Auctions are now an established and convenient way to buy property competitively. However it is important to have an understanding of the process and to this end we have provided a few tips and hints;
- Obtain a copy of the auction catalogue, read it thoroughly and identify the properties which are of interest
- Arrange a viewing of the property – viewing arrangements will be available through the auctioneers
- Research the property thoroughly.
- Check the description of the lot in the catalogue is accurate.
- Carry out the usual property/land searches.
- Carefully read the conditions printed in the catalogue. Always get legal or professional advice from a solicitor and, in appropriate cases, a chartered surveyor.
- Make financial arrangements to ensure you have a 10% deposit ready for payment on auction day, when the contracts are signed and access to the remaining 90% within 28 days.
- Plan ahead if you need mortgage assistance. It’s wise to arrange a mortgage in principal with a bank or building society before buying at auction. You could lose your 10% deposit if you fail to complete within the time given (normally within 20 working days).
- Be aware that buying at auction is a binding commitment and carries the same legal implications as a signed contract by private treaty. In most cases, auction offices have copies of legal documentation provided by the seller’s solicitors which can be sent to you.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has produced a clear and impartial guide for people buying property at auction which can be found here – RICS Property Auctions Guide