Buying by Set Sale Date

A Set Sale Date is similar to a Tender but tends to be less onerous for all parties concerned. Effectively a variation of a Tender, a Set Sale Date is used when vendors wish to have the option of selling prior to the specified date, which is not usually allowed if undertaking a Tender process. It’s a popular method of sale in Wellington, however they still prefer to not sell prior to the close of the Set Sale Date, where possible.

Here we explore the process and its advantages and disadvantages for people who may want to buy a property which is being sold by Set Sale Date…

Process: The pre-close of a Set Sale Date is very similar to an auction campaign and consists of an intensive three to four week marketing program, with a combination of print and Internet advertising to capture the attention of potential buyers that are in the market for that type of property.

As with a Tender, the offers are usually submitted in sealed envelopes but do not necessarily need to be accompanied by a deposit cheque, as you would in the case of a Tender. The offers can be conditional on whatever the buyer wants to include (eg: finance, building inspections, etc) 

Unlike a Tender, your offer does not need to remain open for acceptance for a three to five day period. Instead, you can withdraw it at any time, provided the vendor has not already accepted it.

The advantages and possible disadvantages of a Set Sale Date for buyers


  • The process is confidential, so the final sale price is not known until it goes onto the public records (about 2 months after the settlement date)
  • Both conditional and unconditional buyers can participate
  • A Set Sale Date can be a less costly process for buyers as they can make conditional offers and, unlike auctions, they don’t need to incur costs of building inspections etc, until they have an agreed purchase price
  • As a buyer you can make an offer prior to the Set Sale Date and the Vendor can accept your offer if they wish.
  • Buyers can withdraw their offer prior to the vendor excepting it if they have a change of heart about the purchase

Possible disadvantages:

  • Buyers will usually need to put in their very best offer straight away, and may not get an opportunity to increase their offer or negotiate with the vendor
  • If a buyer has submitted a conditional offer which has been accepted there may also be a back up offer that could take effect if they don’t meet the conditions within the required time
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