Property Solvers Auctions - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out a wide range of popular responses to every type of property auction-related question…

General Auction
Buyer Questions

Yes, using an online service like Property Solvers Auctions is 100% secure.

We use the industry-leading Essential Information Group (EIG) auction infrastructure and you can rest assured that your personal details will be held securely.

All deposit funds are handled through our PropertyMark regulated client account. Any fee transfers are administered through Stripe, global pioneers in internet payment processing.

As a company, Property Solvers Auctions is  also regulated with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Trading Standards and NAEA PropertyMark.

The main difference between a conditional and unconditional property auction comes down to how quickly the sale process is concluded.

Conditional Auction (56 Day Completion)

Also known as the Modern Method of Auction, as a buyer, you’ll have a longer timeframe to complete the sale.

After marketing a property and conducting viewings/open days, we will conduct the bidding process.

The bid is won once the virtual hammer falls.

There is then an allocated 4-week (28-day) exclusivity period for you to exchange contracts on the property.

It’s during this period that most buyers organise mortgage finance (a process that’s not usually possible with traditional auctions).  Some buyers we work with sometimes also seek out “no money down” solutions – although many sellers are not open to these ideas as they prefer a clean sale (hence the reason for choosing auctions in the first place).

At this juncture, a non-refundable deposit is also instantly paid.  You must exchange after the 28 day period or risk losing all of this deposit (plus abortive legal costs).

At the point of exchange, unless otherwise agreed in the Special Conditions of Sale, a 10% deposit is usually also paid into your conveyancer’s account (meaning that you will need to pay 90% of the price agreed upon completion).

There is then a further 4 weeks (28 days) for the sale to complete.

Unconditional Auction (28 Day Completion)

Similar to the 56-day auction, there will be a best bids process after the property has been marketed and viewed by potential bidders.

However, should you win the bid at the fall of the virtual hammer falls, you would have effectively exchanged contracts.

In addition to the non-refundable fee payable to Property Solvers, you would need to pay a minimum deposit of 10% to your conveyancer’s client account (unless otherwise agreed in the Special Conditions).  The remainder 90% will be due upon completion.

You then have 28 days to complete on the sale.  Failing to pay under both auction methodologies means that you will lose both deposits paid and incur other financial penalties set by your conveyancer.

To bid and then purchase a property at our auction, you will need to create an account. You’ll also need to register if you would like a closer look at the properties we have advertised on the platform.

This can be done via the ‘Register’ button or when you try and view some of the gated documentation pertaining to a property in question.

You can then create an account by providing your contact details and we will need to verify your email address (we will send an activation link).

You will also need to submit your information and debit / credit card details for the deposit of the non-refundable fee. Please note that this payment will only be taken if your bid is successful.

Once you have clicked on the activation link, your account will be set up and you can watch lots and view auction legal packs.

Clicking on ‘Watch Lot’ also means that we will send you updates and reminder emails.

In most cases, we will actively market the property for 3 weeks (21 days) before starting the bidding process.

This provides bidders with a sufficient amount of time to view and/or attend our open days, examine legal packs as ask us any questions related to the property in question.

With the seller’s permission, Property Solvers are able to offer viewings 7 days a week.  Please call our freephone number 0800 044 3797 or email us at [email protected].

Typically with auction sales, we’ll run open days where a number of potential bidders can view the property at the same time.

Should you wish to have a second viewing or book in a survey, we are more than happy to make those arrangements (with the owner’s permission).

Where the seller has provided us with a RICS-approved homebuyer’s or structural, we will include it with the legal pack.

Please note that we do not undertake any surveys ourselves and, if you wish to commission a report yourself, any costs will need to be incurred by yourself or the buying entity.

Any concerns can then be addressed with the specialist surveying the property (should that be your chosen course of action).

Although it is not compulsory, we strongly advise sellers to produce an auction legal pack.

Once registered, you will be able to view the legal pack directly from the listing itself.  It will typically contain the following:

  • The Title Register from HM Land Registry;
  • Conveyancing Searches;
  • Special Conditions of Sale;
  • Property Information Form (TA6);
  • Fixture & Contents Form (TA10);
  • Leasehold Information (TA7) and Property Enquiries (LPE1) forms;
  • Tenancy Agreements and Proof of Rental Receivables (if the property being sold is a buy-to-let);
  • Commercial property leases (where required);
  • Planning and building regulation documentation.

You can then refer this documentation to your own conveyancer and revert back to us with any questions at [email protected].

Note that solicitors will charge for auction legal pack reviews.

These are specific contractual terms related to the property in question that will not appear in the listing or property brochure.

Where included, we’ll include these terms in the Legal Pack.

Along with the terms and conditions, we would need you to acknowledge that you have read and understood them before allowing you to bid on any lot we advertise.

To allow you to bid on properties we market, we’ll need to undertake a couple of fairly simple checks.

First, we’ll need to verify your mobile telephone number (via text message).

Secondly, we’ll ask you to scan copies of your ID (typically your driver’s licence or passport) and proof of address – such as a utility bill or bank statement.

You will then be asked to read and accept our conditional (56-day) or unconditional (28-day) auction terms and conditions.  These are aligned with the 4th Edition Common Auction Conditions (reproduced with the consent of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

There may also be specific documentation – such as Special Conditions of Sale – that you will need to read and accept before being able to bid.

Property Solvers Auctions will send these documents to your email for your records.

We will also require you to register a credit or debit card in your own name for the security deposit.  We use Stripe who will provide a secure, online card registration facility.  They will attempt to place a ‘hold on funds’ (sometimes known as a ‘payment shadow’).  The bidder security amount will be clearly displayed when registering your card.

Your card will be automatically debited for this amount only if you win the bid.  If you’re not successful, this payment will be released back at no cost to you (please note that this can take up to a week).

We can then run our credit and anti-money laundering checks (at our own expense).  We may need to contact you directly should we need some extra information.  Note that this process does leave a ‘soft footprint’ and will not affect your credit rating.

