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Advice Guidance for Sellers

  • Prepare well in advance
  • The choice of auctioneer may be important. Your aim is to present the property to as many potential bidders as possible to have every chance of maximising the price to be achieved. Factors such as the size, type and location of the property will all be important
  • Most auctioneers require sellers to confirm that the Lot is to be offered at least 4 weeks in advance of the auction date to enable details to be advertised and catalogues to be printed. This typically involves basic details of the property to be confirmed by your solicitor and payment of a fee to cover the catalogue entry
  • You should discuss the reserve price to be set for the property with the auctioneer. You should ensure that your auctioneer is experienced in the valuation of the type of your property and that your are content to rely on the advice given
  • You should instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf in the sale early, so that necessary legal information can be given to the auctioneer. You should provide the solicitor with the property deeds and other relevant documentation, or if the property is subject to a mortgage, provide your solicitor with your mortgage details so that the deeds can be obtained. Please bear in mind that it may take up to 2 weeks for the deeds to be received from some lenders
  • If you have any particular requirements in respect of the sale then you should advise your solicitor as soon as possible so that these can be drafted into the Special Conditions. Examples of this may be to vary the period between exchange of contracts (the auction date) and completion (28 days is standard) or to require the buyer to make a contribution to your costs. Care should be taken, however, as any unusual or onerous stipulations may have an effect on the price you are able to achieve at auction
  • For most properties it is usual for the seller to provide local authority and drainage searches as part of the Legal Pack. The Special Conditions should be drafted to require the successful bidder to refund these costs on completion of the sale
  • It may assist the sale to provide replies to standard pre-contract enquiries as part of the Legal Pack. In addition prospective bidders and/or their solicitors may request further information. It is for you to decide whether you wish to accommodate these requests, however not to do so may influence whether or not prospective buyers bid for the property at auction
  • You should ensure that both the auctioneer and your solicitor have a contact telephone number at which you can be reached on the day of the auction. This may be important to discuss a potential sale to an under bidder if the property fails to reach any reserve price
  • If you decide to do a private deal outside of the auction you should ensure that the buyer is contractually bound before withdrawing the property from the auction. There may still be a liability to pay the auctioneer’s fees.

The fall of the gavel constitutes exchange of contracts. The auctioneer may sell the property at any price which meets or exceeds the reserve and you will be bound to complete the sale.

The above is intended as general guidance as to some of the issues and practicalities of selling property through auction. It is not comprehensive and specific advice should be sought in respect of individual properties. For further advice or information please contact Gemma Wright