The Sale

Valuation, Negotiation and Closing the Sale

What is Your Property Worth?

It is important to set a realistic price. Your agent will give a market opinion and provide a true price estimate. Beware any agent who says they can achieve a high price without substantiating their claim with facts. Agents interpret the market - they do not create it. Overpricing is the most common reason properties fail to sell.

Market opinion will be made based on evidence from:

(a)   data sources, e.g. property data;

(b)   recent advertisements;

(c)    recent sales negotiated by the office;

(d)   sales made by other agents, and;

(e)   any valuation from a registered valuer


Negotiating and Accepting an Offer

It is important that your agent manages this part of the transaction as they have experience in this field. If you are approached by a buyer you should refer them to your agent. Your agent will qualify the buyer and ensure they are in a position to buy immediately. Once the buyer is qualified your agent will get an offer that you can choose to accept or reject. Your agent can advise whether it is a fair offer and should be accepted, but ultimately it is up to you.


Sale by Auction

Setting a reserve price
Before auction you must advise your agent in writing of a reserve price, which is the lowest amount you are willing to accept.  If bidding does not reach your reserve, the property will be passed in. If your property is passed in, the agent will negotiate with interested bidders to achieve a sale. If a sale is not achieved, your agent will then proceed to seek buyers on a private treaty basis.

Sale at auction
If the property is sold at auction the successful bidder is required to sign the contract of sale and pay a deposit (usually 10%) immediately. A cooling-off period does not apply.


Contract Exchange

Once you have accepted an offer on your house, a contract must be signed by buyer and seller, with a copy of the signed contract provided to both parties. When the contract is signed, the buyer is required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price), and the remainder is paid at settlement.

Buyers of residential property may have a cooling-off period following the signing by both parties of the contract, during which they can withdraw from the sale. During the cooling-off period it is common for buyers to organise inspections of property, e.g. pest or building inspections. The cooling-off period can be waived, reduced or extended by negotiation under certain circumstances.

There is no cooling-off period for sellers and no cooling off period for buyers who have purchased at auction.

The legal process for preparing and exchanging contracts, and the length and conditions of the cooling-off period, can differ between States and Territories. Your agent will explain the legal process applicable in your state or territory.



Settlement usually occurs 4 to 12 weeks after contracts are signed. At settlement, the buyer officially becomes the owner of the property and all responsibility is passed from vendor to buyer. Until settlement, the property is still the vendor’s responsibility so it is important you keep insurances and rates are paid.