Once accepted we’ll send you a confirmation email and you’re ready to bid!

At any point during the auction cycle, please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected] should you have any questions or require any assistance.  We’re always happy to assist…

Our auctions sell everything from residential terraced / semi-detached / detached houses, flats / blocks of flats, chalet bungalow properties, cottages of all sizes right through to a range of commercial / industrial / retail opportunities, ground rents, land and everything in between.

As with any property purchase, caveat emptor (“buyer beware”) applies.

To make sure you’re buying at auction safely, we strongly advise that view the property and seek professional advice as to its condition and suitability.

You should also ensure that you thoroughly read and understand the legal pack and any other associated documentation that we provide, and take proper legal advice accordingly.

Please also appreciate the contract you are entering into and the financial commitment that you will be liable for should you be the successful purchaser.

Below are the costs that you will need to bear in mind when buying at auction:

Non-Refundable Reservation Fee

This is a percentage additional charge on the hammer price (winning bid at auction) of the lot that must be paid by the purchaser. See how property auctioneers get paid here.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  This will be charged if applicable and at the current prevailing rate.

Property Insurance

In most cases, you will be liable to insure the property from exchange of contracts. Further information can be found in the legal pack for the relevant Lot.

Conveyancing and Other Professional Fees

You will require a conveyancer / conveyancing solicitor and should set aside funds to pay for any of these additional fees.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

In the UK this is currently 20% and is charged on UK goods or services if they are eligible for VAT and if provided by an entity (person or company) that is registered (or should be registered) for VAT. For information regarding this clause, please refer to the special conditions of sale and addendum (if any), in the legal pack for the relevant property.

Income Tax

If you are buying a second or investment (income-generating) property at auction, we would strongly advise you to speak with a qualified tax advisor / accountant.

If you are buying as an individual or as a company, there are extra income tax liabilities that you will need to be mindful of.

Overage (Where Applicable)

This is the term normally used in the context of a property transaction to mean a sum that the vendor may be entitled to receive after completion if a specified condition is satisfied.

The condition may be:

  • The grant of new planning permission; or
  • The grant of planning permission for a new (perhaps more valuable) use of the land; or
  • The construction of more than a specified number of houses, or a larger than specified commercial development on the land; or
  • The on-sale of the land in its present state, where the vendor fears that the purchaser may take advantage of a rapidly rising market to make a quick profit from the land. This will be particularly useful in the case of a vendor who is anxious not to be embarrassed by being seen to have sold at an undervalue, such as a local authority or charity.

Further information regarding this clause, will be found in the legal pack for the auction property listing.

As well as all the major portals portals, please visit our property auction sales page (which has all our current listings).

We engage in detailed conversations to establish the current value of the property and, combined with our own extensive experience, provide a recommended figure.  It’s at the vendor’s discretion as to whether they wish to move forward with our suggestions.

Establishing the Reserve Price

The reserve price is the minimum figure that we are currently authorised by the vendor to sell the property for.

Please note that Reserve is liable to change throughout the course of marketing.  Property Solvers reserves the right to lower the Reserve during the auction to a level that matches the existing highest bid.

In the event that there are no further bids, the bidder who places the ‘highest bid will be declared the purchaser at the end of the auction process.

Establishing the Guide Price

The guide price is an indication as to where the reserve is currently set.

It is not necessarily what we expect to sell the property for, and should not be taken as a valuation or estimate of the sale price.

The reserve will not exceed the guide price by more than 10% if it is a single figure guide price.  If a guide price range is quoted, the reserve will fall within that range.

Yes, this is entirely possible.

We would need to undertake the relevant identification checks on the bidder and receive a written letter of authority.

Please get in touch with us in good time before the start of the auction so that we can make sure things are set up in the right way.

Yes, this is possible.  We will present the offer to the seller (along with confirmation of the buyer checks, proof of funds plus other credentials we have) and inform you of the decision.

In our experience, most wish to wait and see how things go with the bidding but some may go ahead.

How long we run our auctions will depend on the specific sales circumstances and the level of interest generated during the marketing period.

Typically, however, we tend to open up the bidding period for a minimum of 24 hours which will provide all interested parties with ample time to bid against the property.

We would strongly recommend that you ‘Watch’ any properties you’re interested in.  We will be able to keep you informed of what is happening.  For example, should the vendor decide to accept a ‘Bid Now’ offer you will be notified.

Yes.  With both conditional (56 day) or unconditional (28 day) auction sales, although there are exceptions, if you’re the highest bidder above the set reserve price for the property you will be committed to the sale.

As the winning bidder of a conditional auction, you are not bound to buy the property but will have the right to exchange contracts within 28 days and complete on the property at the agreed price within the subsequent 28 days of draft contracts arriving with your conveyancers.  You will also be committed to paying the reservation fee (of 2%) which will not be returned should you not exchange or complete on time.

As the winning bidder of an unconditional auction, you are legally required to exchange at the fall of the online gavel, pay 10% of a deposit (in most cases) + the reservation fee (2%) and complete the sale within 28 days.

Failure to comply with the auction terms and conditions could result in heavy financial losses.  For this reason, please be aware of your legal obligations prior to placing a bid.

Absolutely not.

Unlike eBay, bid sniping is impossible on our online auction platform.

All auctions will close as per their advertised ‘Auction End Date’.  However, if a bid is placed within the final 60 seconds of the auction’s scheduled end time the auction will be extended by an additional 60 seconds – known as the ‘bidding extension window’.

If a bid is placed in the bidding extension window, the countdown clock will immediately reset to 60 seconds again.  The auction will only finish when an entire 60-second bidding extension window passes without any further bids being placed – i.e. 60 seconds of ‘bidding silence’.

This ensures every bidder has a fair and equal opportunity to place another bid.

Do not leave your bid to the last few seconds.  It gives you no advantage and you risk your bid not being received by the server in time and you could lose the lot to another bidder.  Bidding is based on the server time and not your device which could be up to 2 seconds behind the server.

