28 June 2017
28 June 2017,

House auctions can be fairly daunting, especially if you’re not used to the process. If it’s a popular auction house, proceedings are often fast-paced, frenetic and occasionally confusing – which can deter inexperienced buyers.

If you’re keen to buy a house at auction, but not sure what to expect on the day, here’s some information to help you.

House Auctions – What to do Before the Day of Auction

Before attending a property auction, you should have done the following:

  • Examined the property details – through the auction house’s catalogue, and all associated legal documents.
  • Viewed the property. Some UK property investors buy blind, but it’s not something we’d recommend. Viewing a house in person gives you a far better idea about the level of work required to bring it to standard, and reduces the risk of any nasty surprises.
  • Got quotes. If the house needs work, it’s a good idea to get some builders etc. to visit the property with you and provide an estimate of costs involved.
  • Got a survey done. Again, some investors choose not to do this, but it’s a risky strategy.
  • Prepared available funds. You’ll need 10% of the

On the Day

Here’s some useful things to know about the day of the auction.

  • Early offers. If you can’t make it to the auction house, it’s likely that you’ll be able to place an advance offer, which will be forwarded on your behalf to the seller. You’ll then be notified if your offer is accepted, and the purchase will proceed as normal. You can also place an advance bid, which a representative of the auction house will place for you, up to an agreed maximum amount.


  • Bring identification. If your bid is successful, you’ll need to bring identification (two different types), plus the details of your solicitor. You’ll also need 10% of the final purchase price.


  • Arrange insurance. The property is legally yours the moment the gavel lands. That means, if anything goes wrong, (e.g. a fire breaks out an hour after the auction is finished) it’s your responsibility. Insurance isn’t always necessary for leasehold properties – your solicitor will be able to guide you on this.

What to Expect at a Property Auction

The atmosphere of the house auction depends largely on the size and popularity of the auction house. If you’re attending a large sale, expect the process to be quick and lively! Here are a few things to be aware of.

  • The auctioneer has the seller in mind. It’s the auctioneer’s job to secure the best deal for the seller, so they’ll be employing a range of tricks to encourage you to bid higher. Establish a maximum price and stick to your guns. There’s no point buying a house at auction if it costs you more than it’s worth.


  • Other sellers may be bidding by phone (or even online). Be aware, some buyers might not be in the room, which can make the proceedings seem even more confusing.


  • Things can move fast. If you’re not feeling confident about bidding, take a friend with you (preferably someone who is experienced with buying a house at auction). Even better, visit the auction house before you plan to bid, as this will give you a flavour of what to expect.

The Buy2Let Shop

A good property investment agent will help you with buying a house at auction – locating the best properties for you, and offering support and guidance throughout the purchasing process. If you’d like more information about The Buy2Let Shop’s services, simply visit The Buy2Let Shop website today.

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