterwards and, with the help of your agent, you should be able to achieve a satisfactory sale. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 07/03/2011 at 4:17 PM | Categories: Selling -

Preparing to buy and sell Real Estate in Autumn

An RP Data study conducted in the middle of last year showed that autumn, followed by spring, is the busiest season for real estate, attracting the largest number of sales.  As we are now heading into autumn, this means that there are is a large amount of people who are currently preparing to either buy or sell real estate, or both. 

For those selling, it is important to make sure that your property stands out amongst all the other listings on the market.  Chris Gray, in an article on Real entitled ‘Preparing your property for sale this autumn’ suggests that simple cosmetic alterations can vastly increase a property’s appeal to buyers, and gives sellers the following tips:

  • Declutter – remove all excess furniture, photos and other unnecessary items.  Buyers want to imagine how a property will look when they add their own touch. 
  • Perform a quick cosmetic renovation – simply replacing the carpet and repainting is affordable and can instantly refresh any property.  Stay away from do-it-yourself jobs, as the results rarely compare to a professional job. 
  • Style your property – Stick with simple furniture and a neutral colour palette so that potential buyers can imagine how they would add their own touch. 

It is amazing how even the most minor improvements can increase a property’s appeal and thus drive up its value.  And with the large volume of listings that autumn will see, it is important to highlight the value of your property to potential buyers. 

For those people preparing to buy property going into autumn, I think it is a highly worthwhile exercise to have everything necessary in order so that the decision to buy can be made quickly if need be.  This includes having mortgage pre-approval (if obtaining financing), appropriate legal representation and lining up a company to conduct the necessary inspections. 

Having said this, I don’t mean for people to rush into purchasing a property.  For those who think they will be in a position to buy over the next three months, definitely start looking at real estate now.  In order to get a sense of what you like, need and want (in terms of both properties and locations), it is important to have seen a large number of properties.  It can also be helpful to attend several auctions to get a feel for how they are conducted, as there is a possibility that you may end up buying through this method.

There is no doubt that autumn is a very exciting time for real estate and I wish all the buyers and sellers out there the very best of luck.  For any individual real estate enquiries you may have please feel free to pop into your closest CENTURY 21 office.

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 28/02/2011 at 1:18 PM | Categories: Selling - Buying -

Buying & Selling Property over the Christmas Holiday Period

As it seems to do every year, Christmas has once again snuck up on me.  The years do not appear to be slowing down and it seems that everybody in CENTURY 21 offices around Australia are busier than ever. 

An enquiry I get from many people around this time of year surrounds buying and/or selling property in the lead-up to, during and directly after Christmas and whether or not they should do it.  In my experience, Christmas can make things tricky, simply because you may not have as much time to be looking or preparing for sale as you would at other times of the year; however this doesn’t mean that now is not as good a time as any to be taking on the property market. 

For sellers, an issue that often arises is how your home should be presented.  Can you keep your Christmas tree and other decorations up? The jury is often split on this one – many people will tell you that everything Christmassy should be removed and your home should be presented as it would at any other time of year, while others will encourage you to embrace the festive atmosphere and decorate accordingly. 

My advice to you around this time is exactly the same as it would be in any other month – when presenting your home try to ensure that it is uncluttered and tasteful.  People should be able to envisage themselves living in your property and feel at home. 

For buyers, purchasing a property at Christmas time can have distinct advantages.  Competition is often reduced at this time of year, as many people are busy preparing for Christmas or have gone away on holidays.  Additionally, the properties on the market may be remnants from the spring selling season, which means they may have been up for sale for quite some time.  If this is the case, sellers are often keen to have their sale wrapped up before the New Year brings a new set of property offerings to tempt buyers away from their own.   

One thing to note when buying at this time is that many of the companies you will use to conduct your property inspections, strata reports etc, may have closed up shop for Christmas.  If buying at auction, be sure to understand that the price achieved is final – you cannot go back to the seller if a later inspection reveals flaws in the property.  If buying privately, with legal advice, try to reach a deal where your accepted offer is contingent on the results of an inspection which will take place in the New Year. 

In any case, good luck if you are planning on selling or buying over Christmas.  And for everybody else, I hope you have a fun and relaxing time over the holiday season.  I will be taking a little bit of time off writing these blogs to enjoy a nice break but never fear, I will be back in 2011 to keep you all abreast of happenings in the property market. 

I hope each and every one of my readers has a happy, safe and memorable Christmas and New Year.  See you in 2011!

1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 20/12/2010 at 2:56 PM | Categories: Selling - Buying -

Selling at the same time as your neighbours

After working hard to prepare your home for sale, it can be a little bit daunting to find out that a neighbour is selling their property at the same time. 

What does this mean for you? Upon making the realisation, many people immediately assume that they now must compete with their neighbour for buyers, or that their pricing must reflect (or even undercut) that of the other property. 

In my opinion, vendors do not have to have these worries if they find themselves with neighbours selling concurrently. 

