Selling off the plan homes before settlement can be tricky.

The biggest hurdle is building confidence with your buyers purely based on a promise that you’re going to deliver the project on time and to the right specifications and standard.

It’s a tall order even for experienced property development consultants and sales agents.

In this article, I’m going to share 7 tips that will position your properties to build confidence and trust with your buyers to ensure you maximise every sale.

Now before we get stuck into the tips. Let me explain why the best time to sell your properties as a property developer is off the plan.

Here’s the dream scenario …

You get all your properties sold off the plan before construction is completed. Then as soon as construction is finished, you have subdivision approval (because you’re a kick-ass developer).

And your new properties’ titles have been registered, so your solicitor can arrange a settlement with the buyers.

All of that means you get paid straight away upon completion of your project.

Now that’s living the dream.

Side note – get up to speed on subdividing property in Melbourne and find out if you can subdivide your property.

And I want to point out the importance of becoming a local real estate expert. Finally, before we get into it, you might still be deciding if you want to sell your townhouses vs. holding them.

Let’s get into the seven off the plan sales tips that will help you knock your townhouse sales out of the park!

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1. Get the Best 3D Render Set Possible

If there’s ever a place to spend money on maximising off the plan sales before settlement, it’s on these renders. Because renders sell, it’s as simple as that.

They need to be the highest quality you can afford. Granted, renders can be expensive but let me assure you an unsold empty development is way more costly.

2. Killer Marketing Brochure

A high-quality marketing brochure is another non-negotiable when selling properties off the plan. This is where you put the kick-arse renders you’ve just had done up in lights.

It’s also a good idea to include as much other relevant information as you can.

Think floor plans, information on the local area, the best cafes nearby, a map with neighbourhood parks, shops and amenities, the projects fixtures, fittings, finishes, information about yourself, the builder and other project collaborators.

The more information, the better. Remember, it’s all about giving your buyers confidence.

Think about it.  If you dish up sub-par renders with a crappy brochure print-out (like the one’s agents supply for free as part of their service), how can you expect buyers to believe you can execute and deliver a killer development?

You can’t. It’s like a used car salesman who drives a clapped-out bomb; they lose all credibility.

So, you have the high-end renders and a killer marketing brochure next up …

3. Watertight Inclusions Documentation

Hopefully, you’ve been following us here at the Fish for a while now, and you know the importance of engaging a quality interior designer for your development. Let’s assume you have …

Ask your interior designer to provide a presentation document. In addition to the standard fixtures, fittings and finishes stuff that are required for the construction documentation. This might be an additional cost, but it’s well worth it.

A presentation document is an extra document where your designer explains the inspiration and thoughts behind the design. Inspiration your agent can use to accompany your marketing brochure.

It will help explain all the thoughts and considerations of your project. And why it’s a great opportunity to purchase off the plan.

4. Mood Boards

Mood boards or trays are great marketing assets for your agents to leverage.

It’s no secret people love to touch and feel things and given your buyers can’t touch and feel the property you’re trying to sell a creative mood board can make a big difference.

It’s basically a selection of the most important fixtures, fittings and finishes. These boards and trays are other areas where your interior designer’s tips and tricks and hard work get put up in lights.

5. Onsite Marketing Banner

Erecting a hoarding on the boundary of your development site with an awesome marketing banner is another place you get your renders up in lights.

It’s another touchpoint (the more touchpoints, the better!) you can leverage when selling property off the plan before settlement.

So as soon as your site has been demolished, pick the best spot to get a hoarding built and add a professionally designed marketing banner promoting the sales of the properties. Including your agent’s contact details and the property particulars.

Side note: You can learn how to market a new townhouse development here.

6. Clean and Tidy Sites

Make sure your site is clean and tidy at all times. When you engage your builder, you need to make a point of it.

If a potential buyer does a walk or drive-by to check out the site and its progress, and they see a messy site, it’s not going to give them too much confidence around what they can expect the finished product to look like.

It might not even be a conscious thought, it doesn’t matter.

When you’re selling property off the plan there aren’t too many free hits. This is one of them so make sure you take full advantage of it and have your builder execute the presentation of the site accordingly.

7. Select the Right Agent

Selling property off the plan is nothing like selling a normal house or apartment. The only similarity is the selling part.

Everything else is different so you need to find the best off the plan property sales specialist you can in your area.

By specialist, I don’t mean an agent that says they are an off the plan specialist. They need to have a proven track record. Off the plan sales needs to be their primary focus.

All agents aren’t equal, it’s horses for courses. Your chosen agent should understand your project inside and out.

They should be able to read plans, remember room sizes, fixtures, fittings and finishes all off the cuff.

If your agent is to build any trust or confidence with your potential buyers, he/she needs to be all over this stuff. It’s critical.

If the agent needs to call you the property developer or the builder every time they get a tricky question from a buyer, the buyer’s confidence will instantly start to plummet at a rate of knots.

So, don’t get caught up in all the bright lights of flashy agents.

Take your time and research to make sure you find the best and most experienced off the plan sales agent in your area.

And finally, check out this video I made on how to select a good real estate agent – it will be worth your time, you can’t afford to get this wrong.


These are all just some of the lengths we and our development team here at Little Fish go to. Especially when selling property off the plan before settlement.

If you take on board all of the seven tips, they’ll give you the best possible chance to sell your dwellings. No matter what state the market is in.

In all honesty, if you get them all right you can expect to be selling your properties consistently above the market value.

In fact, we take selling property off the plan before settlement that serious here at the Fish that we run a live blog post on our website for every relevant project.

It’s a place agent’s can send buyers to follow along with the progress of the project.

For us, it has been an integral part of building confidence with all of our potential buyers so if you haven’t checked one of these posts out before click here to check one out.