The fast and secure way to buy a property
Buying by auction is a fantastic way to secure the property of your dreams. They're no longer just for experienced investors looking for their next project, there are thousands of people every year taking advantage of the benefits auctions have to offer.
Buying at auction FAQs
What types of auctions are there?
We run Auction Events, which are one-day auctions in which many properties are offered for sale over the course of the day. There is a live auctioneer, and the auction is live streamed. If the property has reached its reserve price and you are the highest bidder on the fall of the gavel, the property will be yours.
We also run Timed Auctions which are hosted online without a live auctioneer. These auctions are for a single property. The property will be advertised on our website before the auction starts as coming soon. Once the legal pack has been finalised, the property will then be made available for bids to be placed. The bidding window runs over a set period (usually 21 days). If the property has reached its reserve price and you are the highest bidder at the end of the bidding window, the property will be yours.
Finally, there are Buy It Now properties which are offered for sale on the website at the advertised price, on a first-come, first-served basis. If you complete your registration and pay the fees owed, the property will be yours.
What sale types are there?
Properties are offered for sale at auction under either unconditional or conditional terms. The differences between the two types are explained below.
What is a conditional sale?
At the end of the auction, if the reserve price has been met, the highest bidder will enter into a reservation agreement and will have 56 days to make all reasonable efforts to exchange contracts and complete. A reservation fee is payable to the auctioneer to secure the property.
What is an unconditional sale?
Contracts of sale for the property are exchanged immediately at the end of the auction, meaning you are legally committed to complete your purchase of the property. A buyer’s fee payable to the auctioneer and deposit payable to the seller must be paid to secure the property, and you will have 30 days to complete (unless the legal pack specifies a different completion deadline).
Can I view the properties before the auction?
Yes, in most cases we offer viewings on our properties. You can book a viewing by visiting the property listing page on the website, or call our team to discuss.
What fees do I have to pay?
The following fee amounts are inclusive of VAT.
For an unconditional sale, you will typically pay a 5% deposit (subject to a minimum of £5,000) to exchange contracts, as well as a Buyer’s Fee of 4.8% for properties sold for up to £250,000 or 3.6% for properties sold for more than £250,000, in order to secure the property. In all cases, the Buyer’s Fee is subject to a minimum of £6,000.
For a conditional sale, you will typically pay a Reservation Fee of 4.8% for properties sold for up to £250,000 or 3.6% for properties sold for more than £250,000, in order to secure the property. In all cases, the Reservation Fee is subject to a minimum of £6,000.
The deposit forms part of the purchase price, whereas the buyer’ fee/reservation fee do not.
Are fees or the deposit refundable?
If you fail to complete your purchase for any reason, the fees paid to the auctioneer (the buyer’s fee/reservation fee) are non-refundable. In an unconditional sale, you will also lose your deposit paid, which is retained by the seller.
If the sale falls through due to the seller’s alleged fault, we will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis, and we may refund the fees paid.
Why do I have to pay a reservation fee?
In an unconditional sale, contracts of sale exchange immediately.
In a conditional sale, the reservation fee is paid for a period of exclusivity, in which the seller cannot market/sell the property to anybody else. This gives you the reassurance that you can’t be gazumped. The reservation fee is payable to the auctioneer, not the seller.
What is a guide price?
Properties will be advertised with a guide price, which is based on the seller's likely reserve price. The guide price has to be within 10% above or below the reserve price when a single figure is stated. If the guide price is a bracket figure, the reserve price cannot exceed the top end of the bracket price.
What is a reserve price?
The reserve price is the minimum price which the property can be sold for. This price is confidential between the auctioneer and the seller and cannot be disclosed.
Is my bid binding?
If you are a successful bidder in a conditional auction, you are obliged to pay a reservation fee and sign the reservation contract. It does not legally bind you to exchange contracts, but instead grants you 56 days’ exclusivity in which to exchange and complete. The exclusivity period may vary, and we strongly recommend you check the legal pack to confirm.
An unconditional auction is legally binding. You will immediately exchange contracts and you will usually be granted 30 days in which to complete your purchase. The completion date can vary, and we strongly recommend you check the legal pack to confirm.
How do I place a bid?
If you want to bid in one of our online Timed Auctions, visit the property listing page and there will be a link to bid online. Follow the link, and you will be prompted to create an Auction Passport account, hosted by Essential Information Group (our online bidding platform provider). This is a very quick and simple process. When completing the online registration steps, you will need to complete an identity check for anti-money laundering purposes. You must also supply debit card details; however, the card will not be charged unless you are the successful bidder. Once you have registered, you will then be able to download the legal documents and bid for the property.
If you want to bid in an Auction Event, you must submit your bidding registration form via our website to specify which lots you want to bid on. You will then receive an email to complete an identity check for anti-money laundering purposes, and supply debit card details. The card will not be charged unless you are the successful bidder.
What if the reserve price isn't met?
If the property fails to meet the reserve price it will remain unsold. You can contact our sales team to make an offer once the auction ends. This will be referred to the sellers for their consideration. Alternatively, the property may be offered again at auction, usually at a lower price.
What if I will not be available to bid at the time the lot is offered?
If you are unavailable at the time the auction is scheduled, you can enter your maximum bid in advance. This is known as a proxy bid. The bidding will still increase in the relevant increments (usually £1,000), up to your entered amount. This applies to both Timed Auctions and Auction Events. Proxy bidding is also a useful method if you have a fixed budget that you do not want to exceed.
How do I read the legal pack?
The legal packs are available to view by following the link on the property listing page.
We strongly recommend that you get advice from a legal representative and ask them to read the legal pack on your behalf, so they can guide you accordingly. Failure to read the legal pack before bidding will not be a valid reason for withdrawing from the sale.
Can I get a mortgage?
Not all properties are suitable for mortgage security, and we strongly recommend that you arrange for an independent survey to be carried out prior to bidding if you require mortgage finance.
Can I have a survey?
Yes, and we strongly recommend that you consider getting a survey, as part of your due diligence before you bid. You must instruct your surveyor to contact us on 0800 046 5454 for access.
How do I get further advice?
Our auction experts are available to offer you all the help and guidance you need. Please give them a call on 0800 046 5454 if you have any questions, and they will happily guide you through the process to ensure buying at auction is the best route for you.