In anyone’s estimation, buying a property is a ‘big deal’. Dixon Family Estate Agents knows this. So we do everything we can to make the process smooth, straight-forward and transparent. When you are confident and well-informed, you can really enjoy the rewarding experience of viewing, choosing and buying.

Dixon Family Estate Agents offers select properties, ones we are proud to show and sell. We stand behind our reputation for honest dealing and respectful representation. We assure you of exceptional market knowledge and expertise – in our specialty area of river property and across all quality real estate. Very importantly, we assure you of absolute buyer confidentiality. The following tips will be helpful.

Buying through private treaty

In your search for the right property, you may inspect many. Never feel rushed. Take your time, be thorough and ask lots of questions. Consider what the seller tells you, after all they know their property better than anyone.

Do your own homework too. This may include seeking the advice of your solicitor. In some cases, properties offered for private sale have already been passed in at auction. Ask the agent. Auction outcomes can give you an idea of what price of price expectations and market sentiment.

If neighbours are an important consideration, don’t just hope for the best. Knock on the door. You’ll find out what’s in store and you may just pick up other handy information.

Dixon Family Estate Agents will provide every insight we can. We are happy to supply relevant sales data and local knowledge. But please understand, our primary duty is to the seller. We promise the utmost integrity in assisting you. However, our goal will always be to achieve optimum results for the seller who entrusts us to sell their property.

How to make an offer

The agent acts as intermediary between parties, presenting the prospective buyer’s offer to the seller. You will be asked to put your offer in writing, in the form of an REIQ / Law Society contract.

A binding contract will exist as soon as the seller accepts the offer by counter-signing the contract document, including any noted amendments. Private treaty buyers are entitled to a cooling off period of five (5) working days after signing of the contract. You may also sign a contract subject to certain conditions being met, eg. subject to finance, or to acceptable pest and building reports.


What if there are multiple offers?

When multiple offers are received, it is not uncommon for a property to sell for more than the list price. While the law typically dictates goods and services can’t be sold for more than the asking price, real estate is an exception.

People who list their property for sale are not obliged to sell, even if a prospective buyer offers the asking price and accepts the terms that were indicated. Owners always have the right to change their mind about selling, right up until a contract is signed.

Dixon Family Estate Agents’ policy on presenting multiple offers is carefully designed to ensure fairness for potential buyers while fully protecting the interests of our clients, the sellers. Here is the procedure:

  • A prospective buyer’s identity, offer amount and terms are disclosed only to the seller and/or their solicitor, remaining otherwise strictly confidential.
  • All offers are presented to the seller.
  • If the seller is willing to accept one or more of the offers, each prospective buyer is contacted and invited to submit the price and terms of their best and final offer. They give this to the agent in a sealed envelope to be opened by the seller. Every potential buyer is made aware that no further opportunity will be available to increase their offer.
  • All offers must be in the form of a standard REIQ / Law Society contract accompanied by the nominated deposit.
  • All parties are notified of the outcome immediately the seller signs the successful contract.


Properties are frequently offered for sale by auction, so you should understand and feel comfortable with the process. Attend some auctions as an observer. Choose auctions of properties similar to that you are seeking and in your preferred locations.

While coming to grips with how auctions work, you’ll also gain an idea of market activity and values. A purchase price is not disclosed prior to auction, so you should ask the agent for an indicative price range. Before you can buy at auction, you must have your finance pre-arranged.

Read thoroughly the terms and conditions laid out in the Contract of Sale and any other supporting material. Satisfy yourself regarding the title documents, ownership, any encumbrances, zoning and easements. Check on permitted uses and any proposals by governments or authorities that could affect the property. Find out the outgoings, including council rates and any body corporate fees. It is always advisable to check these details with your solicitor.

If you want to bid, you must register with the auctioneer before the auction starts. ID will be required. Only bids from registered bidders can be accepted. Also, be aware, there is no cooling off period at auctions in Queensland. If you bid and win, the property is yours!

Generally, a reserve price has been set – the lowest price the seller is prepared to accept. It remains strictly confidential, known only to the seller and the auctioneer. If bidding does not reach the reserve price, the auctioneer will declare the property ‘passed in’ at the highest bid. Usually the highest bidder is given the first right of refusal to pay the reserve price. If they decline, the property is then on the open market.

If your bid is successful, you will be required to pay the deposit on the spot – usually 10% of the purchase price.

Useful links:

REIQ – A Bidder’s Guide for residential property

Why you need a solicitor

The legal transfer of property from one owner to another, known as conveyancing, can be a complex process. For security and peace of mind, it is recommended a qualified solicitor undertakes the many tasks involved.

Your solicitor will be responsible for protecting your interests by checking all information and documentation. They will order and check searches, including a title search to confirm ownership, and make sure there are no impediments to the sale.

They will advise of government duties, prepare all necessary documents, ensure you comply with all legal requirements, calculate and prepare settlement figures including rates and insurance adjustments, liaise with your finance provider, correspond with the seller’s solicitor and arrange all settlement details.

When engaging a solicitor, we recommend you ask about their charges and what the fees cover. If you don’t have an established relationship with a solicitor, ask us about the panel of reputable professionals recommended by Dixon Family Estate Agents.

Overseas Buyers

If you are a non-resident purchasing property in Australia from overseas, you are required to obtain approval to purchase from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) prior to your purchase. The Foreign Investment Review Board is an Australian Government entity that regulates the sale of Australian property to overseas persons and corporations.

A foreign investment is defined as:

a person, not an Australian resident, buying property
a business or corporation where a non-resident or noncitizen owns 15 per cent or more of a property, or more than one foreigner has 40 per cent or more aggregate of the ownership.

Overseas buyers usually fall into one of three categories.

Australian permanent residents who are currently living overseas and want to buy an investment property in Australia.
Non-citizens or non-permanent residents living in Australia who want to buy property in Australia.
Non-permanent residents not living in Australia who want to buy property here.

If you require assistance in this matter please don’t hesitate to contact our office for assistance.


If you’d like to organise a video walk through of a property just complete the form below indicating a date and time for the viewing and we’ll contact you to confirm.

Just make sure you have Skype installed on your preferred platform and you’re ready to go!