Once the online hammer (or gavel) falls, you will be informed if you are the winner or not via email.

The next steps will depend on whether this is a conditional (56-day) or unconditional (28-day) auction.

Fall of the Online Hammer – Conditional (56-Day) Property Auctions

As the winning bidder, you have the exclusive “right to exchange contracts” on the property within the prescribed time frame – usually 28 days (20 business days).  This will be confirmed in the terms and conditions of sale and/or legal pack.

The bidder must also pay the non-refundable reservation fee.  At the point of exchange, the buyer will typically pay 10% of the agreed sales price into the conveyancer’s client account.

Once exchanged, the property sale must be completed within 28 days.

Fall of the Online Hammer – Unconditional (28-Day) Property Auctions

There is an immediate exchange of contracts and, unless otherwise agreed, you must deposit 10% of the property’s agreed sales price into your conveyancer’s client account.

The non-refundable reservation fee must also be paid to Property Solvers.

At this juncture, you will then have 28 days to complete on the sale.  Failure to do this in time could potentially mean losing the deposit and reservation fee as well as incur abortive penalties from the conveyancers handling the sale.

The team at Property Solvers will produce a Sales Memorandum the moment the auction is concluded.

This will be circulated amongst the conveyancers to proceed with the next stages of the sale.

Yes.  HM Revenue and Customs policy states that a reservation fee for a land or property transaction will be deemed as chargeable consideration.

Property Solvers operates a different pricing structure to many other auctioneers in that we charge both buyer and seller fees (many pass the fees straight on to the buyer).

This creates a more even playing field and, in addition to creating a non-conflicting bidding environment, means that your extra stamp duty liability is more reasonable.

Nonetheless, we would encourage factor this into your calculations before and during the bidding process.  We would also suggest speaking to a qualified tax advisor prior to purchasing any property.

Yes, we would encourage you to complete our Auction Buyer / Property Investor Profiling Form.

We can then forward any potential opportunities aligned to your criteria, including pre-auction opportunities.

General Auction
Seller Questions

Property Solvers offer an online auction as part of being a ‘one-stop shop’ for homeowners looking for a quick and secure sale.

Some of the benefits include:

  • A much safer sale compared to using an estate agent (very low risk of things falling through);
  • Get your property listed and attracting buyers straightaway (no waiting for months on end)’;
  • Easy use ‘eBay-style’ secure bidding platform. Buyers can bid on your property 24/7 from their PC, laptop or mobile phone;
  • Excellent exposure (all the major portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location);
  • Discounted legal packs (with ‘pay later’ options available);
  • Buy it Now options (to sell at auction even faster!)
  • No risk of your property getting ‘buried’ in the auction catalogue (like traditional auctions);
  • 24-hour enquiry line and buyer viewings available 7-days a week;
  • Sell land, commercial and mixed-use properties much faster…

You can see our auction fees here.

It’s worth noting that you will generally pay more when selling at auction compared to an estate agency.

This is largely due to the fact that things move a lot quicker.  Through our own estate agency, for example, even though we frequently find our clients buyers within 28 days of going to market, sales are still taking 3-4 months to complete.

These are due to circumstances that are beyond our control and a sad reality of the house sales industry.  Any estate agent that tells you a different story is likely being disingenuous.

It also costs us more to effectively manage and run an auction.  There are many extra processes to ensure a smooth sale.  These include vetting buyers, producing detailed brochures, engaging in extra marketing efforts, dealing with pre/post-auction legal queries, managing the auction platform (24/7) and ensuring everyone involved is happy.

You can rest assured that you will be getting good value for money from a team with extensive experience in the quick home sale sector.

Most people that contact Property Solvers are residential homeowners in search of a quick sale.

We also regularly receive enquiries from people selling commercial, mixed-use, industrial, agricultural property, land, ground rents, garages, amenity ground and everything in between!

We would typically suggest using our auction service when our sell house fast option is unworkable or unviable.

It’s a great way to get an excellent price whilst benefitting from a much shorter timeframe relative to what’s possible with an estate agency or brokerage.

The chances of achieving a successful sale at auction are significantly higher than selling through an estate agency.

There are just so many things that could go wrong that are legally eliminated through using an auction service like ours.

For instance, using a price to entice strategy and creating a competitive buyer environment will mean that people will be clamouring to make an offer.  Furthermore, once a successful bid has been made, buyers automatically become financially committed to the sale.

These and other factors mean that silly buyer games and delays that often happen with estate agency sales are avoided.

The short answer is yes.  The Property Solvers We Buy Any House service suits people in search of a swift, hassle-free sale with no associated costs.

We can get the sale completed within as little as 7 days and have been able to exchange contracts in just 48 hours where necessary.

The trade-off as a seller is that our purchase prices are typically 75% of the market value (with no fees).  We appreciate that this is not an option for everyone which is why our auction is an excellent alternative.

Depending on whether you choose our 28-day (unconditional) or 56-day (conditional) sale, we can achieve you between 80% and 100% of the market value within much less time than what’s possible through an estate agent.

The principal difference between conditional and unconditional property auction comes down to sale speed and the timeframe within which you want to complete.

Conditional Auction (56 Day Completion)

After marketing your property and conducting viewings/open days, the auctioneer will conduct a competitive bidding process.

The bid is won once the virtual hammer falls.

There is then an allocated 4-week (28-day) exclusivity period for the buyer to exchange contracts on the property.

At this juncture, a non-refundable deposit is also instantly paid (for extra security).  The buyer must exchange after the 28 day period or risk losing all of this deposit.

At the point of exchange, a 10% deposit is paid into the buyer’s conveyancer’s account.

There is then a further 4 weeks (28 days) for the sale to complete.

The main upsides of selling this way is the longer timeline that buyers have to complete on the sale and higher achievable prices.

The ‘pool’ of potential purchasers of your property widens as there is more time to organise mortgage finance compared to what is the case with traditional (or ‘unconditional’) auctions.  You may, for example, find that first-time buyers would be interested in bidding (as opposed to solely investors and property traders).

