Buying a home: private treaty

Buying a home through private treaty involves the home being listed on the market for a set price with no deadline for the sale to be completed.

As a buyer, there is a process that you can generally follow if you'd like to buy a home this way, including:

  • ask the seller for the contract of sale as soon as possible and have it reviewed by a licensed conveyancer or solicitor
  • organise or have your conveyancer get building, pest or strata reports carried out
  • get conditional finance or pre-approval
  • make an offer for the home verbally, such as over the phone or in writing like an email
  • negotiate the sale price of the home with the real estate agent or seller

Unlike buying a home at an auction, purchasing through private treaty means you can negotiate a sale price in private with the seller or real estate agent. 

This private treaty process of buying is not always transparent because you don’t know how many other people are placing offers for a home.  

Sometimes real estate agents are eager to finalise the sale of a home. But, remember they can't use high pressure tactics, harassment or unconscionable conduct to persuade you to make an offer. 

Once negotiations are complete and your offer has been accepted by the seller, the next step is to exchange the contract of sale. 

Until contracts are exchanged, the sale of the home isn't finalised. This means the buyer or seller can pull out of the sale, or the seller may negotiate with other buyers for a higher offer.