Why should I buy at Auction?

Auctions are and probably always will be the ideal place to purchase an investment property - whether it's a buy-to-let, commercial site or renovation project. It's ideal for those who can exchange contracts immediately, have a 10% deposit at the ready and can complete the transaction in 28 days. We recognise this and it's a market that we serve fully. We call lots in this section of our auction Unconditional.

In the early 1990s we wanted to offer "typical" buyers and sellers a way of getting around the often long and drawn-out private treaty process, while still accommodating the need to get a mortgage in place and take care of the legal details. We then came up with the Conditional auction concept. With the Conditional auction once your offer is accepted you pay a non-refundable 5% Buyer's Premium (minimum £5000+ VAT) which gives you and the vendor 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 28 days to complete the transaction. Our National Auction features many properties that are ready for you to add your personal touch, those that may need significant renovation, and commercial lots.

The benefits of buying at Auction

Security
Once you have been confirmed as the highest bidder and paid your Buyer's Premium (and deposit for unconditional lots) the property is yours and the amount you have bid is the amount you pay. There is no going backwards and forwards with offers, or fear that another buyer might emerge. Most of our National Auction properties are sold with either no chain or a very short chain. This means that buying from auction is less dependent on circumstances beyond your control than normal private treaty sales.

Speed
With an Unconditional auction property contracts are exchanged immediately after the hammer falls, and you have 28 days to complete. With a Conditional auction property contracts are exchanged within 28 days and completion within a further 28 days. If the seller agrees, we can negotiate slight amendments to these timescales to accommodate individual circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can buy from at Auction?
Anyone who has the funds available to pay the Buyer's Premium (and deposit for Unconditional lots), and can exchange and complete within the set timescales can buy from the National Auction.

I need a mortgage; can I still buy at auction?
Yes, but you should obtain independent financial advice to ensure you can meet the exchange and completion deadlines. We can put you in touch with auction finance specialists. Just let us know.

Can I view the property before the auction?
We recommend you view the property prior to auction to assess its suitability for you. Block viewing sessions are often organised, or we can arrange through our Partner Agents for you to view at a convenient time.

Can I offer before the auction?
Yes, we are legally obliged to put forward any offers to the vendor. If your offer is accepted you would be expected to proceed under the terms of the National Auction.

Can I bid online?
Yes you can.

Can I have a survey carried out?
Yes, you can arrange for the property to be surveyed before or after the auction. Remember that the Buyer's Premium (and deposit for Unconditional lots) is non-refundable so it might be worth considering a survey before bidding on a property.

I don't have a solicitor; can I still buy at auction?
Yes, although the sooner you instruct a solicitor the better, as if you fail to meet the exchange deadline you will forfeit your Buyer's Premium. For Unconditional lots where exchange of contracts is immediate you should talk to a solicitor before bidding. We can put you in touch with conveyancing solicitors - you just need to ask.

I can't make it to the auction venue; can I still bid?
Yes, you'll need to complete a remote bidding form and a member of the Auction team will bid on your behalf. We can do this over the phone while the auction is going on, or you can submit a proxy bid. The proxy bid authorises us to bid up to a set amount on your behalf. If you are the successful bidder we will then take payment for the Buyer's Premium (and deposit for Unconditional lots).

Can I buy after the auction?
If a lot wasn't sold on the night of the auction you can put forward an offer. If your offer is accepted you would be expected to proceed under the terms of the National Auction.

What do I pay?
If the property is in the Conditional section of the auction you will pay a Buyer's Premium of 5% (minimum £5000) plus VAT. This does not constitute part of the final purchase price, it is paid in addition.

If the property is in the Unconditional section of the auction you will pay a 5% deposit (no minimum amount) in addition to the Buyer's Premium of 5% plus VAT (minimum £5000).

How can I pay?
You can pay by credit card (subject to a 3% administration charge), debit card, bankers' draft, cash, or direct bank transfer into our client account. We are sorry but we can't take payment by American Express.

If you are purchasing before or after the auction night you can pay by cheque, but we won't stop marketing the property or instruct solicitors until funds have cleared.

Key words

Reserve
Unless otherwise stated, every property is subject to a reserve price. We cannot sell for a price below this figure. If bidding does not reach the reserve price the property will be withdrawn from the auction.

Starting Bid
This is the price at which bidding will start at the auction. It is normally below the reserve so shouldn't be confused with an asking price.

Exchange (of contracts)
The point at which the sale becomes legally binding to buyer and seller.

Completion
The point at which all outstanding monies are transferred from buyer's to seller's solicitors and the buyer becomes the property's legal owner.

Buyer's Premium
5% of the purchase price + VAT or £5000 + VAT, whichever is greater. This is paid in addition to the purchase price on properties sold in the National Auction.

Sellers Guide

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