Purchasing a property at auction is exciting and rewarding…provided you’ve done the correct preparation beforehand. As leading specialists in auction finance, we’re here to help guide you through the entire auction process, from how to do your due diligence and arranging your auction finance prior to attending an auction to bidding on a property and what happens after winning the bid.
Here are the key steps to follow when preparing for an auction purchase:
1. Find an auction and view the auction catalogue
You can search for property auctions online or we can recommend auction houses we have extensive experience with. Once you’ve chosen an auction, download a copy of the auction catalogue or request one by post. An auction catalogue contains details of all the properties that are to be offered at the auction and is usually available a few weeks before the auction date.
2. Check the guide prices and addendums
When you’ve chosen the lot or lots you’re interested in, check the guide prices and addendums.
The guide prices refer to the prices the sellers hope to achieve at the auction. They tend to be within 10% of the reserve price and may change before the auction. The guide prices are not based on valuations and properties often sell at much higher prices than the guide prices listed.
The property information detailed in the auction catalogue can sometimes change so it’s important to check the list of addendums either prior to arriving at the auction or when you get there. This could, for example, include a change to the price.
3. View the property
Just as you would when buying a property through an estate agent, it’s essential to view the property you’re interested in before you attend the auction. This can be arranged via the auctioneer or we can make the arrangements for you.
If you are still interested in the property after viewing it, be sure to register your interest with the auctioneer so that they can notify you if the availability changes, such as the seller withdrawing it from the auction.
4. Check the legal pack
A legal pack is usually provided for each property, having been prepared by the seller’s solicitor. Legal packs contain information such as local searches, title deeds, conditions of sale, office copy entries and leases. It’s essential to read through the legal pack as all documentation relating to the property forms part of the contract. We recommend that you ask your solicitor to check the legal pack before you attend the auction.
5. Arrange a survey
Before the auction, you should instruct a surveyor to ensure the property is structurally sound. Remember that some properties offered at auctions fail to sell via the traditional method and defects in the structure can be one of the reasons for this.
If you are buying a property with the intent of carrying out renovation works, ask a structural engineer to look at the property if you think there might be any issues.
6. Arrange your auction finance
Generally, from the moment the hammer falls and you win the bid, you have 28 days to complete on the property sale so speed is of the essence when it comes to your finances. If you’re lucky enough to have cash available, you can make an outright purchase, but you’ll more than likely need some form of finance and it’s best to organise this well in advance of the auction. Our specialist brokers can ensure your auction finance is in place before you start bidding.
Please note that you need to pay a deposit, which is usually about 10% of the sale price, and a buyer’s fee once you’ve made the winning bid.
If you need a mortgage, our auction finance brokers can arrange your mortgage in principle before the auction date. We know which lenders can handle fast mortgage applications to accommodate properties bought at auction and we ensure you get the best mortgage deal to suit your needs.
Alternatively, you might prefer short-term finance, such as a bridging loan, and we can arrange this for you prior to the auction. This ensures you have access to funds immediately so you don’t risk unexpected delays and the loss of your deposit. This short-term finance also offers flexibility while sourcing the optimum long-term deal or waiting for your chosen long-term finance to begin.
7. Arrange buildings insurance
Once you have successfully won a bid, the contracts exchange and you need to have buildings insurance in place on that day. Before the auction, shop around for the best deal and have your insurance provider’s details ready on the day of the auction.
When applying for a mortgage as your auction finance, your lender will insist on buildings insurance being in place.
8. Register for remote or proxy bidding
If you are unable to bid in person at the auction, you can take advantage of telephone or Internet bidding during the event. You need to register with the auction house before the auction date, which includes providing details relating to your deposit and buyer’s fee.
You can also bid by proxy, which means you ask the auctioneer to bid on your behalf. Again, you need to register beforehand to do this and need to specify the maximum bid amount you’re prepared to go to.