Browse our FAQs for help on selling property by auction
We have answered some of our most frequently asked questions about selling property by auction. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What is a remote bidding Auction?
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our auctions will be live-streamed via our website with remote bidding by proxy, telephone or internet. Potential purchasers will pre-register to bid, provide their identification and securely register their debit card details before being authorised to bid, giving you the same level of security. Properties will still be sold subject to the usual auction conditions with an immediate exchange of contracts and fixed completion date. Please click here for further details.
What is an online Auction?
An online auction can start and end on any day giving you total flexibility on how quickly you would like to sell your property. The dates and times are clearly detailed on our website and interested parties must open an account and register to bid. This includes taking their card details and undergoing an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) check, so you know we have undertaken background checks to ensure the security of your sale. As with an in-room auction, the purchaser will enter a legally binding agreement to complete their purchase.
Can you still undertake viewings?
Yes, following the latest Government guidelines, we are pleased to be able to continue with viewing appointments. However, your well-being and that of our staff and viewers is of the utmost importance and it is therefore essential that viewings are conducted in the safest possible manner.
We have a 10 step guide to our social distance viewing schedule and we are delighted to continue with our 360° virtual tours, giving potential purchasers the opportunity to look at your property from the comfort of their own home before viewing in person.
If we can’t access your property for any reason such as it being tenanted, in a serious state of disrepair or you are shielding, then your property can still be offered by auction.
What types of properties are suitable for auction?
Selling property by auction can apply to all types of properties and all can sell well at auction including residential, commercial & mixed-use properties, tenanted/investment properties, land/development sites, garage blocks and ground rents. We also have experience in handling more unusual properties such as former public houses, churches, police stations and nursing homes. We would be delighted to offer you our free and impartial advice on the best way to sell your property and the price you might achieve selling by auction.
Can I sell a property which is un-mortgageable?
Yes, a number of cash buyers and investors buy through auction so it can be an ideal way to sell a property that is un-mortgageable or has had a sale fall through. Auction properties are sold as seen and you have the added security of an immediate exchange of contracts and fixed completion date. However, if you are aware of any defects the purchaser should be aware of these must be declared in advance of the auction.
How long does the auction process take?
Selling property by auction is very flexible and we will usually have a solution to suit your circumstances and timescale. An in-room auction takes approximately 7 weeks, 3 weeks for marketing and 4 weeks between exchange of contracts and completion. If you need to sell more quickly our online auctions might suit you better as you can start and end an auction on any date to suit you. Please call us on 0121 312 1212 and we will happily talk you through all the options.
What is a guide price?
The guide price is an indication of the reserve price, being the minimum price the property can sell for on the day of the auction/at the end of the online auction. It doesn’t necessarily mean the property will be sold for this price as it depends on the level of interest which can increase the final selling price.
What is a reserve price?
The reserve price is confidential between the seller and the Auctioneer and is the minimum price that a property will sell for. This provides you with peace of mind that it will never sell for less than you are prepared to accept, and with competitive bidding the property could sell for more than you were expecting.
How long do you market each property for?
We will ideally market your property for a minimum of 3 weeks in order to promote it to as many people as possible and create a competitive bidding environment. However, the sooner you instruct us the earlier we can commence advertising. The marketing for an online auction can be shorter if you need to sell your property within a specific timeframe. We prepare a bespoke marketing campaign for each property to include an entry on our website, on the leading property portals Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket and Facebook Marketplace, erect a prominent ‘auction for sale’ board, 360° virtual tour, local and national press advertising (where applicable), email marketing to our extensive database of buyers and investors, inclusion in our high-quality auction catalogue (for in-room lots), social media to include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and PR coverage (where applicable).
Do I need to instruct a solicitor to prepare the legal pack in advance?
Yes, as it is a legal exchange of contracts at the end of the auction, it is essential that we have a legal pack in advance of the auction. It is therefore important that you instruct your Solicitor as soon as possible. The legal pack must include the contract/special conditions of sale, land registry, applicable searches, energy performance certificate (EPC) plus any tenancy, lease and planning details, where applicable. Please contact your Solicitor for advice about your specific property. If you do not have a solicitor, we can recommend some that specialise in Auction legal packs.
Can I consider pre-auction offers?
It is possible to consider pre-auction offers if you would like to do so. We ask for all offers to be made in writing and will put them forward for your consideration if they are above the top end of your guide price, we also insist that anyone wishing to make an offer, views the property (if applicable) and reads the legal pack. If you wish to accept an offer it would be under the usual auction terms with a 10% deposit paid and an immediate exchange of contracts. Alternatively, some vendors prefer their properties to go to auction and will not consider pre-auction offers.
Do I have to accept the highest bid?
No not unless the bid is at or above your reserve price, being the minimum price the property can sell for. If the property fails to reach your minimum price, then it won’t be sold, and we will take your further instructions if you wish us to continue marketing the property post auction.
Is the sale legally binding?
Yes, all in-room and online auction properties are sold on an ‘unconditional’ basis. This means that the property has legally exchanged contracts on the fall of the gavel/end of the online auction. For a live-streamed auction we will take a 10% deposit or £5,000 whichever is the greater. For an online auction, we will automatically take a £5,000 payment at the end of the online auction and contact the purchaser to take a further payment for any shortfall.
Do I still need to insure the property?
It is your responsibility to insure the property up until exchange of contracts to the new owner, at which time the purchaser should arrange their own buildings insurance. However, as a safeguard, we strongly recommend that you keep the property insured until it has completed.
What if my property doesn’t sell?
There are still several options if your property fails to sell on the auction day. We will continue to market it for a further 2 weeks post auction, if you wish us to do so. We will contact previously interested people who have viewed the property, downloaded the legal pack or enquired via our website, Rightmove, Zoopla or OnTheMarket. We can re-enter your property in a future auction or offer it in an online auction. Your auction valuer will contact you after the auction to discuss your options.
Can I sell a property I’m living in?
Yes, it is possible to sell a property by auction which you are living in as long as you can move out on or before the completion day. You can decide on the completion date that suits you best in advance of the auction.
How long is completion?
Completion is usually 28 days however it can be shorter or longer depending on your circumstances, as long as it has been agreed in advance of the auction and the correct date is detailed in the contract of sale/special conditions of sale. Please discuss this with your Solicitor in advance of the legal pack being prepared.
Why do you need my identification to undertake an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) check?
It is a legal requirement that we see 2 forms of identification and undertake an AML check for all sellers and buyers. The AML check will leave a soft footprint on your credit report but it should not affect your credit rating.