If selling your home is on the horizon, one of the first questions you’re likely to ask is: What’s the best method for selling in the Caringbah area or across Sutherland Shire?

The answer is: It depends. Market conditions at the time, the type of property you’re selling, the demand for that type of property, the perceived value that the asking price (or auction price guide) represents compared to recent sales and others available for sale: all have influence.

While we might suggest a particular method of sale to optimise your outcome, we are happy to personalise the process using the method with which you are most comfortable. We are experienced and skilled in various methods of sale to help you achieve a premium result in your desired time frame. Our three most popular are:


A set marketing time frame of around four weeks culminating in a public auction creates a sense of urgency, competitive bidding and has no ceiling price. As a method of sale it also offers the advantage of using the ‘process’ (that is, defining a time frame on the marketing and taking price out of the equation) rather than just the actual auction event. This means that genuinely interested buyers have an opportunity to ‘tempt’ you to sell to them prior to auction (at a price that would be around what you’d hope to get at auction or more) within that time frame. Assuming your property sells on auction day (or prior to auction), it’s sold under ‘auction conditions’, often called ‘an unconditional sale’ (that is, no cooling-off period for the buyer).

You can set a reserve price (that is, the lowest price you’ll accept) and the settlement terms.
If other family members will benefit from the home sale, it’s important to be completely open about the final sale price and the process. An auction offers transparency and allows for bidding by any interested party.

Private treaty

This is the traditional ‘For sale’ method, when the property is advertised publicly with a set price (or set price range) or, in some cases, no price at all. It’s crucial that the property is priced correctly; overpricing your property might well help the competition (other sellers in the marketplace) sell their properties. This could mean that your property sits on the market longer than it should. When a property remains unsold after a longer than normal time on the market, some buyers think there must be something wrong with it”(aside from price) and they might not even consider it.

‘Off  Market’

When discretion is paramount, LOCATION can assist you in selling your property without exposing it publicly to the marketplace. We maintain an extensive list of active, qualified buyers at all price points and can help you achieve a great result with a minimum of fuss. Around 20% of our property sales are ‘off-market’ and this is often an effective method to engage with suitable, qualified buyers.

Even if the property is not sold with this method, it is an excellent way to acquire actual current buyer feedback to give you a more accurate understanding on price (that is, as an initial phase prior to marketing it as a Private Treaty or Auction sale). This means that when and if it’s put on the market (advertised publicly), it’s still ‘fresh’ to the market and priced correctly, so it represents good value to buyers and optimises your chances of a quick, successful sale.

Marketing: Positioning your property in the marketplace

The intention of marketing is to create awareness in the marketplace to all potential buyers and a perception that the property is as good or better than anything else available in terms of value and opportunity. Specific components of marketing campaigns might vary depending on the property, but the only additional cost of an auction campaign, compared to a Private Treaty campaign, is an extra $500 to $800 for an auctioneer. Think of the marketing as an investment (rather than a cost) to give yourself the best chance of attracting the best buyers for your property and securing the best possible result. An effective marketing campaign can add thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands to the ultimate sale price.

How do you decide?

We can help you choose the method that will work best for you, taking several factors into account: market and demand, potential buyers and so on. We’ll also discuss any drawbacks of each method.

For example, when you sell by private treaty (and assuming you are not insisting on an unconditional exchange of contracts), once agreement is reached on price and terms, the buyer may secure the property by signing a contract with 0.25% deposit and be entitled to a cooling-off period (usually five working days). During that time you cannot accept a higher offer if it comes, while the buyer can formalise finance undertake building/pest/strata inspections before committing unconditionally to the purchase with the balance of the 5% or 10% deposit. The buyer can pull out of the sale during this period, and if so, forfeits the 0.25% deposit to you.

Auctions can be intimidating to some buyers, even though they are a transparent way to buy, with all offers put out in the open. In addition, because of the auction conditions (that is, no cooling-off period), it often precludes buyers who haven’t obtained unconditional pre-approved finance.

Can we help with advice on downsizing?

Having navigated the home sale and downsizing process not only for our real estate clients but also for members of our own family, it’s an area in which we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge. So don’t hesitate to seek out our help – no obligations.

Free downsizers guide

Michael & Rhiff Larkings

As a specialist team, focused on Caringbah South and the surrounding suburbs, we've been providing real estate services for over 20 years. With numerous real estate awards to our name, we're in the top echelon of licensed real estate agents in the Sutherland Shire. We regularly set new street, suburb and area sales records. Most importantly, we understand that real estate is a ‘people’ business where the development of relationships and trust, with both our clients and purchasers, is vital to achieving your all-important sales result.

Get in touch

Discover what your home or investment property is worth in the current real estate market. Whether you are looking for advice about a future sale or seeking out your ideal home, our team are on hand to assist.


Suites 4 & 5, 305 Kingsway,
Caringbah 2229 NSW Australia