Unconditional Auction (28 Day Completion)

Similar to the 56-day auction, there will be best bids process after the property has been marketed and viewed by potential bidders.

A stipulated bidding period will see potential buyers compete against each other.  Once the virtual hammer falls, the winning buyer has effectively exchanged contracts and will need to pay a minimum deposit of 10%.

The buyer is obliged to complete on the sale within 28 days. Failing to do so means that he/she will lose the deposit and incur other financial penalties set by the auction house.

Although the price achieved can be lower, sellers sometimes prefer this auction sales channel due to the time saving.

Typically we often find that tenantedpre-repossessioninherited/probatedivorce/separation and other types of problem or distressed properties are better suited for unconditional auctions.

In most cases, as a seller, the disbursements you’ll end up paying will be no different to selling through an estate agency.

Either way, sellers disbursement costs are usually low compared to what a buyer has to pay.

To put your mind at ease, we would recommend speaking to a conveyancing specialist who can confirm the exact costs you would expect to incur.

In most cases, this is not true…

The stereotype that all auction properties are problematic continues to fade away.

More people realise that selling at auction is an excellent way to achieve a good price in a shorter time frame compared to an estate agency.

Of course, this does not mean that buyers will not want to undertake detailed research and checks on your property.

For this reason, along with the legal pack, we often recommend getting a professional survey undertaken beforehand.  This helps keep things transparent and efficient.

Ultimately, it comes down to whether your property is mortgageable.  The question you should ask yourself is: “will a mainstream mortgage company have no issues with lending to the buyer?”

If it’s been some a while since your property has been decorated but it’s habitable then our suggestion price will be slightly lower.

On the other hand, if the property is demonstrably unmortgageable, it may be more suitable for cash buyers only.  Examples can include if it does not have a functioning bathroom or kitchen and/or has structural issues / damp / Japanese knotweed.

In these scenarios, you’ll need to be willing to price the property at a discount for the time, effort and money required for the buyer to bring the property back up to standard.

An old saying in the industry is that ‘a property is worth what someone is willing to pay for it’.

We will provide you with appropriate guidelines for auction once we’ve run our own house valuation processes, using information that’s widely available in the public domain.

Most buyers will have a general idea of where prices are at and will be looking to see whether your property is priced fairly.

This can, of course, be open to interpretation and will depend on whether there are issues with your property.

For instance, if you’ve spent money renovating and improving the house, then there’s usually no reason to be a little aggressive with the guide and asking prices.

As mentioned above, at the opposite end of the scale is where a property may need significant works undertaken – in which case buyers will factor in the costs they will eventually incur themselves when bidding.

There is also a range of other factors such as local demand, transport links, local amenities, schools, infrastructure and other ‘micro’ factors that come into play.

Either way, as industry professionals with many years of experience, we urge you to price the property realistically.  The risk of not doing so is that the property ends up unsold and ‘tainted’ (even if such a label is unjustified).

Using an auction service like ours is a surefire way to get a quick sale at a competitive price.

Assuming the legal pack is ready, Property Solvers will be able to list your property straightaway.

We typically allow for a 3-week marketing period to allow for the property to get a good level of exposure and for us to conduct open days and viewings.

It’s during this period that we’ll also be fully-available to answer any buyer questions before opening up the bids.

Note that we can reduce or increase this timeframe where deemed appropriate (and with your full approval).

If you choose our default conditional auction option, once the bid is won, there will be a further 56 days to wait until completion.

With the unconditional option, there will be 28 days until completion.

You can rest assured that your property will be marketed on the leading portals – including Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and many more (see where we advertise).

Working in the industry for 2 decades, we’re well connected with the UK’s property investment community (check out our popular investor’s blog).  We also have a good-sized LinkedIn company page and manage LinkedIn’s largest property investor / developer’s group.

Furthermore, Property Solvers will produce a high-quality brochure that will distributed amongst active buyers alongside our various other social media channels.

In the very rare instances where this happens, it should be noted that once the virtual hammer falls, contracts are exchanged and the buyer usually pays a deposit of 10%.

If he/she was to then pull out, there is a serious risk of losing this deposit.  There will also be legal abortive fees, penalties and we will not refund the 2% deposit paid.

Note that with our conditional 56-day option, the buyer would stand to lose the non-refundable deposit if he/she were to pull out before exchange and completion.  However, again, this is extremely unlikely to happen.

Also known as gazundering, the practice of dropping the price after the virtual hammer has fallen is not possible.

Even with the 56-day conditional auction (and payment of the non-refundable reservation fee), the sale price cannot be altered under any circumstances.

As part of our initial conversation, we will find out a little more about your objectives.  If we feel that an estate agency sale (through ourselves, for example) is a better option, we will certainly advise.

It’s generally the better option if you have more time to sell and don’t mind putting up with the many hassles that come with this route.

At the same time, it’s worth noting the following:

  • With our 56-day auction, we can often achieve sellers up to 100% of the full market value over a much shorter period compared to estate agency sales;
  • Property that’s new to the market is always better positioned for sale;
  • The longer a property stays on the market, the worse things get.  People may notice that your property has been on with an estate agent and immediately think there’s something wrong;
  • If you eventually sell at auction, any previous estate agency viewers may come back and make a bid which means you could end up getting charged two sets of fees;
  • Auction sales are a lot less hassle compared to using an estate agency!

Absolutely!  Provided you are not tied into a contract, we would be happy to relist your property for auction.

Time and time again, we see estate agencies overvaluing properties to win business.  We’ll provide our honest, professional opinion and advise on the best route to take in order for you to sell with the outcome you desire.

No.  Many online auction houses advertise on their own websites only.  If you see that there are no sellers fees, this is often the case.

It’s crucial for your property to be marketed (at the very least) on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location so that enough buyers can see it to bid.

Whilst there are a handful of auction sites with decent volumes of traffic out there, none will give you the same level of exposure as what you would get on these portals.

Setting the guide and reserve price can be a tricky process.

