Our guide to buying at auction
Buying at auction can be a fun and exciting way to buy a property. Our guide below will help you understand the process further and our auction team are available to advise you further or answer any questions.
Our website is a fantastic place to start your property search. You will be able to click on the properties page to see all available properties or perform a search based on your criteria. Alternatively, you can click here sign up for our free auction updates, to be the first to hear about our latest catalogues, results and any updates to the auction catalogue. You can also search our properties on Rightmove, and may see our properties featured in the local press or might come across one of our auction for sale boards. Click here to sign up for our free auction updates.
The guide price is an indication of the vendor’s reserve price, being the minimum price the property can sell for on the day or at the end of the online auction. The reserve price will never be higher than the top end of a bracket guide price or more than 10% higher than a single figure guide price. It does not necessarily mean that the property will be sold for this price, as it depends on the level of interest, which can increase the final selling price.
Arrange a viewing
Once you have found a property you like, it’s important that you view it internally (if applicable) before bidding at auction, as all sales are final. We include as many properties as possible on our viewing schedule. You don’t need to make an appointment to attend these viewings – you can just turn up on the advertised time and day. Our staff are at each property for a maximum of 20 minutes before moving on to the next appointment. The viewing schedule/viewing times are available within our catalogue, on our website and, whenever possible, on Rightmove. If a property isn’t on our viewing schedule, please contact us to make an appointment. Not all properties are available to view, particularly investment properties or properties in serious/dangerous states of disrepair, which you purchase at your own risk.
Inspect the legal documents
As it is an immediate legal exchange of contracts at the end of the auction, it is essential that you read all the legal documentation, to fully understand the terms of your purchase. By bidding on any auction lot, you are deemed to have read all the common auction conditions, important information, special conditions of sale and the full legal pack. These are all available to view free of charge on our website and we strongly recommend that you ask a solicitor to read them on your behalf in advance of the auction. They are also available to view in the auction room, if you haven’t been able to inspect them before the day.
Arrange your finances and survey
If you are arranging finance on the property, we strongly advise that you get this agreed in advance. Whether you are having a mortgage or not, it is always recommended that you have a survey in advance of the auction so that you are aware of any defects that may exist.
Some vendors will consider pre-auction offers. Please contact our team to check for each property you are interested in. All offers must be made in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. However, any offers must be in excess of the guide price in order to be considered. If your offer is accepted, it will be subject to the usual auction terms and conditions. You will need to visit our Birmingham office to pay your 10% deposit, administration fee and sign the contract. If you can’t attend our offices, please speak to a member of staff who will work with you to arrange alternative options.
Check for updates
We prepare an addendum in advance of the auction, detailing any changes since the catalogue has been produced. It also includes details of any properties that have been sold prior or withdrawn and won’t be offered. The latest version is always available on our website, and we strongly advise that you check it in advance of travelling to the auction or bidding on any property. Any updates to the online auction lots will be made direct to the property details on our website and Rightmove.
Preparing to bid
Once you have inspected the property, arranged your finances and completed all of your pre-auction checks, you are ready to bid. If you are bidding online, you must create an account in advance so that you are ready to bid and don’t miss out on the property you’re after. We will need to do an AML check and approve you to bid. Please allow enough time to meet these requirements.
If attending one of our in-room auctions, you will need to register and collect a bidding number when you arrive at the auction. Please ensure that you bring with you your identification and a means of paying your deposit and administration fee. Please refer to the ‘ways to bid’ section above for further information.
Deposit and buyer’s fee
If you are the successful bidder, you will need to pay your 10% deposit (subject to a minimum of £5,000) and administration fee. These can be paid by bankers draft or debit card. Please note we do not accept personal or business cheques or cash. If buying in the auction room, a member of staff will direct you to the finance desk. If buying in an online auction, £5,000 will be automatically taken from the card you have registered, and a member of staff will contact you for the outstanding balance if applicable.
Upon exchange of contracts, it is your responsibility to insure the property. Please speak to your insurance company to make the arrangements or speak to a member of our team, who will be able to put you in touch with an appropriate adviser.
Completion is usually 28 days from exchange of contracts and can vary depending on the seller’s circumstances. Please double check the contract/special conditions of sale for each property you are interested in purchasing. Please instruct your solicitor as soon as possible after the auction so they can ensure everything is ready for completion. You will also need to put your solicitor in funds and they will arrange to transfer the money to the vendor’s solicitor on the day of completion.
Please note that if you fail to complete within the completion period you will be in breach of contract and risk being sued by the vendor.
Collect the keys
We usually hold keys for most vacant properties. We will arrange to release them to you as soon as we’ve had confirmation from the vendor’s solicitor that they have received the funds and completed the sale. All keys must be collected from our Birmingham office, for which we require advance notice of when you wish to collect these. This will ensure that we have received authorisation to release them. If we don’t hold the keys, we will advise you of the arrangements for gaining access.