Top tips on buying property at auction

by Sarah Ashcroft

There are certain advantages to buying a home at auction and these can make a big difference when it comes to moving house, but you must be fully aware of the process before you get involved.

Perhaps the most attractive feature of buying at auction is that the procedure takes just a few minutes, compared to the several months it typically takes to complete a purchase through the more traditional route.

Similarly, you may find you face less competition at an auction house so are able to grab yourself a bargain, saving thousands of pounds in the process.

But that isn't to say you should rush in and start making bids for homes at auction, as you might just find you make a very costly mistake. 

The BBC's Homes Under the Hammer team have put together some top tips for people who are thinking of buying in this way.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 1: Don't bid blind

Read through all of the details related to the properties that are set to be sold at auction and arrange full viewings of all those you are interested in. 

You might even want to go back for second and third show-rounds before you are ready to bid.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 2: Try before you buy

Be aware of exactly what happens at a property auction, so visit at least one before the date of the auction in which your targeted home is up for grabs. 

This will help you to come to terms with exactly how you should act and what will happen on the day itself.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 3: Ask the neighbours

Ask local estate agents and neighbours for their opinions, as they will be in a position to point out things you might not even have considered. 

In particular, questioning neighbours can be a shrewd move as they will inform you of any unseen problems within the local area.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 4: Do your paperwork

Make sure you carry out all the usual property and land searches that you would do if you were buying in the conventional manner. 

After all, just because a property is listed at an auction, it doesn't mean that it has been subject to legal measures.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 5: Read the small print

Before the day of the auction, read all of the conditions printed in the catalogue and seek advice from a legal professional if you are unsure about anything. 

A solicitor should be your first port of call, followed by a chartered surveyor.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 6: Have your deposit ready

Should you be successful in an auction and secure a property, you will likely need to have a ten per cent deposit ready to pay on the day. 

It's therefore essential that you have access to a large sum of cash, if required.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 7: Get your mortgage in place in advance

If you require mortgage assistance for paying for the rest of your home, make sure you have this in place before the hammer falls on your winning bid.

Buying at Auction Tip No. 8: Be serious

Finally, don't take auctions lightly, as they carry all of the same legally binding commitments as you would find in any other property transaction.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801696893-ADNFCR

For more top tips on the property auction process and how to get yourself a discounted property, read our expert guide Buying Bargains at Property Auctions.

Published on: February 24, 2014

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