Methods of Buying and Selling a Home

Buyers are also given a “cooling-off” period, giving them three days to withdraw their offer for any reason.

Private sales are preferred by vendors who may not wish to have their homes inspected by masses of people, as is often demanded by real-estate agents trying to drum up numbers.


Emotionally charged, frustrating (and not always as transparent as they should be) auctions are a popular sales method for properties within a 15-kilometre ring of the city. Prospective purchasers bid openly for a property on a set date against other bidders.

An auction usually follows a five-week marketing campaign in which the property is advertised widely and open for inspection at least once a week.

Any building reports and inspections must be carried out by prospective purchasers before auction day, and sale terms – such as the deposit amount or settlement period – are set by the vendor.



Using this method, prospective buyers lodge one “best offer” bid, based on an advertised selling range.

The “set date” is typically five weeks after a marketing campaign begins, and properties are usually open for inspection in the same way they are at auction.

If the vendor is unhappy with the offers received, negotiations can open with the bidders.

However, there is a grey area over the legitimacy of offers. Agents are not required to record offers to anybody other than the vendor, so prospective buyers are never aware who they are bidding against, if anybody, and any discrepancies in price.


Prospective buyers make an offer for a property based on their calculation of what it is worth. Vendors do not have to reveal how much they would like, or the date the campaign will end.

This method increases the risk of paying too much if the prospective purchaser does not have a firm grasp of the market.


Popular for properties where intense buyer interest is expected, a boardroom auction works similarly to a public auction whereby bidding is conducted during a meeting with all interested parties.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of