In most streets, there are no two houses that are carbon copies of each other, and it is rare that buyers are looking for exactly the same property attributes.  Sure, many people may have similar basic ideas about what they’re looking for, but there are those little things that sway people one way or another. 

You may find that buyers come into your property and instantly feel at home, whereas this feeling was not replicated for them in your neighbour’s house.  Alternatively it could go the other way, and the other property could instinctively feel like a better fit. 

You would be facing the same situation regardless of whether or not your neighbour is selling; buyers will usually be considering more than one property – it doesn’t matter if it is located next door, around the corner or in an entirely different suburb. 

You may actually find that selling at the same time as a neighbour proves to be advantageous for you.  For some time-poor buyers, instead of having to choose which open inspection to attend, it may be easy to come to both, as the locations are so close to each other.  Or people who only came to see the neighbouring property may wind up popping in to see yours as well.  This could mean a greater pool of potential buyers for your property. 

In terms of your price, approach as you would with any other sale.  Follow your real estate agent’s advice and try to keep your expectations in line with market conditions.  There should usually be no reason to undercut your neighbour’s price to secure a sale. 

In any case, I would be hesitant to say that sellers should be worried if they find themselves selling alongside a neighbour.  We are experiencing a significant housing shortage in the real estate market at the moment so it’s fairly safe to assume that your property will sell, so long as it is priced fairly. 

1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 01/11/2010 at 3:26 PM | Categories: Selling -

How to sell your home quickly

When it comes to selling your home, ideally you’d like to have as much time to prepare as possible, allowing you to fix everything that needs fixing, clean everything that needs cleaning and perform all of the activities necessary to present a pristine property. 

Unfortunately situations can arise where people need to sell their properties quickly and the luxury of having time to ensure a property is perfect to sell isn’t always possible.  You may have just purchased a property and need funds to settle, or perhaps you are headed to a job in a far away location; whatever the reason, you need your property sold quickly and you don’t have a great deal of time to put a lot of effort into making it ready. 

If you don’t read any more of this blog post, be sure to understand the role of pricing.  Price is probably the most important element when it comes to selling a property quickly.  If the price is right, you will usually be able to sell anything. 

Now, I’m not saying that you have to lower your expectations to the point where you are practically giving your property away, I’m just urging you to be realistic.  This situation is not the time to wait it out for a buyer to come along who wishes to pay a premium to secure your property.  A sound assessment of the market and comparable property sale prices in your area will provide a good guide as to the range where your home may be purchased quickly.  Your real estate agent will also be able to make pricing recommendations. 

On this note, to sell a home quickly also requires a good real estate agent.  You will need somebody who can be honest with you, giving realistic guidelines as to where your pricing expectations should be.  It can also be helpful if the agent has some prior experience in a quick sales campaign.  The agent will be walking a delicate line – they will be drawing buyers in on the basis that you wish to sell quickly, however they need to avoid buyers making the assumption that you will settle for a low price. 

You may find that your house needs a little bit of freshening up before it is ready for sale.  An easy way to brighten things up may be to give your walls a fresh coat of a neutral coloured paint.  This will create the impression of space, freshness and openness, as well as giving potential buyers somewhat of a blank canvas for them to imagine their own lives in your property. 

Hiring some furniture could also do wonders to rejuvenate your property.  If your furniture looks slightly old and tired, some new, modern pieces could increase your property’s appeal to buyers. 

Selling a home quickly doesn’t have to be a hard exercise.  By giving your property an easy facelift, and keeping your price expectations realistic, you should find that a sale comes before you know it. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 26/10/2010 at 10:52 AM | Categories: Selling -

How to ensure your home sells at auction

While many people choose to sell their homes at auction as opposed to private sale, the fact that auction clearance rates rarely reach one hundred per cent for any given period indicates that not all auctions end with a sale. 

Auctions can be a very successful way to achieve an excellent price for your property.  With all the people who have shown an interest in purchasing together in one environment, along with psychology and egos, very quickly the amounts being bid can shoot upwards. 

But in the cases where the auction is unsuccessful, it is usually the price of the property that is the reason.  Although most of us have a value we believe our home or investment property to be worth and it is very difficult to be forced to accept a price we believe to be undervalued, ultimately the ‘market’ (those bidders standing at your auction) will be willing to pay a certain amount which you can either choose to accept or reject.

Having a realistic understanding of the value of your property is of huge importance as you go into the auction process.  As a real estate professional, it is up to your agent to discuss with you, frankly and honestly, the state of the market and a fair amount you could expect to receive for your property. 

Many agents will try to win your business by overestimating, assuring you that they can reach a particular figure come auction.  In reality, only the buyers who are bidding can determine what price your property will achieve. 

When armed with a good understanding of the approximate market value of your home you will be much better prepared to approach an auction and it won’t be such a shock if a lower than expected, but within market range, value eventuates. 

