Tips on selling at auction

Chartered Surveyor Peter Hornor of Brown & Co in Norwich continues his column on property auctions and focuses this week on vendors and what they need to consider if they are to have a chance of success at auction, or indeed what they need to know prior to making a decision about whether to go down this route.

Why auction?

Perhaps this is a good question.  In the past, auctions have had something of a bad reputation with buyers thinking they could pick up a bargain.  This is no longer the case and probably the best reason for going down the auction route is that it is a transparent process and enables sellers to achieve a result over a given period without any complications, subject of course to realistic assessment. 


Always very relevant and will influence the decision of the vendor.  If you are not in any particular rush to sell a property and are keen to test the market with a view to seeing what can be achieved perhaps with a higher guide price than you should have then the auction route is not for you.  However, if a buyer needs to proceed quickly and is prepared to allow the market to dictate what can be achieved then the beauty of an auction sale is that it will achieve the result and give the vendor control to a certain extent.  We have said in the past that the auction process is becoming more popular and over the last few weeks we have been inundated with requests from people to inspect property, which proves the point. 

Type of property

Nothing can be excluded really.  Houses in need of renovation like cottages or farmhouses, city opportunities whether they are terraced houses or period properties in need of renovation and investment properties should all be considered.  The very fact that it is sometimes difficult to assess the value of property is why we find an auction sale attractive with the absence of any long and protracted marketing period. 


Sellers should always appoint their solicitor early on to liaise with the auctioneer.  There are usually questions about the title and legal matters need to be dealt with and the solicitor prepares what are called special conditions of sale for inclusion with the auction pack.

 Guide price and reserve

Vendors and the auctioneers should liaise very early on about where the guide price should be set.  It needs to be realistic and sensible, perhaps with a narrow range, but always remembering that when the reserve is set just prior to the auction there is protection for the vendor.  Any figure below the reserve will not be accepted and the property will not be sold. 

There are so many other factors to consider, like what needs to be done on the auction day and what happens if the property is unsold, and added to this it is important right at the outset to choose a good professional agent to look after your property requirements. 

For further information please contact Peter Hornor on 01603 629871

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