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Buying and Selling at a Sequence Property Auction
Auction Procedure Information

It’s often thought that buying or selling property by auction is complicated and risky and should only be attempted by experienced property investors, developers or builders. However, nowadays auctions are a popular way for many people to move home, find a DIY project or a buy-to let investment.


Selling  and Buyingproperty at auction

Preparing to buy

People buy at auction for lots of reasons, they may want to move quickly or they could be looking for a plot of land to build on, a repossession, or quite simply they want a quick purchase without the risk of gazumping..

They may want something really unusual that’s not normally sold through an estate agent or just want to find a home to live in. Also, many buy-to-let investors buy at auction as a catalogue full of properties gives them lots of opportunities to choose from. It doesn’t matter what your reason for buying at auction is, the key to success is preparation.

Finding the right property
Before you go to auction to buy a property there’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be done. A good place to start is by making a list of must haves. It could be a particular area, whether it’s detached or semi-detached, the number of bedrooms, the price range, whether it has space for parking or any number of other reasons. Once you have an idea of what you want to buy you’re ready to start your search.

Where to look
There are lots of places you can start looking, the Internet, auction catalogues, property supplements, regional and local papers, free papers and by contacting auction centres.
The quickest way to get a copy of an auction catalogue is to subscribe to the mailing list, this way it will be sent the day it is produced.
You’ll be one of the first to see it and it will give you plenty of time to complete your enquiries before the auction.


Specialist Auction Agents covering the United Kingdom

Barnard Marcus
Covering the whole of the UK.
Commercial and Residential Property and land investments.
Auctions held in London.
Visit Web Site
Bagshaws Residential
Covering Derbyshire, and Staffordshire.
Residential Auctions.
Auctions held in Derby.
Visit Web Site

Fox & Sons Southampton
Covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, The Isle of Wight, East & West Sussex and bordering areas.
Commercial and Residential Property and land investments.

Auctions held in Southampton.
Visit Web Site
William H Brown Norwich
Covering East Anglia and the Midlands.
Commercial and Residential Property and land investments.

Auctions held in Norwich.
Visit Web Site
William H Brown Leeds
Covering Yorkshire, Humberside, Lancashire, Tyne and Wear.
Commercial and Residential Property and land investments.

Auctions held in Leeds.
Visit Web Site

Before the auction
Once you’ve found the property you’d like to buy, you now need to prepare for the auction. Here’s a list of all the things you need to do beforehand:

Advice for Buyers at Property Auctions

Offers prior to auction
You can submit an offer before the auction which, if suitable, is forwarded to the seller. If this is accepted, your purchase will go ahead and when contracts have been exchanged, the property will be withdrawn from the auction.

Auction Day

This is by far the most exciting part of buying or selling at auction.
But make sure you’re prepared. Before the auction, contact the auction house just to make sure the property is still available.. You’re now ready to start bidding!

What do I need to bring?
You’ll need two forms of identification, your auction catalogue, your solicitor’s details and your deposit, because if you are successful you will need to pay this when contracts are exchanged which happens on the fall of the hammer.
It’s also a good idea to arrange for your buildings insurance policy to start once the hammer falls. For some leasehold properties this might not be necessary, your solicitor will tell you this.

Your deposit
This can be a banker’s draft, a building society cheque, or a personal cheque.
At some auctions there may also be a contract documentation fee, which is usually around £500 plus VAT.

Before bidding begins the auctioneer will check that everybody has a copy of the ‘Addendum or Announcement’ sheet and will read out any last minute alterations to the catalogue details.

When the property you are interested in comes up, make sure you know the maximum price you can afford to pay – it’s easy to get carried away!

Once bidding begins, potential buyers will be asked to make their bids clearly either by raising their hand or a copy of the auction catalogue. And don’t worry, you can’t buy a property by scratching your head.
Once the final bid has been put forward the auctioneer will signal that it is about to be accepted by using the phrase ‘going, going, gone’ and bang the hammer to close the sale.
If a property fails to reach the reserve price, it will be withdrawn from the auction and the auctioneer will invite anyone still interested to talk afterwards. Sales can still be made if a price is agreed with the seller.

