Property Auctions – Understanding the Process

Property Auctions –
Understanding the Process


Introduction Introduction

Thank you for choosing our property auction service to sell your home.  We’re very excited to get things started and achieve you an excellent outcome.

This guide goes into the essential processes involved when selling at auction.

As you’ll probably be aware, a lot of the hard work for selling a property at auction is done beforehand.

This is to make sure that we ensure your property gets the maximum exposure.  We can then line up potential buyers fully informed and registered in good time for the bidding to begin.

The good thing is that, once the auction ends, the sale is significantly more secure relative to selling using an estate agent.

Below we look into these aspects in some depth.

We would also suggest you read through our Sellers Legal Guide, the Property Solvers Auction Sellers Guide, our How We Work (Auctions) and blog post on Modern Method of Auctions (this is for 56-day conditional sales although much of it applies to our shorter auctions).

Of course, we are also fully available to answer any questions

Please feel free to get in touch with us with any questions or queries throughout the process.  Our lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week and we always make ourselves available to help…

Contact Property Solvers Online Auctions Contact Property Solvers 24/7

24-hour Freephone: 0800 044 3733
Office Telephone: 020 8226 6901 (08:30 to 17:30 Monday to Friday)
Email: [email protected]
*Use our chat facility towards the bottom right of your browser to also get in touch

Property Auction Registration Property Auction Registration

After confirming the auction reserve and guide prices.  We will email you our short Welcome Guide which will contain our identification requirements. Your sales consultant can also explain what is necessary.

Note that we are legally obliged to undertake separate ID checks for every homeowner.

The team will also check the ownership status at the HM Land Registry.

Once this very quick process is complete, we will then send through our digital sales agreement for you to read through and sign online.

Marketing Your Property for Auction Marketing Your Property for Auction

We usually provide a 3-week marketing period.  The bidding period (which can be shortened or lengthened)

One of the team will be in touch to discuss organising photographs, the floorplan and (where needed) the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

We use professional and experienced professionals to ensure that the photos we present are of the very best quality.

We would encourage you to read our 101 quick house selling tips which will help you present the property in the best way to ensure maximum success.

We usually receive multiple photos digitally and we select the best ones.  These would typically those that bring in the most amount of light into each of the rooms and living spaces.

Listing Your Property for Auction Listing Your Property for Auction

The imagery usually gets back to us within 24 hours and we’ll then write up the listing, ensuring that all the essential details are clear and well-presented.

Our turnaround times on these are very fast and your property will be fed through to all the major portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location amongst many others (see where we advertise).

As well as producing a bespoke brochure to send to prospective buyers, we will also send you the link to take a look at. Please let us know if you would like any amendments to be made (it’s very easily done from our end).

It’s worth noting that, from a legal perspective, the marketing process for auctions is similar to using an estate agency. However, due to the time-pressured nature of these sales, we always try and push for things to be done quicker.

We are governed by bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs).

We will therefore be completely honest with regards to the property description and will show true photos to eliminate any potential accusations of misrepresentation.

Indeed, we often find that honesty is the best policy and any issues that are hidden prospective buyers often get noticed during the viewing process. Moreover, creating a professional environment and much better chance of a clean sale at the best price.

28 or 56 Day Auction Processes 28 or 56 Day Auction Processes

We would have already discussed the two types of auctions we offer and which option will be the better option based on your circumstances.

As we conduct the marketing and promotion, we will undertake all the necessary procedures to ensure things are undertaken correctly.  For example, in most cases, buyers will pay a pre-agreed reservation fee

Note that this service is different from our Sell House Fast or We Buy Any House options (where the entire sale is completed in 7 to 28 days and there is no marketing period as the sale is direct to Property Solvers).

Auction Sales Enquiries Auction Sales Enquiries

Once the property is live online, we’ll make ourselves fully available to handle any enquiries. You can rest assured that we never miss a beat and everything is dealt with efficiently.

Any perspective buyer is sent an initial email with the property brochure and essential information in regards to how the auction will be conducted.

They will also have our direct contact details to ask any questions regarding the property itself.  In most cases, they will communicate with their own legal representative for any clarifications but we’re happy to help where we can.

The buyers will each receive subsequent emails explaining the auction registration and bidding processes.

Furthermore, we make ourselves completely available to respond to any questions via email ([email protected]) or our freephone enquiry line (open 24/7)

Viewings and Open Days Viewings and Open Days

In most cases, we will conduct open days.  This gives us the opportunity to show multiple viewers around your property simultaneously and limit the amount of disruption.

We are happy to take a set of keys directly from you, install a key box or collect the keys from you (and deliver back).

Note that if you’re selling a tenanted property, we are happy to liaise with the tenants to organise viewings.  We appreciate that they have the full right to privacy and will be completely respectful.

Auction Legal Pack Auction Legal Pack

Ideally, we would also have the essential parts of the legal pack ready to be uploaded, but appreciate that this is not always feasible. In such scenarios, unless known otherwise, we would advise as to when certain aspects.

This can often be the case with conveyancing searches.  For example, Local Authority requests can often be delayed for months. Most auction buyers, however, are often aware of this fact. We are usually able to supply them in time for conditional (56-day)
auctions but not the unconditional (28-day) auctions.

Indeed, it’s for this reason that we prefer to have a working relationship with the conveyancer so that requested documentation can be chased and uploaded to our online portal quickly.

Please check out our auction seller’s legal guide for more information.

Auction Bidder Registration Auction Bidder Registration

As buyers effectively commit themselves to the sale once the virtual hammer falls, as auctioneers, we must undertake a series of ‘onboarding’ processes.