It comes down to getting you an excellent price that you’re going to be happy with without putting off buyers.

You can rest assured that the valuation team at Property Solvers have lots of experience in valuing property with a view of getting the best outcome.

Alongside your input, we use established HM Land Registry data and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor (RICS) methodologies to primarily establish the value of your property.

We’ll then use market sentiment data and our own real-time analyses to provide you with recommended reserve and guide prices.

Yes, this is entirely possible.

Our job here is to push the price as high as we can – however, we cannot guarantee that it will go beyond the guide.

Much will depend on how accurately it is priced and the level of demand.  We are certain that, if you follow our guidance, we will get you an excellent result that will leave you with a smile on your face!

We offer buyers the opportunity to make a ‘pre-auction’ offer during the 3-week marketing period through a button on the portal.

One of our auction administrators will then be in touch with yourself to present any offer.   We leave it at your discretion to accept this offer or not.

If you decide to go ahead (and cancel the auction), we will ensure to take the deposit and/or immediately exchange on contracts so that you have the same level of security as if the auction went ahead.

Yes, this is no problem at all.  Many buyers who visit online auction pages are interested in single-let properties and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) with tenants in situ.

You get the added benefit of receiving income right up to completion where the new buyer will effectively take over.

Please note that most auction buyers will want to see a copy of the tenancy agreement, rental schedules, payment history, compliance with the relevant legislation (see our selling tenanted property blog post).

Some sellers, however, choose to vacate the property before putting it through the auction market.  Although there is no guarantee, it can often mean that the price achieved is higher as you’re effectively opening up the potential ‘pool’ of buyers (and not limiting the sale to landlords and property investors).

At the same time, if you’re thinking about serving notice, it’s worth thinking about the amount of time it will take you to do so as well as the fact that there will be no rental income.

Either way, we’d be more than happy to have an informal chat through your options.

One of the main differences from other auction houses you may have come across (such as Allsop, Savills, Clive Emson, Pugh, Barnard Marcus) we’re able to list your property in days and get the auction going shortly after that.

With traditional auctioneers, you’re likely to be waiting at least month for a space in the catalogue plus the extra time for marketing, listing the lot, viewings etc.

Property Solvers Auctions will bring in competitive pre-auction offers in much shorter timeframes.

Furthermore, we’re able to prioritise the auction properties we market equally.  There is no risk of your property being buried at the back of the catalogue or pushed behind other auction sales.

Check out our article on whether online property auctions are better than live events.

Absolutely!  We are well-versed with the Scottish conveyancing process and deal with auction property sales across Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley, Edinburgh & The Lothians, Dumfries & Galloway, Aberdeenshire, Argyll & The Isles, The Kingdom of Fife, Ayrshire & Arran, Outer Hebrides, Dundee & Angus, Shetland, The Highlands, Lanarkshire, Orkney, Loch Lomond, Perthshire & The Trossachs, Stirling and The Forth Valley.

Absolutely, please check out our Property Solvers Auctions Facebook Page and Property Solvers Auctions Twitter Feed (updated daily).

We often find LinkedIn is the best social media network for active auction buyers and we have a very strong presence there, not only through the Property Solvers Company Page but also the Property Investors / Developers group we’ve run since 2008 which has tens of thousands of members (and counting!).

Auction Process

To summarise what we outline on our How We Work page…

We start with an initial phone call with the seller client to discover their own objectives. Should we feel there is a good fit, we then proceed with a property fact find and an evidence-based valuation for auction.

At this juncture, we may request a private viewing of the property – but this is not always necessary.  Some clients also choose to undertake a professional survey / valuation for more price certainty and transparency.

Once the client decides on an unconditional (28-day) or conditional (56-day) auction sale process and we agree on the guide + reserve price(s), we undertake the relevant legal checks and forward the sales agreement to e-sign.

We can then turn around photos, floorplan, EPC and listing particulars in a few days.  The auction property can be made live shortly after.

However, although not compulsory, we generally suggest that sellers have a full legal pack prepared prior to listing (or at least in good time for the close of the auction).

Property Solvers Auctions can then run viewings and open days (7 days a week).  We also have an enquiry line that’s manned 24/7 to ensure we don’t miss any interest.  We’ll also forward a weekly performance report by email.

We usually run a marketing / viewing period of 2 to 3 weeks as this provides buyers with ample time to view the property, request for any information, read through the legal pack, prepare auction finance and register via our platform.

In most cases, we have a 6-day bidding window prior to the day of the marketing / viewing period.  We often see the most activity in the last 24 hours.

As well as via the platform itself, we make ourselves fully available to deal with any questions.

Once the online auction hammer falls, the buyer must pay a non-refundable reservation fee and we can process the legal side of things.

With unconditional sales, contracts are effectively exchanged on the same day and the buyer must pay the 10% deposit within 24 hours.  Conditional sales have a 28-day extended period for contracts to exchange.  After the exchange of contracts for both sale types, buyers must complete the sale within the next 28 days.

At this point, as much of the legal work (in most cases) would already have been undertaken, there are rarely any issues and sales move forward to completion with minimum stress or hassle.


When the auction opens, buyers can place bids online simply and easily via the listing itself. with the pre-determined bid increment levels, using the bid increase (+) and decrease (–) buttons provided.

Having set the preferred bid amount and clicking the ‘Place Bid’ button, the buyer will be asked to confirm the bid at which point it will be placed.

Every time a bid is submitted, the buyer you will be clearly shown whether the bid was successful, and a full list of all bids will be displayed on the auction list.

Maximum (Proxy) Auction Bids

Buyers are not restricted to placing a bid at the minimum amount, but can instead increase the offer and place a maximum (proxy) bid in the system.

By setting a maximum bid, our bespoke system will automatically bid on the buyer’s behalf to maintain his/her position as the highest bidder, up to the maximum bid amount.

If any buyer is outbid, our system will automatically notify them via email so that they can opt to increase the bid should they wish to.

