Selling a property

You can sell your own property yourself or contact a qualified agent to handle the sale for you. If you choose to use an agent they will recommend a method of sale based on the:

  • type and location of your property
  • market conditions
  • your timeframe and personal preference

The agent should support their recommendation with recent sales data

Make sure you understand all the advantages and disadvantages before deciding how to sell your property.

The agent’s commission is generally the same whether the property is sold by private sale or at auction.

An auction may cost more but could provide a better opportunity to sell by a specified date if you must sell quickly. However, there is no guarantee that the property will sell at auction or that it will fetch the best price. If you can, avoid selling in a hurry. There are usually additional costs involved in selling by auction; for example, the auctioneer’s fee.

Private sale

Through your agent you will be presented with offers from potential buyers of your property. You can reject or counter on the offers you are presented with. When you counter you enter into a negotiation with a buyer to agree on a sale price.

The contract of sale can be conditional. With your approval, the buyer can make the sale subject to obtaining a loan, a satisfactory building inspection report, pest inspection or other conditions. The law does not require contracts of sale to have a cooling-off period in Western Australia.

Public auction

Public auctions:

  • Price is determined by competitive bidding between prospective buyers present.
  • The contract is unconditional. The buyer cannot make it subject to conditions such as finance or inspection.
  • There is no cooling-off period.

Reserve or asking price

The lowest price at which you are prepared to sell your property is your:

  • reserve price for an auction (usually set on the day of the auction)
  • asking price for a private sale.

To help work out your asking or reserve price:

  • get to know prices in your area by checking websites and newspapers for similar properties listed and sold locally, and attending auctions and open for inspections
  • use the agent’s estimated selling price as a guide
  • consider paying for an independent land valuer to put a price on your property
  • be realistic and do not allow emotion to cloud your judgment.

This will help you avoid disappointment and the risk of buying a new property based on unrealistic expectations of the sale price of your current home.

Sales campaign

The sales campaign is paid for by the seller and undertaken by the agent. It aims to attract prospective buyers usually through signage on the property, brochures, flyers, home opens, online listings and can include advertising and direct notification.

Direct notification

The agent may have a list of prospective buyers to contact when suitable properties become available. These are people who have previously registered their interest with the agency.


The advertising strategy will depend on the type and location of your property and your budget. Make sure you are aware of the total advertising costs that you will be liable for and whether you will need to pay these costs if the property does not sell.

Property advertising must not be misleading or deceptive. It is illegal to misrepresent a property in any way when advertising or marketing that property, whether verbally or in writing and photographs.

You must ensure any information provided to the agent about the property is factual and up to date. If advertising is not accurate, and a buyer can prove a property has been ‘misrepresented’, the buyer may be able to take legal action.

Advertised price

When marketing a property, it is illegal for an agent to quote or advertise a figure that is less than:

  • your asking price or reserve price if you have set such a price, or
  • the agent’s estimated selling price or range, stated in the written authority.

Underquoting is unfair to buyers who may waste time and money inspecting a property they cannot realistically afford. It is also unfair to a seller expecting the agent to generate genuine interest from prospective buyers prepared to pay a fair price.

Before advertising your property for sale, an agent will generally ask you to approve the advertised price and to confirm in writing that you will consider all offers at the advertised price or within the advertised price range.

Are you being scammed?

Clever scammers have pretended to be both sellers and buyers and have walked away with thousands.  Make sure you are aware of their tactics to prevent yourself losing your home. Read more on our property scams page.  

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