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 Auction Realities - Tips on Buying Property at Auction 
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Post Auction Realities - Tips on Buying Property at Auction
by: Ed Nolan

In recent years the use of an auction as a vehicle to buy or sell your property has become extremely popular says property insurance expert, Ed Nolan of Whilst this method of buying and selling indeed has its merits you might like to note the following whether you are a buyer or seller.

If you are buying at auction make sure you:-

Research the property thoroughly and ask estate agents and neighbors for their opinions. (Tip: There is nearly always a local ‘busybody’ as a neighbor to ask!)

Check the description of the lot in the catalogue is correct. Auctioneers have all sorts of disclaimers to avoid liability here.

Read the conditions printed in the catalogue and get legal or professional advice on the contact or legal pack available either from the vendor’s solicitors or the auctioneer.

Make financial arrangements to ensure you have the necessary deposit ready for payment on auction day when contracts will be signed and access to the remaining monies within 28 days.

As regards the description of the property make sure you know what exactly you are buying. Be wary when you see in the catalogue description ‘not inspected by auctioneer’ this can be for of several reasons i.e. there is a sitting tenant in place or there is no easy access to a particular part of the building as the staircase has been removed. Remember you are the one that is buying not the auctioneer!

If you are selling at auction make sure:-

You have a realistic expectation of what your property is worth. Don’t be fooled into thinking an auctioneer can drive the price upwards in the excitement of the moment. Sure, if you are selling a very desirable property this does happen but if yours is run of the mill then forget it as it is likely to sell at a discount to a well marketed estate agency type sale

Conversely auctioneers do not like having unsold lots, it does not make their business look good. This is understandable but do not be ‘brow beaten’ in to putting a low reserve on your property one that you would be devastated if it was sold for that figure. Rather, don’t enter your property in the auction if this is the case.

If your property does not sell and it appears you had bids close to your reserve this may not always be the case. An auctioneer will take bids ‘off the wall’ i.e. there is no-one bidding he is merely looking around the room and hopefully encouraging would be bidders. Don’t think, therefore, that you ‘nearly’ sold it….. in reality your expectations could be a million miles away!

Watch the fees. Auctioneers generally charge a higher commission than an estate agent. A figure of 2% - 2½% of the achieved price is around the norm. This is in addition to an entry fee. You will probably have higher legal fees also as your solicitors will need to prepare a contact pack for forwarding to the auctioneers prior to the sale.

Don't forget it's your responsibility to insure a property once the gavel falls as that is when the contract is made. Don't worry though you can always a residential property insurance or commercial property insurance company from the auction who will give you instant cover. However, before you do, look around the room as Primecover has a presence at the most major UK property auctions.

About The Author
Ed Nolan is an property expert offering tips and advice from

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This article was posted by permission.

Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:20 am
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