There are several external factors that can often delay the successful progress of an auction sale which can include:

  • The seller does not forward the relevant information to the auctioneer or the appointed auction conveyancing solicitor (for the legal pack) – hence delaying the listing;
  • Sellers use a slow (or overly busy) solicitor leading to delays;
  • There are problems with obtaining conveyancing searches (although many buyers take out indemnity insurance to protect themselves);
  • Difficulty in collating all the relevant information for portfolio sales;
  • There are legal or physical issues with the property that the seller wishes to resolve before listing;
  • It’s a probate or inherited property sale and there are title issues;
  • There are multiple owners meaning we need to undertake all the relevant checks for each individual;
  • There’s only one bidder during the auction or the property doesn’t sell at all – often due to overpricing;
  • There are restrictions such as RX1s in place – meaning we cannot sell the property until these are removed.

You’ll notice that, due to placing clear and legally-binding obligations on auction buyers, many of the issues we come across do tend to appear from the seller’s side.

Nonetheless, sellers and buyers can rest assured that, when using our own auction service, we do our utmost to ensure that things move smoothly (including working evenings and weekends whenever necessary).

Much will depend on how far the sale has moved forward. In theory, an auction seller can withdraw the property from the market right up to the point when the hammer falls.

This means that any bids made up to this point will be nullified.

With traditional 28-day auctions, after the close, the seller legally cannot withdraw from the sale as contracts have effectively exchanged at this point.

If he/she decides to do so, the buyer can force the sale to proceed.  There may be other legal mechanisms for the seller to pull out, but the financial penalties that he/she will face are likely to be high.

With 56-day auctions, with the extended period to exchange contracts, a seller could technically withdraw from the sale with greater ease after the hammer has fallen.  However, there are likely to be abortive legal fees to incur as a result.

It’s worth noting that – fortunately – these scenarios very rarely happen.

Much will depend on how far we are into the auction sales process.

Technically, under Section 57(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, auction buyers can withdraw their bids provided that the property has not yet been announced as “sold” and the hammer has not yet fallen.

With traditional 28-day auctions, contracts have effectively exchanged once the hammer has fallen and the buyer has a legal obligation to proceed to completion.

Failure to do so would result in forfeiting the deposit paid (ranging from 5 to 10% of the final bid price).  There will also be abortive charges and legal fees to pay. We’re also aware of cases where sellers have sued withdrawing bidders for depreciation of the property’s value.

With 56-day (modern method) sales, should the buyer pull out during the extended period between exchange and completion, he/she will lose the deposit paid and incur abortive auctioneer / legal costs.

Although it’s worthwhile being mindful of what could happen, these situations very rarely occur in auction sales.

Whilst both online and traditional auctions use Common Auction Conditions (CACs) laid out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), there are a number of key differences worth noting:

  • Online auctions are generally much faster to list properties. This is because “in the room” auctions are scheduled months ahead and sellers often have to wait for their properties to be listed.  For example, provided we can get access, we’re able to list properties within a few working days from the initial contact;
  • The overall sales timelines for online auction is much quicker.  Here at Property Solvers Auctions, we’re regularly able to turn around unconditional auction sales in 2 months (sometimes less when receiving pre-auction offers);
  • Although many traditional auctioneers now offer proxy and virtual bidding, generally speaking online auctions enable wider pools of buyers to participate – particularly those from overseas;
  • Some argue that traditional auctions trigger the “fear of missing out” competitive effect more than online auctions. However, we’re tending to see similar trends happening in the online auction space – particularly given that it’s so easy to bid on properties and buyers have become more accustomed to transacting via the web;
  • With lower overheads, online auction houses can generally charge less for their services;
  • Online auctions have longer bidding timeframes;
  • Although it’s certainly not always the case, online property auctioneers tend to have better lines of communication between buyers and sellers;
  • On the other hand, some sellers prefer face-to-face interactions that are usually only possible with traditional or hybrid auction services.  Online auction procedures tend to be more automated – which, whilst creating a number of efficiencies, tends to be less “human”.  Most auction buyers and sellers we deal with, however, tend not to be too concerned about this these days.

Generally, when choosing an auction house to engage with, we would argue that it’s more about the reputation and how you personally feel about the staff that matter.

Yes, absolutely…

As a quick sale agency, Property Solvers is often approached by owners looking for a faster sale than normally would be the case on the open market.

If there are imminent debts to deal with or a threat of repossession, it’s crucial to get things done in good time to avoid more serious consequences.

Whilst our Sell House Fast (We Buy Any Home) can be a great solution, sellers can be reluctant to accept an offer that’s below the market value (or there may not be a sufficient amount of equity).

In such circumstances, we can fast-track the auction process in a number of ways that include:

  • Taking photos and floorplans your property in as little as 24 hours. We can also produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) should you need it;
  • Working with our legal specialists (who we’ve worked with over the last 2 decades) to prepare all the relevant documentation;
  • Subsidisingmthe up-front cost of the auction legal pack;
  • Fielding out the property to a wide database of cash-buying investors we work with;
  • Related to the above, actively looking for pre-auction offers;
  • Simultaneously listing the property on the heavyweight portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location;
  • Shortening the auction bidding timeframe according to the sale deadline;
  • Communicating with the court/bailiffs, providing any and all evidence of the sale process;
  • Requesting a legal “stay of execution” whilst the sale progresses;
  • Orchestrating a competitive auction bidding environment.

Once we have the seller’s go-ahead, we can arrange a convenient day/time to organise the high-resolution photos, floorplan and “For Sale at Auction” board.  We can also record a video which we can add to the portals and own auction portal.

If already expired, we can also organise an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Our professional photographer contacts will also assist with the property description.

This means that we can turn things around very quickly and list properties within 24 to 48 hours.  However, we usually wait until the auction legal pack is ready – or at least until we have a firm idea of when it will be.

Our system then publishes the property on all the major portals and investor networks to ensure maximum exposure.

Our typical marketing periods are 3 weeks before the close of the auction – the last 6 days of which we open up the 24/7 bidding.

