It’s important to be properly prepared for a property auction, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.

In this article, the team at Property Solvers answers the following questions: “how do I prepare to sell my property at auction?” and “how do I prepare to buy property at auction?”.

What You Need Before Selling at Auction

If you want to auction property, you’ll need to have everything in place in good time. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take:

Choose Your Auction House

It’s usually best to select a trusted and established auction house to make sure your property sale is handled in the best possible way.

You’ll probably also want the auction to be locally-focused in some way, so as to attract buyers who are interested in the area.

Check out each auction house’s promotional material and learn about the types of buildings they usually sell to be sure that your property will be professionally marketed by people who understand it.

Instruct a Solicitor

It’s important to produce a legal pack before putting your property up for auction, as you’ll need help with the conveyancing aspects of any agreed sale.

Confirm Your Guide and Reserve Prices with the Auctioneer

Your guide or reserve price represents the minimum bid you will accept for the sale of your property. This amount is agreed upon between you and the auctioneer and guarantees you a basic amount of cash.

If your property does well, you can expect to take home considerably more!  Indeed – whilst there are many reasons why properties and buildings are sold at auction – all types of sellers are using this channel and getting excellent results.

Remember, there will be a fee to pay to the auctioneer and the solicitor, so take that into account when setting your prices.  Apart from the costs of the legal pack, most of the fees will only be due upon the auction sale’s completion.

You may also decide to get your property valued or to look up the most recent asking prices of similar properties nearby.

The auctioneer will be on hand to offer their own expertise when finalising a guide price.  The key is to make sure that there is active bidding on the property (a ‘no bid’ situation tends to make things more complicated).

Publicise the Sale

Whilst most auction houses will be experienced in the marketing of the properties in their lots, you might decide to provide a helping hand by sharing information about the auction on social media, on certain listings and among friends and family.

Try to take plenty of great pictures of your property and provide lots of handy information about the local area to show it in its best light.

Open Your Property for Viewings

People will want to know what they are buying before they attend the auction, so take a little time to declutter, tidy, clean and spruce up your property – then prepare to accept viewings in as flexible a manner as possible.

Make Sure All Paperwork is in Place

You’ll need a “legal pack” from your solicitor before you can sell at auction, as well as completing any paperwork and handing over any information required by the auction house in good time before the big day. 

What You Need Before Selling at Auction

What Happens if a Property Doesn’t Sell at Auction? 

UK auction houses will “withdraw” your property from their lot if it fails to attract bids. However, it’s still possible for you, the auctioneer and a potential buyer to come to an agreement afterwards – and you won’t need to adjust your guide price.

However, if no sale is arranged for your unsold auction property even after the event, you might need to consider reducing your guide price and making another attempt – whether with the same auction house or somewhere different – or finding an alternative option.

What You Need Before Buying at Auction

If you plan to buy auction property, it’s equally important to get organised. Here are a few of the things you’ll need to do:

Get to Grips with Your Budget

It’s important to be absolutely certain of the highest amount you’re willing to bid for any property. There should be no wiggle room. 

Any failure in clarity can lead to arguments with other members of your household at the very least.  At worst, your available funds could fall short of the agreed amount.

Try a “Dry Run”

Attending an auction – whether online or in-person – can feel a little intimidating for the uninitiated. This will often help you learn a little more about how they work and feel more comfortable.  

Whether you accompany a friend who plans to bid or go on your own, it’s definitely a good idea to experience as many auctions as possible before it’s time to jump in for real.

Get to Know the Property

You should have a clear understanding of the property on which you wish to bid well before the date of the auction. It’s vital to visit it for a viewing if at all possible.  Remember to look closely for any structural or notable maintenance issues.

You should also determine whether there would be any problems inherent in applying for a mortgage (if you need one).  Whilst sometimes tricky, you may want to arrange a building’s survey (through the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). 

Other buyers visit with a building expert (perhaps someone who will refurbish the property should you win the auction).

Take time to explore the neighbourhood in which your property is located to see how you like it. Look closely at the contract you’d be signing should you place the winning bid.  It will help you to discover any potential legal issues way ahead of time.

Get Pre-Approved

If you’re going to need a mortgage to pay for the property, be sure to have your pre-approval ready well in advance.

Register to Bid at Auction

You’ll need to register with the relevant auction house and provide proper identification in advance of the big day.  With online bidding, the auctioneer will keep you informed.  For traditional auctions, you’ll typically receive a registration number which you should keep at hand.

Stay Calm

Auctions can feel nerve-wracking. Remember to always take time to clear your mind and focus before bidding starts.

What You Need Before Buying at Auction

Whether you’re buying or selling a property at auction, the above guide should provide handy tips to help you feel totally prepared.

An alternative to selling at auction is to get in touch with Property Solvers. We can offer you cash upfront for your property, which may equate to 80 and 75% of its market value.  We can complete the sale within seven days with no fees.

Contact us today for further information and advice.