Auction or Private Sale: Which Option is Right for You?

When selling a property, you must make several decisions, and one of the most important ones involves choosing the method of sale: auction or private sale.

Auctions, often featured on TV, foster a competitive and public process that can drive up the selling price by creating a sense of urgency among buyers. In contrast, private sale is a more traditional and popular method. Here, the property is listed with an asking price through an agent who markets the property and presents offers back to the seller.

It’s important to speak to your preferred agents and determine which method would be most suitable for your home sale. Let’s break down everything you need to know about each method to help you make an informed choice for your property sale.

Selling your property at Auction.

An auction is an exciting and competitive selling method that takes place at a specific location, date, and time following a well-executed marketing campaign. Governed by strict rules and regulations, auctions are orchestrated by licensed real estate agents either on-site or in an office. The property is sold once the auction reaches the reserve price, which is the lowest amount the vendor is willing to accept.

Auctions have gained popularity, particularly in vibrant real estate markets like Melbourne and Sydney, and offer numerous advantages. One of the key benefits is their ability to generate urgency and competition among buyers, driving up the final selling price—a favorable outcome for sellers. They are particularly well-suited for properties in high demand, with unique features, or appealing to multiple groups of buyers, as they foster a sense of contest and desire. Additionally, auctions typically do not have a cooling-off period, providing sellers with a swift and decisive transaction.

In most cases, auction sales are not subject to building and pest inspections or finance clauses. When a property is sold at auction, the sale is unconditional, meaning the buyer is committed to purchasing the property without any specific conditions or contingencies.

it’s important for potential bidders at an auction to conduct their due diligence prior to auction day. This includes necessary inspections or financing arrangements. There is no opportunity for these contingencies after the fall of the hammer.

By choosing a public auction, sellers can rest assured that they are obtaining the best possible price for their property. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that not everyone may feel comfortable with the public nature of auctions. For those seeking a more private setting, a private auction can be arranged, inviting only a select group of bidders to participate in the bidding process.

Selling your property via private sale.

Selling your property via a private sale also provides an excellent opportunity to leverage online listing platforms like and, which can significantly enhance exposure to prospective buyers. These platforms are powerful tools in reaching a wide audience of potential buyers, increasing the chances of attracting the right match for your property.

Including listings in your marketing campaign will help you showcase its unique features and highlight the key selling points, capturing the attention of a broad range of interested buyers. The increased exposure not only generates more inquiries but also fosters healthy competition among potential buyers, potentially leading to better offers and a faster sale.

Moreover, utilizing these listing platforms allows you to present your property in its best light with compelling descriptions, high-quality images, and even virtual tours. Such comprehensive and visually appealing presentations can pique the interest of potential buyers and motivate them to take the next step, whether it’s requesting a viewing or making an offer.

Private sales can be more cost-effective compared to auction sales, which often involve additional expenses. However, there is a cooling-off period in private sales, allowing buyers the option to change their minds or make the offer subject to finance or inspections.

Overall, a private sale can be a suitable choice for sellers looking for more control over the selling process and who prefer to set a fixed asking price for their property. It provides a comfortable environment for negotiations and allows buyers to carefully consider their decisions during the cooling-off period.

How do you choose between a private sale or an auction?

When deciding between a private sale or an auction for your property, consider several key factors. Each method offers unique advantages and suits different types of properties and market conditions. To make an informed decision, consider these essential points:

When deciding between a private sale or an auction for your property, consider several key factors. Each method offers unique advantages and suits different types of properties and market conditions. To make an informed decision, ponder these essential points:

Assess Property Type and Demand

Evaluate the demand for properties similar to yours in the current market. If your property is in high demand or has unique features that appeal to multiple buyer groups, consider an auction to create a competitive environment that drives up the selling price. Alternatively, if your property is in an area with less demand and comparable sales data can help set the right asking price, a private sale might be a suitable option.

Consider Your Goals and Preferences

Reflect on your personal preferences and priorities as a seller. Auctions can be emotionally charged events with a sense of urgency, while private sales offer more privacy and control over the negotiation process. Determine which method aligns better with your comfort level and desired outcome.

Factor in Market Conditions

The state of the real estate market can influence the success of each selling method. In a hot market with high demand, an auction could be advantageous, whereas in a slower market, a private sale might be a safer option.

Evaluate Cost Considerations

Consider the costs associated with each method. Auctions may involve higher marketing expenses and auctioneer fees, while private sales might have lower upfront costs. However, keep in mind that auction fees are often recouped in the form of a higher selling price.

Understand Buyer Considerations

Think about how potential buyers might respond to each method. Some buyers may prefer the transparency and excitement of an auction, while others may feel more at ease with the privacy and flexibility of a private sale.

Consider Timeframe

Reflect on your desired timeline for selling your property. Auctions have fixed sale dates, while private sales can have more flexible timelines. Choose the method that aligns with your preferred timeframe for selling.


Ultimately, the decision between a private sale and an auction depends on your specific circumstances, property type, and market conditions. Work closely with your real estate agent to weigh the pros and cons of each method and make an informed choice that maximizes your chances of a successful sale.

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