Private Treaty vs. Modern Method Auction vs. Traditional Auction: Which Is Best for Selling Your Property?

When it comes to selling property, picking the right method is crucial. The three most popular options—private treaty, modern method auction, and traditional auction—each have their own benefits and drawbacks. In this guide, we'll explore these methods in detail to help you make an informed decision.

Private Treaty


  1. Flexibility in Negotiation: private treaty allows for more negotiation flexibility, as buyers and sellers can discuss terms privately without the pressure of an auction setting.
  2. Extended Time Frame: This method provides a longer period for potential buyers to view the property and make offers, often leading to a higher sale price.
  3. Control Over Sale Process: Sellers have more control over the marketing and selling process, including setting the asking price and negotiating terms directly.


  1. Longer Sale Period: Sales can take longer as there is no fixed end date, which may not be ideal for those needing a quick transaction.
  2. Potential for Lower Offers: Buyers may perceive more room for negotiation, potentially leading to lower offers compared to auction methods.
  3. Lack of Competitive Bidding: Without an auction's competitive atmosphere, there may be fewer instances of buyers pushing each other to higher prices.

Modern Method Auction


  1. Broader Appeal: This method combines the best of private treaty and traditional auction, appealing to a wider range of buyers, including those needing mortgage financing.
  2. Fixed Time Frame: The property is sold within a specific timeframe, providing a clear end date and reducing the uncertainty for sellers.
  3. Secure Sale: A non-refundable reservation fee ensures the buyer is committed, reducing the risk of sales falling through.


  1. Additional Fees: Buyers must pay a reservation fee, which might deter some potential buyers.
  2. Potential for Lower Offers: Despite the competitive bidding, the final price can sometimes be lower than expected, especially if the property fails to attract significant interest.
  3. Marketing Costs: Sellers might incur additional marketing costs to attract enough buyers to the auction.

Traditional Auction


  1. Speed of Sale: Traditional auctions are quick, often completed within a matter of weeks, making them ideal for sellers needing a fast transaction.
  2. Competitive Bidding: The auction environment can drive up the price as buyers compete against each other.
  3. Transparency: The auction process is transparent, with all bids visible, providing clarity and fairness to all parties involved.


  1. High Pressure: The high-pressure environment can be stressful for both buyers and sellers.
  2. Immediate Costs: Buyers typically need to have their finances in order, as a deposit is required immediately after the auction.
  3. Risk of No Sale: There's always a risk that the property won't reach its reserve price, leading to no sale on the day.

Choosing the Right Method for You

Deciding between private treaty, modern method auction, and traditional auction depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Each method has its unique advantages and potential drawbacks, so it's crucial to weigh them carefully.

For those looking for more control and flexibility, private treaty might be the best option. If you're interested in combining the benefits of both private treaty and auction, consider the modern method of auction. For a fast and transparent sale, the traditional auction could be ideal.

At our estate agency, we offer a range of services to help you through every step of your property sale. Whether you're just starting or ready to take the next step, our experienced team is here to assist you. For more information on how we can help, check out our home page, learn about selling with us on our Sell With Us page, or explore our conveyancing services.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right method to sell your property can be daunting, but understanding the pros and cons of each option will help you make the best decision. Whether you prefer the flexibility of private treaty, the balanced approach of modern method auctions, or the quick turnaround of traditional auctions, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Which method seems best for your situation? contact our estate agency for personalised advice!

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