This includes:

  • Email verification (via an activation link);
  • Account creation (so that they will be kept up-to-date throughout the auction cycle and can watch lots);
  • Identification checks (passport / drivers licence + proof of residential address);
  • Mobile phone number verification;
  • We also require financial security by placing a hold on funds (known as a ‘payment shadow’), which will only taken from the winning bidder at the close of the auction. This assures that we’re only dealing with serious buyers that are ready to commit;
  • Bidder security (involves placing a hold on a debit or credit card for the reservation fee).

Once these registration steps are complete, we will review each bidder’s buying position internally and undertake Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks.

We may also need to contact the buyers for extra information – particularly the case if the buyer is based abroad, deemed ‘politically exposed’ or other credit-related issues have been flagged up.

Auction Terms and Conditions Auction Terms and Conditions

Finally, bidders are also required to read and accept our online Auction Terms and Conditions (see our conditional and unconditional documents here).

Additionally, there may be specific documentation relating to the sale of the property that will need to be read and accepted before bidding.  We’ll email a copy of the document(s) via email to every buyer.  This ensures that there are no disputes at any point.

We will notify all the potential buyers once they have been approved.

How Auction Buyers Will Bid on Your Property How Auction Buyers Will Bid on Your Property

When the auction opens, buyers can place bids in line with the pre-determined bid increment levels, using the bid increase (+) and decrease (–) buttons provided.  Please see an example listing here.

Having set the preferred bid amount and clicking the ‘Place Bid’ button, the buyers confirm their bids at which point it will be placed.

Note that, although buyers will be able to see if they have been outbid (and by how much), we will not disclose the reserve price.

Maximum (Proxy) Auction BidsMaximum (Proxy) Auction Bids

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

By setting a maximum bid, the system will automatically bid on the buyer’s behalf to maintain the position as the highest bidder (up to the maximum bid amount).

If the buyer is outbid, our auction system will automatically notify them via email.  They can then go back to the auction listing and increase the bid.

Bidding Extension Windows Bidding Extension Windows

The slight difference with eBay is that our auction platform provides for the possibility of slightly extending the auction bidding if there is heavy bidding activity.

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

If a bid is placed in the bidding extension window, the countdown clock will immediately reset to 60 seconds again, and 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.  It’s also great news for you as the price will move upwards in your favour!

Fall of the Electronic Auction Hammer (‘Gavel’) Fall of the Electronic Auction Hammer ('Gavel')

On the fall of the electronic hammer, the winning bidder’s card will be automatically debited for the bidder’s security amount.  Of course, all of the unsuccessful bidder’s cards will have their shadow payments released.

We’ll be in touch to confirm the agreed purchase price (you can also check on the listing itself).

Most auction buyers will have their conveyancing solicitor in place already.  We can also recommend one of our own contacts should the need arise.

With unconditional sales (28-days), the fall of the hammer effectively means that the buyer has exchanged contracts and must pay a 10% deposit.  We will provide our Client Account bank details for the payment to be transferred within 24 hours of the close.

With conditional sales (56-days), the buyer has a 28-day period to exchange contracts.  The solicitors will deal with the deposit transfer (not us) and contracts.  There is then a further 28 days to complete on the sale.

We will then produce the auction contract (reservation agreement).  We will digitally sign this on your behalf before sending it to the seller to do the same.  This will then be forwarded to your own and the buyer’s conveyancer.

Finally, we will produce a Memorandum of Sale which highlights the essential details of the sale and, with unconditional sales, forward the 10% deposit funds to your solicitor (along with a payment receipt and reference number).

At this point, the conveyancers will get to work to complete the sale according to the established deadlines.

Please note that your solicitor may request some extra information from you and we would respond as quickly as possible to avoid any disruption.

Once the Property is Sold at Auction Once the Property is Sold at Auction

As mentioned above, much of the conveyancing process already complete from your side.  The remainder work will largely on the part of the buyer’s solicitor to ensure that everything is organised in terms to meet the set deadlines.

Once the Memorandum of Sale has been received, the following tasks will need to be executed:

  • Approve the Transfer Deed and requisitions on title;
  • Forward replies to requisitions to the buyer’s conveyancer;
  • Post the Transfer Deed for you to sign;
  • Request the title deeds and a final redemption statement from your lender and secured charge lender (where this is the case);
  • Draft and forward the completion statement to the buyer’s conveyancer;
  • Handle the completion of the transaction (working with Property Solvers Auctions);
  • Redeem (repay) any mortgages / secured loans held over the property;
  • Transfer any proceeds of sale to your bank account;
  • Forward new Title Deeds to the buyer’s conveyancer.

Pre-Auction Offers Pre-Auction Offers

We often find that buyers reach out to us to discuss making an offer before or during the bidding process.

When this does occur, one of our sales consultants will be in touch to present the offer made.

In most cases, we would recommend letting the auction run its course – particularly if we see if there is strong buyer interest.

However, to save time, for example, you may decide to move forward with the offer.  We would also contact other interested parties to see if we can push the price up.

We’ll then press on with compiling the relevant documentation (as highlighted above) and ensure that the sale proceeds under auction conditions.

Post-Auction Offers Post-Auction Offers

In the very rare event that the property does not sell at auction, we typically would contact all the interested bidders to ascertain if there is any interest in bidding.

In these scenarios, we often find that we can sell the property quickly for a good price (usually close to the set reserve).  The sale can then proceed under auction conditions.

However, should the post-offer not be satisfactory, we will discuss the next steps.  Typically, this would mean relisting the property (perhaps with a slight price adjustment) and resetting the new auction date usually for another 2 weeks.

Note that there is no limit to the number of times you can relist with us.  Our aim is to sell your property and we are confident of reaching this objective.