Under the Hammer – your auction questions answered

By Peter Hornor, auctioneer and chartered surveyor with Brown & Co in Norwich

Common questions about auctions 

Question: Registration?

It is not compulsory to register with us on the day of the auction but it is advisable. Very often you are provided with a bidding number and you should remember that money laundering regulations are relevant and you will need to provide photographic ID and proof of address to be in a position to bid at the sale.

Question: Do I need an agent or adviser with me?

This will depend on the experience you have and whether you have attended an auction before. It could be that a friend will do but you might have your solicitor with you, which would equally be fine. The importaRecent articles have concentrated on the types of property that suit an auction, together with the importance of presentation to successful outcome. Last week we looked at the ramifications of employing an auctioneer.

As we approach our spring auction we are dealing with continual enquiries from prospective purchasers about what they need to do on the actual day and what advice they need. Here follow some of the more frequent questions we are nt thing is to be absolutely clear about what you are prepared to pay and when the time comes you can bid up to that level but do not go beyond!

We always say that however experienced you are you should take advice from a chartered surveyor prior to purchase because that individual will give you all the information you need about the market and condition and whether or not he thinks what you are interested in is worth buying and at what level.

Question: Do I have to attend?

Nowadays most auctioneers have the ability to take telephone bids so you would not need to be at the sale necessarily, although in our view it is better to be there if you are keen to acquire a property rather than rely on someone else. If you wish to be represented you would be best advised to liaise with your solicitor who will take you through the ramifications of such an arrangement.

Question: What about finance?

Remember that the beauty of an auction sale is that the property is sold at the fall of the hammer with an exchange of contracts immediately afterwards. You as the buyer would be liable to pay 10% of the purchase price at this stage and so you need to be in a position to pay this over to the agent or solicitors acting on behalf of the vendor. You also need to be clear that the finance is arranged for the complete package, that is to say the whole of the purchase price because completion usually takes place about 28 days after the auction.

Question: What happens when the hammer falls?

This is the exchange of contracts stage and is binding and the completion date will be set out in the special conditions of sale.

Question: What if the property is withdrawn from sale – can I still buy?

If a property is withdrawn it means it has not reached the reserve price. In most cases it is then available again and the agents will be offering the property on a private treaty basis, and if you have just missed out or are keen to acquire the property you should contact the agents as quickly as possible to ascertain the situation because this is often the time when you can agree a sale between the parties. If the property does not sell the best thing to do is to see the auctioneer immediately afterwards if possible in any event.

Question: What about insurance after a sale?

The buyer is responsible for the insurance after the sale and if there are any questions regarding this his solicitor will be able to help him.

Peter’s on 01603 767606

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