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  buying at auction

How and why is property bought at auction?
Buying at auction is an assured way of securing a purchase. Once a bid is accepted, contracts will be exchanged on the day of the sale. The seller cannot withdraw from the sale, nor is it possible for any kind of gazumping to take place. Due to Salter McGuinness’ auctions being conducted in public, there can be no secret bidding or unfair competition and once the gavel comes down, the successful bidder is legally committed to both pay the agreed price and complete the purchase. Another attraction, of buying at auction, is that properties are usually offered at a realistic guide price, particularly when in need of repair, refurbishment or when being sold by a financial organisation to recover debts.

The seller will provide a legal pack that may be inspected at any time.  We strongly advise that professional advice is obtained from a legal representative. Details of the seller’s solicitors will be available and, should a mortgage be required, it is advisable to have this in place prior to the sale. Again, we strongly advise that funding is discussed with a professional advisor prior to attending the sale.

The successful buyer you will be required to pay 10% of the purchase price on the day, together with a nominal buyer’s premium. The balance of the purchase price is required on the agreed completion day and this is normally 20 business days after the auction.


What happens next?

Download the auction catalogue and this will give information about the properties
being offered for sale. The catalogue includes descriptions of the available properties, viewing arrangements and a guide price, which is purely an indication of a realistic selling price. This should not be taken as a firm asking or selling price and should be relied upon as a guide only. Professional advice must be taken in relation to any lot in which there is any interest.

For lots where viewings are arranged, these are carried out on a block basis and are published in all advertising and in the auction catalogue. Any prospective purchaser is welcome at these viewings.  Any interest must be registered with the Auctioneer in order that prospective purchasers may be kept informed as to the progress of the sale.


How do prospective purchasers find out legal and survey information for the
properties in which they are interested?
A legal pack is requested from each of the vendor’s solicitors and this contains copies of all legal papers, which will be required by any prospective purchasers for them to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of any lot. The pack will often include office copy entries and plans, the relevant local authority search, leases (if applicable), Special Conditions of Sale, replies to precontract enquiries and any other relevant documents. A copy of these legal packs can be emailed to you by the Auctioneers.  Should any additional information be required, the seller’s solicitors can be contacted directly. All legal packs are available for inspection at each auction -any purchase at auction takes place under the assumption that all documentation and the terms of the contract have been read.


How is finance arranged?
Should a mortgage be required, the lender's approval should be obtained prior to auction. Lenders are now familiar with the auction process and are usually willing to provide a mortgage offer for buyers intending to purchase at auction. A valuation and survey will be required along with legal evidence there are no issues that will affect the value. It is essential that the lender can provide funds within the timescale for completion. On the day of the auction, the purchaser will need to pay 10% of the purchase price and must ensure there are cleared funds to pay this amount.


Can lots be bought before auction?
Vendors may consider offers submitted before the auction day. Any such offers need to be submitted in writing to the Auctioneers – this will be referred to the vendor and their instruction will be passed on to the prospective purchaser. Any offers have to be unconditional and the buyer must be in a position to exchange contracts and pay the required deposit before auction day.

What happens on auction day?

Please do check the day before the auction that any required lots are still available. Early arrival at the auction is recommended to ensure the Auctioneer’s announcements are noted regarding withdrawn lots and changes in the order of the sale.


The Auctioneer will make pre-auction announcements regarding the required conduct at auction – knowledge of these is strongly recommended. The Auctioneer will start the bidding by invitation and bids can be made by raising either a hand or the catalogue. All bidders in the room will have an equal opportunity to bid and the auction team will be available for support. Once the desired price is reached, the Auctioneer will announce that the gavel is about to fall and the property will be deemed sold. The successful buyer will be the person with the highest bid at the time the gavel falls. Contracts are then exchanged and the successful purchaser will be invited to the legal desk to pay the 10% deposit, the buyer’s fee and to sign the sales memorandum.

What should be taken into the auction room?

The items required are as follows:
1
Deposit cheque or banker’s draft for any potential purchase
2
Identification – this is legally required under the money laundering regulations. Therefore a driving licence or passport is required and a current utility bill to show proof of residence.
3
Details of solicitors acting on behalf of any potential Purchaser

What happens if a prospective purchaser is unable to attend the auction?

If prospective purchasers are unable to attend the sale, it is possible to bid in other ways:
1
By telephone – the interested party will be telephoned as the lot is being auctioned
2
By proxy in writing - a member of the auction team will represent the buyer, who has previously specified their maximum bid

In each case a registration form and cheque, to cover the deposit and buyer’s fee, are required prior to the auction. The bidder’s registration form is in the catalogue and can be obtained from the office or download from this website.