Our buying at auction guide
Buying at auction can be a fun and exciting way to buy a property. Our buying at auction guide below will help you understand the process further and our auction team are available to advise you further or answer any questions.
Our website is a fantastic place to start your property search. You will be able to click on the properties page to see all available properties or perform a search based on your criteria. Alternatively, you can click here to sign up for our free auction updates, to be the first to hear about our latest catalogues, results and any updates to the auction catalogue. You can also search our properties on Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket and Facebook MarketPlace or you might come across one of our auction for sale boards.
The guide price is an indication of the vendor’s reserve price, being the minimum price the property can sell for on the day or at the end of the online auction. The reserve price will never be higher than the top end of a bracket guide price or more than 10% higher than a single figure guide price. It does not necessarily mean that the property will be sold for this price, as it depends on the level of interest, which can increase the final selling price.
Arrange a viewing
It is important that you view any properties you are interested in buying at auction as it will enable you to undertake your usual due diligence before bidding and exchanging contracts.
For your convenience, we offer 360° video tours for the majority of properties so you can take a look around and get an idea of the property before attending in person, should you wish to do so. We include as many properties as possible on our viewing schedule with the times and dates listed on our website, Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. You don’t need to make an appointment to attend these viewings – you can just turn up on the advertised time and day. Our staff are at each property for 15 minutes before moving on to the next appointment, so please ensure you arrive on time.
If a property states by appointment, please contact us on (0121) 312 1212 to confirm the arrangements. However, please note that not all properties are available to view, particularly investment properties or properties in serious/dangerous states of disrepair, video tours will also not be available for these lots which you purchase at your own risk.
Inspect the legal documents
As it is an immediate legal exchange of contracts at the end of the auction, it is essential that you read all the legal documentation, to fully understand the terms of your purchase and any costs that may be payable in addition to the purchase price. By bidding on any auction lot, you are deemed to have read all the common auction conditions, important information, special conditions of sale and the full legal pack . These are all available to view free of charge from the properties page on our website and we strongly recommend that you ask a solicitor to read them on your behalf in advance of the auction.
When buying at auction it can be quite common to pay costs in addition to the purchase price, and these are added to the contact/special conditions of sale by the vendor’s Solicitor. They can cover anything from search fees, legal fees, our fees, outstanding service charge or rent arrears, VAT and any costs associated with the property. Please click here for further information. It is important that you take these into account when deciding how much you are prepared to pay for the property, so please ensure you have read the legal pack before bidding at auction.
Arrange your finances
If you are arranging finance on the property, we strongly advise that you get this agreed in advance. You are welcome to use any finance or mortgage provider you choose as long as they can get your finances in place in time for completion. If you don’t have someone in mind or you need to arrange your finances in a hurry, we are happy to recommend Together Money.
Get a survey
Whether you are having a mortgage or not, it is always recommended that you have a survey in advance of the auction so that you are aware of any defects that may exist. Please ask your surveyor to contact us to make the arrangements.
Some vendors will consider pre-auction offers, and all offers must be made in writing by emailing email@example.com. However, you must view the property and read the legal pack before making an offer, and any offers must be in excess of the guide price in order to be considered. If your offer is accepted, it will be subject to the usual auction terms and conditions – you will need to pay your 10% deposit, administration fee and sign the contract in advance of the auction date.
Check for updates
We prepare an addendum in advance of the auction, detailing any changes since the PDF catalogue has been produced. It also includes details of any properties that have been sold prior or withdrawn and won’t be offered. The latest version is always available on the properties page of our website or please refer to the individual property details for any updates (please note that any updates for online auctions won’t feature on the addendum and will be made direct to the property details). We strongly advise that you check in advance of bidding on any property.
Preparing to bid at auction
Once you have inspected the property, arranged your finances and completed all of your pre-auction checks, you are ready to bid.
Our auctions are held at The Holte Suite, Aston Villa FC however, if you are not available to attend in person you can pre-register to bid remotely by proxy, telephone or internet. If bidding in-room you will need to register when you arrive and provide 2 forms of identification for yourself and each party. If you are bidding remotely, you will need to pre-register for each auction, provide your identification and debit card details no later than 24 hours prior to the auction, please click here to register to bid.
