If you are considering purchasing a property at auction you need to find out everything about the property of your choice. 'At the drop of the gavel' in the auction room the property is yours, a contract is concluded on the sale of the property to you and it is too late to cancel the sale if you come across a problem.
There are three golden rules when it comes to considering whether or not to bid on a property at auction:
As soon as you can, call the local agents whose telephone number is listed below the property and make an appointment to visit the property. The local agents will have more details about the property including directions and local knowledge. Look around carefully and try to assess the property's condition - electrical wiring, central heating, kitchen and bathroom fittings, etc. Check for dampness, signs of repair, external walls and roof. Perhaps a local builder can help by advising you on the costs of the remedial work or possibly a chartered surveyor should be asked to give you a complete structural survey.
Never consider buying at auction if you have not got the full amount of the purchase price at your disposal or you do not have a mortgage offer on the property. Never be tempted to buy, knowing that you have the deposit to hand and thinking you can easily raise the balance later. As in all property purchases, there are penalties if you cannot come up with the purchase price on completion, usually 20 working days from the date of the auction, but in some instances this can be less.
The Auctioneers will have available what is known as a legal pack on the property. This has been compiled by the seller's solicitor and generally contains copies of the Title Deeds, Special Conditions of Sale, Land Registry Search, Leases (if applicable) and other pertinent documents. It is important that you inspect these yourself or perhaps better still, ask your solicitor to look through this paperwork before the auction.
Legal Packs are available to view for free online by clicking the Legal Packs tab beside each property.
Alternatively, a photocopy of the Legal Pack can be ordered by contacting us. We make an upfront charge for this service and payment can be made by Credit or Debit card when you place your order. (Please note this charge is not recoverable). Legal Packs can be viewed free of charge by visiting our offices in Pimlico where we hold copies of the legal packs leading up to auction. Please contact us to make an appointment.
This information is also available for inspection on the day of the auction at the auction venue from where the property is being sold.
Always remember that if the auctioneers gavel falls on your bid then a binding contract comes into existence, so make sure that you do all your homework beforehand.
Some other points for Auction Day
The particulars of any property included in the auction catalogue and shown on the website may require amendment or elaboration and this information is contained in an addendum which will be available at the auction. The Auctioneer will refer to the addendum prior to the commencement of the auction and purchasers will buy on the understanding that they are fully aware of the information contained in the addendum before bidding.
In order to comply with the UK's current Money Laundering Regulations, we ask all prospective purchasers to provide proof of identity. Please check which documentation conforms to the current regulations by clicking here. If you have any questions relating to the documents you need to bring please contact us.
We will need to see this at the contract signing stage along with details of your solicitors.
If the auctioneers gavel falls on your bid you will be asked to attend the settling desk where you will need to sign the sale contract and pay a deposit. This will normally be 10% of the purchase price or a minimum of £3,000, whichever is the greater. Deposits can only be paid by banker's draft, building society, company cheque or personal cheque, credit or debit card (surcharge of 1.5% for credit cards and 20p for debit cards). Cash will not be accepted.
In addition to the deposit payable upon exchange of contracts, buyers will be required to pay an administration charge of £900 (inclusive of VAT). A full VAT receipt will be issued at the auction or the day after exchange of contracts, with pre or post-auction sales.
Plans and Photographs
Photographs published in the catalogue are there to aid identification of the property only, as are the plans (which are not to scale).
This is an indication of the seller's current minimum acceptable price either prior to or at auction. The guide price or range of guide prices is given
to assist buyers in deciding whether or not to pursue a purchase. It is usual, but not always the case, that a provisional reserve range is agreed
between the seller and the auctioneer at the start of marketing. As the reserve is not fixed at this stage and can be adjusted by the seller at any time
up to the day of the auction and in the light of interest shown during the marketing period, a guide price is issued. This guide price can be shown in the
form of a minimum and maximum price range within which an acceptable sale price (reserve) would fall, or as a single price figure within 10% of which
the minimum acceptable price (reserve) would fall. It is not a valuation and, as such, should not be relied upon by prospective purchasers who should
obtain their own professional advice on values. A guide price is different to a reserve price (see below definition). Both the guide price and the reserve
price can be subject to change up to, and including, the day of the auction.
Each property is subject to a reserve price. This is the seller's minimum acceptable price at auction and the figure below which the auctioneer
cannot sell. The reserve price is not disclosed and remains confidential between the seller and the auctioneer. Both the guide price and the
reserve price can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.
Offers made on properties included in a catalogue may be accepted by the seller before the auction. It is therefore important that you register your interest in any particular property. We are obliged by law to inform the sellers of any offers made prior to the auction.
There are occasions when properties will be sold or withdrawn before auction. Neither the Auctioneers nor the seller will be liable for any claim for compensation from a prospective buyer arising out of a sale or withdrawal of a property prior to auction.
Do ring immediately before the auction to check whether the property that you are interested in is still on offer.
Attending the Auction
It is always wise to arrive in good time for the start of the auction as it will start promptly. Important announcements are made at the start of the auction which could relate to the property you are interested in. We typically sell about 25-35 lots per hour, but you should not rely on these figures for calculating the time when your lot is due, because many lots may be sold prior to the auction or withdrawn. It is best to be there at the start.
From the time that the property is sold to you at the auction, unless the contract states to the contrary, it is at your insurable risk to make sure that you have the ability to trigger the appropriate cover immediately.
Once the Memorandum of Sale (the contract) has been completed you will be asked to sign two copies. The first copy will be given to you, together with the legal pack, which you must then take to your solicitors. The second copy and the deposit are retained on the seller's behalf. Completion will usually take place twenty working days later, although this period can differ depending upon individual seller's requirements, please refer to the legal pack for the property.
If a property you are interested in does not sell, please register your interest and/or make an offer to one of our staff. This will be put to the seller immediately if possible. If you are successful, you will be asked to complete the Memorandum of sale and pay the required deposit.
The above information is for general guidance only and those interested in bidding on a property are advised to consult their solicitor or other appropriate professional advisor before putting their hand up.
- Identification to conform to the Money Laundering Regulations.
- Means of payment of deposit either by personal cheque, company cheque or banker's draft, credit or debit card (surcharge of 1.5% for credit cards and 20p for debit cards)
- Name and address of your solicitor.
Before the auction starts, the Auctioneer will explain how the auction will be conducted.
Sit back and enjoy it and good luck!
If you have any questions relating to the auctions please call us on 0207 963 0628.