Selling at Auction
Pros and Cons
Selling a property at auction is easy and cost-effective – it’s ideally suited to properties in need of modernisation or with potential, short lease flats and tenanted properties. Or anyone requiring a prompt & hassle-free sale.
Auction is the first point of call for many highly profit driven organisations (e.g. banks and building societies) who are looking to achieve maximum sale prices. So why is an auction sale still considered a last resort by many UK property owners?
Last updated by Mark Grantham on 20th September 2021
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If you’re looking for a speedy property sale then auction compares favourably to most other methods of selling. When selling at auction the total time from the start of the process (booking a property into the auction) to the end of the process (completion of sale) is about 6 to 8 weeks. Most auctioneers set a deadline for entries approximately 3 weeks or more before the auction date, this allows enough time for the auction catalogue to be circulated and for other marketing activity to take place (e.g. updating the portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla).
If a property successfully sells (meaning contracts are exchanged) on auction day the buyer is contractually obligated to complete the sale by a set date, usually within 3 or 4 weeks. Auction is unique in having a set date for exchange, no other method of selling compares in this way.
We have heard concern from prospective sellers’ considering auction that if the property doesn’t sell at auction then prospective buyers will wonder why it hasn’t sold. In our opinion that’s not really something to worry about, people have all sorts of reasons for selling at auction and there are all sorts of reasons why properties don’t sell at auction too. They’re often nothing to do with the property, and generally people are aware of that.
We’ve had instances when selling property ourselves when we’ve only received documents (in this case the local authority search) for the property just one day before the auction. We could have withdrawn the property from the auction and waited for one month until the next auction, but there was a good level of interest from prospective buyers so we decided to keep it in the same auction and fortunately we sold for a good price. Solicitors are generally aware of the timescales involved, but our advice is to allow enough time for the legal pack to be completed for at least one week before the auction, otherwise postpone the entry until the next auction.
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Need help deciding if auction is right for you? Call 0800 862 0206 or request a call back for later.