Please click here for further details about how to bid in joint names, on behalf of someone else or a company and what documentation you require.
If you are bidding in our online auction, you must create an account in advance. We will need to do an AML check and approve you to bid. Please allow enough time to meet these requirements so that you are ready to bid and don’t miss out on the property you’re after.
You must provide 2 forms of identification for the bidder and each purchaser and/or shareholder (holding 25% or more share capital) in order to register to bid – 1 form of photographic identification such as your driving licence or passport and 1 form of identification to confirm your address, this can be your driving licence (if you haven’t used it as your photo ID), a Bank Statement or utility bill (not a mobile phone bill) no less than 3 months old.
Deposit and buyer’s fee
If you are the successful bidder, you will need to pay your 10% deposit (subject to a minimum of £5,000) and administration fee of £1,680 (£1,400.00 plus Vat) by debit card immediately on the fall of the gavel. For lots offered on behalf of Birmingham City Council, you are required to pay the deposit and administration fee by banker’s draft which will be checked prior to your bid being accepted. Please note the administration fee can vary for Local Authority lots, please refer to the legal pack or speak to a member of staff for clarification.
If you purchase a property for less than the minimum deposit of £5,000 then you will pay the full purchase price plus the administration fee of £1,680 inc. Vat.
If you are bidding remotely, as part of our registration process, you will need to submit your debit card details which will be authenticated and securely held with SagePay, but no money will be taken in advance of the auction. In the event that you make a purchase we will automatically take a payment from your registered card. You must therefore ensure you have sufficient funds in your bank account for the 10% deposit, subject to a minimum of £5,000 plus the administration fee of £1,680 inc Vat. Please note, there is a maximum amount we can automatically take from your card and you must be available by telephone on the auction day to make a top-up payment if required.
If you are unable to register your debit card details for any reason (such as you are buying on behalf of a company and don’t have a debit card), please contact us to discuss your circumstances and what alternative option we are able to offer.
If you are buying as a non-UK resident, you will be required to transfer your deposit (10% of your maximum bid subject to a minimum of £5,000) and the administration fee of £1,680 (inc. Vat) to our client account in cleared funds in advance of the auction. This will be refunded if you are unsuccessful which can take up to 10 working days.
If you purchase a property in our online auction, a payment of £6,680 will automatically be taken from the card you registered at the time of creating your account. We will contact you after the auction to take payment of any shortfall.
Sign the contract/special conditions of sale
If you are the successful purchaser, you will sign the contact with the duty solicitor in the auction room prior to leaving. If you are bidding remotely or via our online auction, we will sign the contract on your behalf (as per our terms & conditions) and forward a copy to you for you to supply to your Solicitor.
Upon exchange of contracts it is your responsibility to insure the property. Please speak to your insurance company to make the arrangements who will be able to advise you on the appropriate cover you require.
Instruct your Solicitor
Please instruct your solicitor as soon as possible after the auction so they can ensure everything is ready for completion.
Completion is usually 28 days from exchange of contracts but can vary depending on the seller’s circumstances. Please double check the contract/special conditions of sale for each property you are interested in purchasing. You will also need to put your solicitor in funds and they will arrange to transfer the money to the vendor’s solicitor on the day of completion.
Please note that if you fail to complete within the completion period you will be in breach of contract, you will lose your deposit and administration fee and be at risk of being sued by the vendor.
Collect the keys
We usually hold keys for most vacant properties and we will arrange to release them to you as soon as we’ve had confirmation from the vendor’s solicitor that they have received the funds and completed the sale. Please contact us before travelling to our offices to make sure they are available and we have received confirmation that they can be released.
You must provide photographic identification to prove you are the purchaser before the keys can be released. If you wish for someone else to collect the keys on your behalf you must inform us by email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance and they will need to provide identification for you and themselves.
For further advice please also read our Buyer FAQs