Selling via our modern auction means that buyers have to meet specific deadlines not possible when we process our estate agency sales.

As with our traditional auctions, we typically run a 2-3 week marketing / viewing / open day period.  During this time we register buyers after which, in most cases, they can view the pre-prepared legal pack in good time.

During the open bidding window, buyers can click on a button up to the maximum price they’re willing to meet. At the close of the auction, the winning bidder must then pay a non-refundable deposit.

With much of the legal work already complete, the buyer then has 28 days to complete on the sale. There is plenty of time to organise mortgage finance.  See our tips on what to do if you’re struggling to fund your auction property purchase.

As a result, with very low fall through rates, sellers are happy as the sale is significantly more secure than using an estate agent.

Sellers sometimes use our quick cash property sale service when speed is more important than time.

Indeed, we’re able to exchange contracts on house purchases in as little as 48 hours with completion within the following 7 days.  As it’s a direct sale, there are no estate agency or auction sale fees to pay.  We will also cover all legal expenses and can offer 0% cash advances.

Depending on location, our offers generally lie at between 80 and 75% of the market value.  We completely understand why, despite the longer timescales, many of our clients prefer to maximise the sales price by selling at auction.


Auction Valuation

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor (RICS) Standards Using HM Land Registry Data

With over 2 decades of experiencing a range of different market cycles, the auction team at Property Solvers is well-versed in valuing properties and land accurately.

We principally follow Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) guidance, meaning we align our valuations with ‘Redbook’ standards.

Complemented by our bespoke tools derived from HM Land Registry data, we’ll primarily look at sold ­property comparables alongside the following:

Property Sizes / Dimensions

Using Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data, we will check the sizes of properties on your street and within a 1/4 radius.

We will also bear in mind that the spectrum of UK housing stock is wide and varied and it’s not always easy to compare like-for-like.

For example, a given property may have a larger garden / land plot or had a back or roof extension.

Other times, the differences can be more subtle and we have access to a range of third-party tools including Rightmove+ and ZooplaPro to look at things more closely.

Of course, we will happily show you the evidence we collate.

Property Condition

During our initial conversations, we’ll usually ask some questions about the current state of the property as this has a notable influence on the valuation.

For example, if you have recently refurbished the property and/or significantly improved its ­appearance, we’re likely to suggest pushing the auction prices upwards as buyers wouldn’t need to undertake these works themselves.

Local Market Conditions

We’ll take a closer look at the property market from a micro and macro point of view using tools such as our local house market insights tool. The team will also check out the local auction market to see if there are any perceptible trends worth taking into account.

These investigations give us a unique understanding of the ebbs and flows alongside other crucial influences such as average speed of sale of properties in the area and differences between estate agency asking prices and sold values.

This part of the analysis will also examine growth prospects such as local planning policy, new developments, blights, education, health care, amenities transport links / prospects amongst a range of other micro influences.

“Macro” Factors that Influence Auction Valuations

With the property market continually evolving, We will also look at the broader influences that can affect our auction price recommendations.

These can include overall buyer appetite, availability of finance, interest rate trends,  inflation risks, tax / fiscal / monetary policy, investment trends, political governance amongst many others.

After we have assessed the open market valuations of the property, we will provide you with a suggested reserve and guide prices for auction.

To confirm the difference:

Guide Price

Due to the varied nature of the UK property market, there is no hard and fast calculation that determines auction guide and reserve prices.

Nonetheless, using the various tools we have at our disposal, the guide price will be based on what we believe the property is likely to sell for as a minimum.  The core aim is set our auction guide prices as accurately as possible in order to attract committed buyers and avoid a no-bid scenario.

Our auction team will gauge the expected demand for the property based on its overall condition, the state of the market, amongst a range of other criteria we apply. As professional auctioneers, our aim is to push the price above this level.

Reserve Price

This is the minimum figure that a seller is willing to dispose of the property for. The auction bidding must reach this figure in order for the property to be reserved (and sold).

Our estimate will be agreed upon beforehand between Property Solvers Auctions and the buyer / buying entity.

Using regularly updated statistics from HM Land Registry and Office of National Statistics (ONS), we developed our bespoke auction valuation reports as a means of providing clear and unbias information for our seller clients:

Each report contains the following:

  • Summary information + suggested auction guide price
  • Comparable house sale data
  • Local house market insights
  • Property price trends
  • Property prices in your postcode
  • Property types in your area
  • Sold prices of property types
  • House price bracket
  • Prices of nearby properties similar to yours
  • Freehold / leasehold local property prices
  • New property instructions in your local market (over the last 12 months)
  • Number of sales marked as sold stc or under offer (over the last 12 months)
  • Number of properties that have had price reductions (over the last 12 months)
  • Table of recent sales close to the analysed property
  • Most and least expensive streets

Note that each of these reports is bespoke and could take up to 24 hours to produce (assuming all the correct information is forwarded).

We also request a conversation to confirm some of the key facts so that we can ensure that the information is as accurate as possible.

They’re absolutely FREE for active property sellers.

If you’re buying, we’re happy to produce a bespoke report but do need to charge a fee of £19.95 (preferably via Paypal).


We typically say around 3 months but much would depend on how active the market. For example, if there have been a number of sales reported at HM Land Registry within the time period, it may well change things.

It’s also worth taking into account overall macro conditions.  For instance, if the market as a whole is going through a downturn, we may need to revise our achievable price estimations.  Indeed, it’s often said that auctions are good barometer of where things may be heading.


Pricing to entice is essentially where we promote a property at auction at slightly lower guide prices in order to spark more interest.

We then encourage as many interested buyers as possible to register to bid and, thereby, create a competitive bidding environment.  The more auction participants we have, the better as – by the law of averages – there’s more chance of the price being driven upwards.

What’s more, the seller also does not need to worry about selling too low as the reserve price is set.

In most cases, it often means that the property does not end up hitting the reserve price.

Like most things we buy and sell, if a house, flat or building is priced too high at auction, the level of interest will be lower and few (if any) people will want to bid.