Of course, it is ultimately up to you whether you accept this price or not (if it is below reserve price).  However you may want to consider the consequences of not selling on auction day before you allow your property to be passed-in. 

Property advertising is not cheap, and any further monies spent on promotion will eat away at the value achieved, which is not guaranteed to be greater if you keep your home on the market.  It is also not a desirable situation to have a property on the market for an extended period of time as people may start to wonder why it has not sold and if in fact there is something wrong with it. 

Ultimately, a good approach to auction is for the seller to be prepared regarding the realistic value of their property and the current state of the market.  This will enable you to make a measured judgment about whether or not you should accept an offer made on the day, or if you should withdraw your home from the market and try again at a later date. 

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 14/10/2010 at 4:01 PM | Categories: Selling -

Tips to sell your home this spring

As the sun comes out and the weather heats up an opportunity arises in real estate to show a property to its fullest potential. 

Although your physical property will remain the same regardless of the time of year, there are certain features that people seem to be drawn to depending on the weather.  With knowledge of what buyers will paying attention to, vendors can highlight or improve these aspects of their home. 

For properties in areas where the temperature can soar, try to ensure that your property gives prospective buyers some relief from the heat.  There can often be nothing worse than going to inspect a house on a 30 degree day only to be greeted by a stuffy, sauna-like property. 

Take the time to make your home an inviting refuge from the outside heat.  You’re already ahead if your home has air-conditioning, just be sure to test the unit before the day of the inspection to ensure that it is working properly.  If you don’t have air conditioning, perhaps position some fans in various spots so as to generate the flow of air through main areas.  At the very least, be sure to open a few windows and doors to help increase ventilation. 

The extra light that accompanies summer can also be used to your home’s advantage.  Ensure that your windows are clean, allowing light to stream through unobstructed to illuminate your interiors.  If there is any painting required on the inside of the property, aim to choose lighter tones which will help to increase the feeling of spaciousness. 

It is natural in summer for people’s thoughts to turn to the outdoors.   Many buyers will thus be more excited than usual about the outside areas of your home, for example the entertaining area, pool and spa and general backyard. 

Try to focus the attention of potential buyers outwards by making these areas as attractive as possible.    Tasks like removing all leaves from the pool and spa, and keeping lawns mowed and hedges trimmed will illuminate how attractive your outdoor spaces are. 

As well as keeping things clean and tidy, you may also find it helps to show prospective purchasers how functional your property can be.  The simple act of placing an outdoor family setting in your backyard could highlight to people how their lives may be enhanced through the buying of your property. 

Spring is a time for freshness and rejuvenation and is a fabulous opportunity to show your property to its full advantage.  Flowers are in bloom, the weather is usually agreeable and everything in the garden that perished during winter is often coming back to life.  Try to make sure that your home is clean and tidy so that it matches the freshness of feeling given off by the surrounding environment.     

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 30/09/2010 at 11:27 AM | Categories: Selling -

The importance of scent to the sale of your home

It is widely recognized that your sense of smell is an incredibly powerful tool.  As the only sense hardwired to our brains, smell has the power to create associations, often causing reactions to particular scents.  Smell influences us to the extent that companies often use additives to enhance the smell of food products, drawing us in. 

So what does this have to do with buying and selling real estate? More than you would think.

In the process of preparing their homes for sale, people sometimes forget to pay attention to an unseen, yet important aspect - the way their home smells.  When you spend a large amount of time in a certain place you often become accustomed to the way it smells.  However, particular odours that you may be used to could have the potential to gear people negatively towards your property before they have had time to even view it properly. 

Garbage is a common example.  Although you may clear your garbage bins regularly, you may not realize that the bin itself often retains a lingering smell.  Before selling your home, try to spend some time cleaning and sanitizing your internal garbage bins and always make sure to remove any rubbish from them before people inspect your home. 

It may also be a worthwhile endeavour to move your larger, external rubbish bins to a neighbour’s house while any inspections on your home are taking place. 

Another contributor to unpleasant household odours can be the types of food that you cook.  The smell of fish, cabbage or garlic, for example, often lingers for a long while after being prepared, even despite the kitchen being properly cleaned. 

With this being the case, try to avoid cooking any food that you know carries an unpleasant after-smell when you have an open inspection scheduled for soon after. 

I don’t think it will come as much of a surprise to anyone when I say that the smell of cigarette smoke is a common turn-off for buyers.  Not only is the smell unpleasant, many people associate both the activity and the odour with unhealthiness, sometimes negatively affecting their initial perception of a property. 

If you are a smoker, make sure you cease smoking inside altogether if you are planning on selling your property.  When smoking outside, make sure all of the doors and windows are closed, ensuring that the smoke is not carried inside. 

When the time comes for people to inspect your property, it may be worthwhile to install a small, plug-in air freshener with an unobtrusive scent.  But remember to keep it on a low-setting – your aim is never to overpower people’s sense of smell, rather simply to appeal to it. 

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 16/08/2010 at 12:40 PM | Categories: Selling -