What if I can’t attend?
If you can’t attend then you can arrange for someone to submit bids on your behalf.
They’ll need your written consent and you should agree limits before bids are submitted. If you want someone from the auction team to do this you should contact them at least two days before the auction.
You could also submit telephone bids to a member of the auction team who’ll be in the auction room. They’ll then make bids on your behalf. However, attending the sale is by far the best way to bid. If you bid by phone you’ll miss out on the exciting atmosphere in the room.

You've Done it!

Once the hammer falls, contracts are legally exchanged. The contract is signed and the deposit handed over immediately. The auctioneer is legally entitled to sign the contracts on behalf of the buyer and seller if necessary..

Completion of the sale
The completion of the sale takes about 28 days, however for some properties this could happen sooner. This will be stated in the general conditions of sale in the auction catalogue or as a special condition of sale in the legal documents. The balance of the sale will be paid on completion. A solicitor will normally deal with this part of the sale.

Help Buying Property at Auction

Completion of auction deal


Getting ready to sell

There are many advantages to selling at auction, it’s quick – the whole process takes around six weeks, there’s no chain and when the hammer falls your property is sold.

Selling at auction also widens the potential market, not only will there be buyers who want to make it their home, there’ll also be investors, developers and property dealers interested in buying. In many cases an auction could prove to be the best method for selling your property and not just a last resort.

Finding out what your property is worth
Once you’ve decided to sell you then need a full auction appraisal to find out what price you can expect to achieve, the likely timescales and costs involved.
You should choose an auctioneer carefully as this can make all the difference as to whether you achieve the best price. It may be tempting to go with the auctioneer who quotes you the highest price. But if your property doesn’t sell, you could be left with the auctioneer’s and solicitor’s costs and a home you still need to sell. It may also be tempting to use the auctioneer that quotes the lowest fee, but are they really going to spend the money on marketing your property? One extra bid could more than cover a slightly higher fee.

Entering a property for auction
You will need to register your property at least six weeks beforehand to have it included in the catalogue and allow the auctioneer time to market it. A good auctioneer will market your home in the local or national press, distribute the catalogue to potential buyers, and keep you fully updated with the response.

How Can We Help

You’ll also need to appoint a solicitor who will help you with the terms of business that must be signed to enter your property into the auction. Your solicitor will also help in preparing the contract of sale and supporting legal paperwork. Again, a good auctioneer will liaise with your solicitor fully, ensuring everything is in place for the auction sale.

Marketing your home
Once the marketing of your property begins, the auctioneer may receive offers on it before the auction. These will be forwarded to you straightaway. Sometimes these are unrealistic and a good auctioneer will arrange with you to only advise when the offer is significant. If your property is sold before auction, it will be withdrawn once contracts are exchanged.

The reserve price
A lot of people are put off from selling at auction because they’re worried they will lose money if bids are very low. Don’t worry, you should talk to your auctioneer about setting a reserve price, which is the minimum price you want your home to be sold for. This is normally set in principle when you instruct the auctioneer. It safeguards you from setting a reserve that is too low or too high. It’s confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone.


Things we have to tell you


Written quotations available on request. All loans secured on property. Life assurance is usually required.

Sequence only provides information on repayment mortgages.

Trading name of Sequence (UK) Limited, Registered in England and Wales Registration number: 4268443
Registered Office: Cumbria House, 16-20 Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1GN.

To contact your nearest office, look in your local property press, Yellow Pages or visit our website
For Regional and Country-wide property auctions visit the links on this web site (top right).

Sequence is a member of the Ombudsman for Estate Agents.

No warranty is being given as to the quality, suitability or accuracy of any of the goods, services, advice or information to be provided by the outlets or providers referred to in this web site guide to Buying and Selling at a Property Auction.

Sequence (UK) Ltd
Sovereign House, 361 King Street, London, W6 9NA