A Guide to Buying at Auction:
Buyers 10 Steps to Auction Success

Buying at auction couldn't be easier. Unlike traditional sales through an estate agent, there are fixed timescales in place, so you know what you need to do and when, meaning you could be picking up the keys to your new property in no time at all. As we have a wide range of properties entering our auctions, including residential, commercial, redevelopment or building plots, you are bound to find the right property for you. Click here to see a list of our upcoming and future property auctions.

If you have any questions, please call a member of our team on 0345 873 1366 or fill out an enquiry form.

Step 1

Requirements

  • Auctions aren't right for everyone, so make sure you understand the process before you place a bid.
  • Be sure in what you are looking for in a property and you have fully researched any lots you are interested in. Once the hammer falls, there is no going back if you change your mind.
Step 2

Search

  • Register for our Property Alerts to be kept up to date by email with all the latest lots that match your requirements.
  • Speak to the local Auction House office to receive information about upcoming auctions, auction catalogues and late entries.
Step 3

Details

  • When you have found a property you are interested in, look at the particulars on our website which will contain details about the lot including photos, guide prices and floor plans.
  • You may also wish to look through the catalogue which is available on our website normally two weeks before an auction date.
Step 4

Open Days

  • Make sure to attend one of the open house viewings and ask any questions you may have to one of the team.
  • If possible, visit the property again at another viewing if you are interested, and also take someone with you to help you make a better judgement before deciding to bid.
Step 5

Survey

  • As a property at auction may not be in the best condition, it is important to consider having a survey or inspection before you choose to bid.
  • Make sure you have received any reports before the auction so you can make an informed decision before bidding begins.
Step 6

Legal

  • Appoint solicitors as early in the process as possible.
  • They will need to inspect the legal packs for any properties you are interested in, and check other information such as searches and planning permission, which are all available online.
  • Their advice at this stage could prove invaluable as you cannot change your mind after the hammer falls and you have exchanged contracts.
Step 7

Finance

  • On the day of the auction, you will need 10% of the purchase price (subject to a minimum amount), any buyers premium, as well as the auctioneers administration charge. These figures can be found in the catalogue.
  • The remainder of the purchase price and fees will be needed for completion (usually within 28 days of the auction).
  • You can organise this with your financial advisor, bank, or by using short term finance. Read our Specialist Auction Finance guide for more information.
  • It is important to also speak with your insurers, as after exchange, you will be responsible for the insurance of the property.
Step 8

Plan

  • Before arriving at the auction, determine your bid. You need to take into consideration all costs incurred with a successful bid, such as fees and stamp duty.
  • Set a maximum bid level before hand and make sure you do not get carried away and exceed your means.
Step 9

Auction Day

  • Make sure you check the addendums list which will list any lots that have been withdrawn or sold prior, postponed until a later auction date, or any last minute changes to the catalogue entries.
  • Arrive early. The auction room can be very busy with limited space, and if you wish to bid, you should make sure you are in clear view of the Auctioneer's rostrum.
  • Check whether pre-registration is required. Not all auctions will require you to do so, but it is best to check in advance to ensure you are able to bid.
  • If you have any questions, make sure to ask one of the Auction House team before the start of the auction.
  • Ensure you make it clear when you wish to bid on a lot, either by raising your hand, holding up a catalogue, or where used, raising your bidders paddle.
Step 10

Afterwards

  • When the hammer falls, you have exchanged contracts and have entered a legally binding sale.
  • If you are the winning bidder, you will need to complete the Memorandum of Sale and pay your deposit and fees.
  • You will need to have two forms of ID with you; one photographic (e.g. driving licence or passport), and one proof of address (e.g. utility bill dated in the last three months). If multiple people are to be named on the memorandum, you will need ID for all parties.
  • If a property fails to reach its reserve and it is not sold in the room, you can speak with a member of the Auction House team to express an interest. It may be possible to negotiate a sale after the auction, which would proceed under normal auction rules.