Avoiding the lengthy and uncertain process of buying a house the traditional way, buying a house at auction can be a fun and different experience, offering unusual properties as a real bargain. However, the hammer going down does symbolise a sale, and once it has, you are locked into buying, so we have put a list together to collate some tips about buying at auction.
Where can I find an auction?
Depending on where you are looking, you may turn to property auctioneers such as Allsop, who hold a list of houses for auction across the country.
Who buys at auction?
Gone are the days when auctions were reserved for experts in the property field, and these days you may see any different types of people at an auction. Generally speaking, people at auction may have chosen to opt out of the traditional buying chain. This means anyone who is interested in a quick purchase may choose to buy through auction. There are a wider selection of fixer upper properties at auction than you will find in a traditional estate agent so if you want to use your DIY skills to add value to a cheap property then they are a better place to find a property.
What can you do pre auction?
If there is a specific house you are interested in, then you may outlay money prior to auction for surveying. Many properties that result in being auctioned are in disrepair, and you’ll need to consider what you could realistically be expected to pay on it once you have made a purchase. There will be a guide price provided, and you may want to research properties in the area to ensure that you have a solid idea of how much you are prepared to pay. You can check what prices properties sold for on the land registry website. Setting yourself a limit will make the process easier and prevent you from getting carried away.
What are the benefits of auction?
As well as being a quicker method of sale, auctions are conducted in a way that encourages transparency. You can see the other bids being made, which means that you can rest assured that you are getting a fair price. Many unusual properties come up for auction, which means if you are someone who appreciates the esoteric, you may find something particularly special.
Are there any downsides?
Rather as you might in any traditional house sale, an auction runs the risk of resulting in a bidding war. If there is someone else who is as interested as you in the property, you could end up trying to outdo each other. Having an ideal price in mind here is key, so as to avoid falling into the trap of paying too much because of emotionally attaching to the property.