We auction residential and commercial properties, and the buying process is straightforward. This guide will help you prepare for the next auction. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.
There is a catalogue that displays all of the properties that will be offered. Each catalogue is available approximately 3 weeks prior to the relevant auction. The catalogue is also available online.
Peruse the lots
Look through the catalogue and identify those lots that may be of interest. Note that some properties are offered with vacant possession, some are tenanted and some may be part-vacant.
Every property has a Guide price that is published in the auction catalogue. The guide price is an indication of what the seller expects to achieve and is therefore subject to change. The guide price is not the price at which the property will necessarily sell and it is not uncommon for properties to sell for a considerable amount above the guide price.
Addendum (Changes to the published information)
Occasionally there will be changes to the property information published in the catalogue. These changes are published in the Addendum and can obtained from our offices at any time before the auction.
View the property
Viewings are arranged directly with the auctioneers or their joint agents. Where properties are tenanted, viewings are normally not arranged so interested parties are advised to contact the tenants directly to arrange a convenient time for viewing.
Register your interest
If you find a property which is of interest please let us know so that we are able to contact you if the property is withdrawn or sold prior to the auction.
Obtain legal documentation
The vendor’s solicitors prepare legal packs containing (where applicable) special conditions of sale, title deeds, leases, office copy entries, searches, replies to pre-contract enquiries which are normally available to be sent by post for a small charge. To order a legal pack, simply call our office. If you wish to peruse the legal packs in our offices then this can be arranged too. Legal packs will usually be available for inspection in the auction room. Remember that you buy subject to all documentation and terms of contract whether or not you have read them.
Obtain a survey
If you decide to have a survey done, please ask your surveyor to call us directly to make arrangements for access to the property.
Arrange your finance
If you need to arrange a mortgage it is important that you obtain an offer from your lender in principle before the auction day. Most building societies and banks will wish to instruct a surveyor to prepare a valuation report before making a mortgage offer so you will need to make your mortgage application as early as possible. You will usually need to complete your purchase up to 20 working days after the day of the auction. You should discuss this with your lenders to make sure that this will not be a problem.
Find out whether the property is still available
We strongly advise potential purchasers either to look on our website or call us the day before the auction to make sure that the lots in which they are interested are still available.
Understand all terms & conditions
Buying property at auction is different to buying property privately and we strongly advise potential purchasers to check that they have read and understood all the various legal documents and terms & conditions.
Making an offer prior to the auction
You can make an offer (which should be in writing, by fax or by email) for a property at any time up to the date of the auction, but if your offer is accepted you will have to be in a position to exchange contracts and pay your deposit immediately.
Telephone & Proxy Bidding
If you are unable to attend the auction sale, you can bid by telephone (in real time while the auction is taking place) or by proxy (where you specify your maximum bid in writing and the auctioneer bids on your behalf). In each case we need a completed registration form and a cheque to cover your deposit and buyer’s fee prior to the date of the auction.
Things to bring with you to the auction if you are bidding
- Auction catalogue
- Funds – debit/credit card or bankers draft to cover the 10% deposit of the purchase price (minimum deposit of £2,000) and the administration fee of £1,000 on purchases of £50,000 and above or £500 for purchases below £50,000.
- Identification – either your driving licence or passport (for photo ID) and a recent utility bill or bank statement (for proof of address).
- Your solicitor’s details.
Pick up an addendum sheet, which contains the final amendments for each property. It is important that you read this document before bidding to see if there is any significant new information. The addendum forms part of the contract of sale. Then just take a seat.
Start of auction
The auction will start promptly at the time printed in the catalogue. The auctioneer will make a number of announcements about the auction procedure. The auctioneer’s pre-sale announcements are summarised at the beginning of our catalogue. They will also announce withdrawn and pre-sold lots. Lots are almost always offered in the order in which they appear in the catalogue.
- The auctioneer will announce each lot and refer to any last minute changes.
- The current lot number is usually displayed on a screen next to the auctioneer
- The auctioneer will invite bids at a particular level and you can make this bid by raising your hand or catalogue.
- The auctioneer will regulate the bidding increments until all the bidding is finished. He will give everyone a few moments warning before bringing down his gavel at which point the property is sold to the highest bidder.
- As soon as the gavel comes down a legal and binding contract is formed between the vendor and the winning bidder.
If you buy a property
If you are the successful bidder you will be asked to:
- Fill out a purchaser’s slip and provide identification – in the case of individuals we will need to verify both your name (ie by passport or driving licence) and your address (ie a recent utility bill or bank statement).
- Provide the name, address and telephone number of the person or company if you are bidding on behalf of somebody else.
- Supply the name and address of your solicitor.
- Provide a cheque, drawn on a UK clearing bank to cover the 10% deposit of the purchase price (minimum deposit of £2,000) and the administration fee of £1,000 on purchases of £50,000 and above or £500 for purchases below £50,000. Cheques will be banked the same or next day so you should ensure that there are sufficient funds available. It is part of your legal obligation to pay the deposit on the day of the auction if a lot is knocked down to you.
- Pay a buyer’s fee for each lot purchased in addition to the deposit.
Details are printed in the catalogue or available on our website.
You will be given your part of the contract (see “Memorandum of Sale” in the back of the auction catalogue). Attached to the contract will be a copy of the “Notices” and “General Conditions of Sale” which contain our standard terms of sale, which are also printed in the catalogue. The Special Conditions of Sale are contractual terms that are specific to each lot offered. These are not printed in the catalogue but will also be attached to the contract. Your part of the contract should be passed to your solicitor. We will retain the part which you have signed to send to the vendor’s solicitor. Completion will usually take place 20 working days later (or as varied by the Special Conditions of Sale) under the supervision of your solicitor. Please do not leave the auction room without taking your signed contract. As soon as the hammer falls there is a binding contract of sale. The property is at your insurable risk from this point. Please ensure that you arrange your building insurance immediately after the sale.
Please note: Properties are not sold “subject to contract”, “subject to finance” or “subject to survey” when you buy at auction. They are sold unconditionally. If you are the successful bidder, you are legally obliged to complete the sale. It is not necessary to have a mortgage in place when bidding but it is advisable to make sure you are able to complete your purchase should you be successful.
If a lot does not sell and you wish to buy it, please approach one of our staff and register your interest with us before you leave the room. Quite often we can broker a deal with the vendor immediately after the auction has finished.
Results can be viewed on our website.