Buying at auction

By Ian Cox

In the past few years Auctions have become a very popular way to sell properties.   There are in today's difficult times many repossessed houses which will be sold by auction and there may be some bargains available.

Here we present our guide to buying at auction.

Before the Auction

  • Auctions can be very daunting until you have a feel for them.  Go to one as a rehearsal when you are not bidding.
  • Auctions usually have a four week turnaround.  As soon as the auction catalogue comes out, do your research. It pays to be nosy.  If you like a house knock on a neighbour's door and seek information as to why the property is being sold.
  • Read the legal pack containing all the searches and title documents.  Always ask us to read it for you so you are fully aware of all the legalities affecting the property. 
  • If you still like the property arrange a survey and your finances.  You must pay 10% on the day and the rest usually twenty eight working days later.
  • The guide price can change throughout the marketing period.

On the Day 

  • Check that the property has not been withdrawn.
  • Stick to your budget - it is easy to get carried away.  Compare properties in the area and work out how much to pay.
  • Before the hammer falls the auctioneer points to the highest bidder and states the final amount bid.    On the fall of the hammer a binding contract is created subject to the conditions of sale.
  • There is no real knack to buying at an auction.  It is down to luck.  If your lot comes up late on the day some people may have gone home so you might pick up a bargain.
  • If your bid is successful the auctioneer will ask you to complete and sign the Memorandum of Sale and other documentation.  You will be required to pay the deposit and provide ID.

After the Auction

  • If the lot in which you are interested is not sold leave your details with the Auctioneer so that you can find out about post auction sales or bid for it privately.