Sotheby's Australia

How to Buy & Sell

Selling Basics

Sotheby’s Australia can assist you through the entire auction process. Once we have determined that your property is appropriate for sale at auction, our specialists will orchestrate every detail, from setting estimates to cataloguing your property, arranging its collection and marketing it to prospective buyers worldwide.  Sotheby's Australia has a proven track record in achieving prices that meet or exceed pre-sale estimates.

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How do I find out what my property is worth?

With years of experience and detailed knowledge of current market trends, our specialists have the authority to give accurate valuations.  Please click here for an Auction Estimate Form, fill it in as thoroughly as you can and submit it together with a photograph of your property.

In some cases, we will contact you to arrange an appointment or to gather more information. You may also make an appointment to bring your property to the Sotheby’s Australia office nearest you. If your property is not appropriate for a Sotheby’s Australia auction, we will recommend an alternative place for sale.

How do I arrange shipping?

Sotheby’s Australia can help you arrange to have your property delivered to our offices.  Please contact usfor assistance. As the consignor, you are responsible for packing, shipping and indemnity charges.

What does my contract with Sotheby's Australia cover?

The seller’s contract sets out the reserve price and the seller’s commission and associated charges such as copyright and resale royalty.  You will be asked to sign a consignment agreement form which acknowledges your agreement to Sotheby’s Australia’s Conditions of Business.

When can I expect payment?

For sold lots, we will send payment within 35 days from the day of the sale, provided we are in receipt of the buyer’s payment. Your payment will be based on the hammer price less a commission and any agreed-upon expenses. Payment can be made direct into your nominated bank account or a cheque is issued.

What happens if my lot doesn’t sell?

If bidding on your item fails to reach the reserve price, we will not sell the piece at auction. Some consignors choose to take back their work(s), while others decide to offer it in a later auction or through our Private Sales Department. We will contact you to discuss the best course of action. Charges that were agreed pre-sale will be invoiced immediately after the sale – for example, shipping and handling costs. In the event that a lot does not sell, the reserve price is used to determine certain fees.

How does Sotheby’s Australia determine the auction that will include my property?

We consider both the type of work you are selling and the tastes of collectors. With a variety of sales every year, we are able to recommend the best auction to achieve the highest price for your property.