How to sell your house at auction

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As we enter February, the property market begins to warm up, ready for the spring peak. If you’re thinking of selling your house in the next few months it can be worth considering selling at auction for a quick and reliable property sale…

By Mark Grantham –  1st February 2017
Selling a house at auction is quick, reliable and transparent. And for the right type of property you could achieve a higher sale price compared to selling through an estate agent.

How much does it cost to sell a house at auction?

Selling at auction costs about the same as selling with a high-street estate agent. The auctioneers commission is based on the final sale price of the property – this is usually in the region of 2.5%. Some auctioneers also charge additional advertising costs which can often be paid after the auction, only if the property sells.

When selling your house at auction your solicitor will need to compile a legal pack, which will cost around £400 or £500 and that cost will need to paid upfront.

Finding an auction house?

If there’s a property auctioneer based just around the corner from your house, it would be sensible to contact them for an appraisal. But it’s worth shopping around, the geographical area in which auctioneer’s work is typically much wider than estate agents. For example, if you’re selling a house in London you have about 20 London property auctioneers to choose from.

Most property auctioneers list their previous sales online, so it can be useful to look for auctioneers that have successfully sold similar houses to yours.

Will my house sell at auction?

The industry average success rate for residential auctions is around 75%. So as an average you have a three out of four chance of your house selling. But there are ways to boost the likelihood of your house successfully selling; by setting a realistic reserve price and choosing the right auctioneer.

What price will my house sell for at auction?

Your house will sell for anything from the reserve price upwards. One of the real benefits of selling a house at auction is that you’re not setting an upper limit on the sale price. So, if you have two very motivated buyers you could achieve a very high sale price.

Some properties are better suited to a sale at auction than others. Properties in need of modernisation typically sell very well and it’s not unusual to see final sale prices far exceed those quoted by estate agents.

How quickly can I sell my house at auction?

The total lead time from booking a house into auction, until completion of sale is between 6 to 8 weeks.

What preparation do I need to do when selling my house at auction?

The simple answer is; not much. Most of the work is carried out by your solicitor and the auctioneer. You will have to complete some property information questionnaires and provide proof of ID, as you would if you were selling privately or through an estate agent.

The marketing carried out before an auction sale is designed to stimulate interest to the widest range of buyers in a short, sharp snap of 3 to 4 weeks.

Although there’s no harm in ensuring your property is reasonably well presented, most auction buyers will “see through” any mess and clutter. As long as all rooms can be accessed safely, that will be fine.

How can I sell my house for more at auction?

The key to ensuring a successful auction sale is to maximise the exposure of your property to the widest possible audience of buyers. Some auctioneers begin marketing your property as soon as you instruct them, so rather than advertising the property when the auction catalogue is released, they’ll add it to the portals (Rightmove and Zoopla) and contact their databased of buyers as soon as you tell them you’re ready to go ahead.

Auction buyers can only bid with confidence if they have full information about the property – so it’s really important to make sure the auction legal pack is ready as soon as possible and ideally no later than one week before auction day.

If you can give prospective buyers more time to arrange their finances for the purchase, then that will help. It’s not unusual to see “property professionals” such as investors and housing associations et 6 weeks completion dates rather than the usual 4 weeks.

Read more about selling a house at auciton

Thinking of selling? Find out more about the auction sale process:

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