How to choose between auction and private treaty when selling your home

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Auction or Private treaty

Auction or Private treaty

Nicola Powell| Domain| 23 June 2017

Choosing the method of sale is a key decision vendors initially face. Auctions tend to be a fast path to sale compared with private treaty but the speed and success largely depends on market conditions and location.

Auction numbers in Sydney jumped during autumn as vendors sought to take advantage of the housing market strength and fraught competition between prospective buyers.

Just over 10,250 homes were listed for auction during autumn 2017, up 28.6 per cent compared to autumn 2016. That’s an additional 2282 properties under the hammer.

Auctions tend to be a fast path to sale compared to private treaty. Photo: Jessica Shapiro

Vendors across all regions of Sydney are making the most of market conditions before the anticipated easing of activity over winter sets in. The upper north shore played host to the highest number of auctions during autumn 2017, with 1734 homes scheduled to go under the hammer — an additional 453 compared to autumn 2016.

The south west experienced one of the largest percentage gains, soaring a staggering 64.4 per cent to 761 homes listed for auction during autumn 2017, an additional 298 compared autumn the year before. The west experienced a similar jump at 60.6 per cent to 745 auctions throughout autumn 2017 compared with 464 auctions during autumn 2016. Other significant gains included a 38.9 per cent increase in the northern beaches with 861 auctions listed, and a 35.2 per cent increase to auction activity in Sydney’s south, with 1349 listings.

Some vendors prefer setting a price without a deadline, taking away certain elements of pressure from the selling process.

Statistics surrounding auctions tend to reflect buyer sentiment and are a good indicator of market conditions. Autumn appears to still be filled with competition as demand puts pressure on the housing sector.

Data compares the clearance rates in Autumn 2016 and Autumn 2017 in Sydney. Photo: Data sourced by Dr Nicola Powell using Australian Property Monitors 1 800 817 616. Copyright APM Pty Limited.

Clearance rates did ease over the month, from 73.3 per cent in April to 69.7 per cent in May, perhaps a reflection of the surge in auction listings. Figures are still above the clearance rate of 69.4 per cent recorded in May 2016.

Clearance rates in some regions echoed the intense competition between buyers. Sydney’s lower north had the highest clearance rate during autumn 2017 at 81.4 per cent, closely followed by the northern beaches at 78.4 per cent and the inner west at 77.9 per cent.

The only region to record a declining clearance rate was the city and east, from 77.1 per cent in 2016 to 75.5 per cent for autumn 2017.

Clearance rates in the upper north shore (75.4 per cent), south (71.7 per cent), Canterbury-Bankstown (71.4 per cent), Blue Mountains (61.5 per cent) and the south west (59.7 per cent) registered some of the biggest annual improvements.

More vendors are certainly wagering on strong clearance rates. The robust auction market conditions exemplify the strength in demand. The varied auction results highlight the need for understanding market climate in each locality; it is a key consideration when choosing a method of sale.

There are many benefits to selling by auction but some vendors prefer setting a price without a deadline, taking away certain elements of pressure from the selling process.

Knowing the current market climate is vital when deciding to sell by auction or private treaty.


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