Whilst there are occasions where buyers may have a particular affinity or keenness to the property and be willing to pay more, it’s more likely that the seller would need to drop the price to something that’s more aligned with expectations.

Yes, it can certainly happen on occasions – particularly if an auction house has missed specific details regarding the potential of the property.

For instance, say the auctioneer has not accounted for the extra value that a property with a decent size plot of land attached or potential to extend or convert (and therefore add value), it may mean that there’s been an error of judgment.

However, in such circumstances, what we often see is a large amount of interest in the property as auction buyers all look to chase a bargain.  As a result, we often see aggressive bidding which can push the price to the right kind of levels.

Generally, most of our seller clients do not get a professional valuation and use our evidence-backed recommendations.

However, particularly with remote and/or problem properties (where the fair market value may be difficult to ascertain), some sellers choose to instruct a survey with a valuation.

This will help us to make sure that the property is priced accurately, thereby boosting your chances of success.

Yes, it can sometimes be a wise decision – particularly if you have concerns about aspects of the property.

Much here will depend on the amount of time remaining to bid on an auction.  Unless you have direct valuer contacts (which some regular auction buyers do), it can take days if not weeks to organise a surveyor.

Whilst we will try our utmost to accommodate any appointments, conducting the survey may also be inconvenient – especially if there are tenants or lessees within the property / building.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible for us (as an auction house) to conduct and produce professional RICS-approved valuations. These will need to be undertaken independently in order to be completely impartial.

We can, however, offer recommendations of reputable firms.  Please email us at [email protected].

Assuming you’re interested in buying the auction property, it does not necessarily mean you need to not bid.

RICS valuers typically appraise properties on a “bricks and mortar” basis – i.e. a very basic value, largely of the property’s shell.  Much of the assessment will therefore not take into account the opportunity to add value or what the property will be worth after the works, reconfigurations,  extension / conversion plans etc. have taken place.

Much here will therefore depend on the accuracy of your due diligence and how confident you are of adding genuine value.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that RICS valuers are notoriously conservative with their estimations.

Work with Property Solvers
Auctions Questions

The directors at Property Solvers (James Durr and Ruban Selvanayagam) have been involved in the property investment / trading / development industry since the early 2000s – with a particular focus on the direct-to-vendor (D2v) space.

Over the years, we have expanded our network across the UK to work with other investors, auction houses, estate agents, regulated property sourcers, mortgage brokers, conveyancing solicitors amongst other industry peers.

We also run the UK’s largest LinkedIn Group for Property Investors + Developers and have a fast-growing database of active auction property buyers.

Our process to become an auction partner is very simple.

Please complete this form or email us at [email protected].  We’ll reach back out to explain more about how it all works and answer any questions you may have.

We can then email our digital referral agreement for you to e-sign. This also effectively serves as a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

We offer a simple to understand commission structure that increases with the higher volume of properties referred to us.

For between 1-2 deals per calendar month, the referral commission will be 1% of the auction sale price.

For 3-5 deals per calendar month, the referral commission will be 1.25% of the auction sale price.

For 5+ deals per calendar month, the referral commission will be 1.5% of the auction sale price.

As well as the referral agreement, we will keep you regularly updated on the progress of the sale.

With our 28-day (traditional) auction sales, exchange of contracts happens at the fall of the online hammer with completion within a month.  Our 56-day (modern method) auction sales allow for an extended exchange period (28 days) after the hammer falls.

Note that, if a pre or post-auction sale is agreed, we require that buyers adhere to auction conditions – meaning there is a greater deal of security for the seller and you will still know when your commission payments will be due.

We are also happy to put you in touch with both solicitors dealing with the transaction.  They can confirm how fees have been paid and the share you will receive upon completion.

There are many!

Perhaps most importantly, we’re paying excellent commissions that we argue that other auction houses cannot offer.  This is because we keep our overheads low and therefore can distribute a great amount of our sales revenues to partners.

Other auction services also expect partners to have their own property portal accounts and undertake all the other marketing and viewings themselves. These costs are significant (particularly advertising) and will be entirely absorbed by ourselves.

We also take care of all the property viewings (available 7 days a week), photos / floorplans, listings, promotion, board mounting, queries (via a 24/7 freephone customer service), buyer anti-money laundering / financial / auction bidding pre-approval checks, legal pack processing, funding assistance (where required) and everything in between!

Our aim is to create passive extra income streams for our partners meaning you can simply sit back and wait for your commissions to come through…

Property Solvers Auctions would be delighted to hear any type of property and land asset to sell on our platform.

This includes:

  • Houses / flats / buildings that struggle to sell via private treaty;
  • Properties where the sellers are looking for the extra security of sale that auctions provide;
  • Property with light to heavy refurbishment work needed;
  • Problem properties (structural issues, Japanese knotweed, damp etc.);
  • Properties with short or complex lease structures;
  • Vacant / occupied buy-to-let properties
  • Houses of multiple occupation (HMOs);
  • Commercial and mixed-use property;
  • Property portfolios (residential, commercial and mixed-use);
  • Off-plan property sale contracts;
  • Inherited / probate properties;
  • Land (with or without planning permission / Permitted Development rights);
  • Derelict / abandoned properties.

There are indeed many reasons why properties go to auction and we’re here to help everyone who is thinking about exploring this way of selling.

Property Solvers also operate in the direct home buying (private sale) industry.  This is where we offer property owners the ability to sell straight to us for cash in as little as 7 days with zero fees.

As one of the leading and most reputable companies in this space, we often are approached by others to sell properties that do not fit within the typical “quick cash sale” parameters.

In the same way as we work with estate agents and property sourcers, Property Solvers Auctions pay very high commissions to auction such properties – with incentives for larger volumes of properties that can be referred through to our platform.

Absolutely – we work with SME and larger-scale developers to assist in disposing of stock within the securer timeframes that only auctions offer.

We can also sell land, brownfield / greenfield sites and a range of building types (with or without planning consent).  We can also dispose of surplus part-exchange stock.