Need to know before you get started. Before you start thinking about what you want in a property, it’s essential to understand a few basics, such as sale types and costs on top of the sale price. Ways to buy There are four main methods of sale in Australia: auction, private treaty, off-market, and expressions of interest. How you purchase a property can affect aspects ranging from the price tag to settlement. Consider what method of sale works best for you and keep this in mind when shortlisting properties. Auction Auctions create a competitive environment for qualified buyers, and while they can prove intimidating to some buyers, others may relish the excitement of the auction process. Private treaty A private treaty sees a property publicly advertised at a set price for sale. This encourages serious buyers with appropriate finance to inspect the property and submit offers. All offers are presented to the seller, as and when they come in, for review. Private treaties can be advantageous for buyers, saving time, allowing for better negotiation, and providing greater privacy. Off-market Off-market sales invite qualified and highly motivated buyers to inspect a property before it is advertised to the public. This allows the seller to test market response, gain positive and negative feedback, and gauge pricing expectations. Today, more and more buyers and sellers favour offmarket sales as they save both parties time and money. Off-market sales can be advantageous to buyers as offers can be submitted, reviewed, negotiated, and accepted before a property lists on the market, thereby minimising competition. Expressions of interest (EOI) The EOI method is often used for unique properties that are hard to compare or place in a local market. These properties are advertised with calls for EOI without disclosing the selling price. Once the intention to sell is made public, the market response is tested, allowing the seller to gain positive and negative feedback and gauge pricing expectations. EOI sales can be advantageous to buyers by offering a ‘first in’, offmarket advantage.