Property Auction Buyers Guide
Property auctions are a quick way of buying a house or flat, closing much faster than buying through a traditional sale.
To guide you through securing your chosen lot, we have written this guide to buy property at auction. It gives you everything you need to know, from keeping up to date with new auctions to capitalising on unsold lots.
Q: What types of property does Strettons sell by auction?
A: We sell a variety of property, including residential and commercial premises, land, sites and investment opportunities. We often also sell unique properties like advertising hoardings and electricity substations; we have even sold an island!
Q: Are your properties only in London?
A: Although our catalogue frequently shows properties within London, our auctions cover the whole of the UK, and lots will be advertised nationwide across portals, press and email.
Q: Do I need an auction catalogue? A: You can order one through the team, and our website lists all the available lots here.
There may be changes ahead of the auction. To receive timely updates, we advise you to register your interest in the lot(s) you intend to bid on through our website. This registration is through a portal called Passport by EIG accessed via the lot listing on our website.
Q: Do you make guide prices available?
A: Yes, the guide prices are shown everywhere the property is advertised. Guide prices are the range the property is available within at the time of printing. This price range may change during the pre-auction marketing period, and we update our website each working day leading up to the auction. To confirm the latest guide price, check our website or feel free to call our auction office on 020 7637 4000.
Q: Can I view the properties?
A: Where access is possible, we will organise pre-arranged viewings. Details are posted online and printed in the catalogue. Alternatively, call the office on 020 7637 4000, and we will try and accommodate you. If a property is not available for viewing, we may be able to provide you with a video tour.
Q: Do I need to have a mortgage arranged before bidding?
A: If you require a mortgage or other form of loan to finance your purchase, you should make arrangements before you bid. There are various lending sources, possibly including your bank, but they need to respond to the fast timescales of an auction. We have links with multiple lenders who might be able to help you if you require funding. Get in touch and we will happily recommend some of our trusted partners.
Q: When do I instruct my solicitor?
A: Our advice is to speak with your solicitor as soon as you decide you want to bid on a property. Much of the legal information is freely available online to share with them. Click the 'View Legal Documents' link on the property page to download available legals.
For each of the lots, you can purchase a legal pack summary from our partners at aucspace.com. These summaries are useful if you have only noticed the property shortly before the auction and need an understanding of the good and bad points of the lots within a short time frame.
Q: Can I have a structural survey done of any property before the auction?
A: If you require a survey your surveyor can contact us to arrange access.
Q: When do I need my deposit?
A: If you make a successful bid on the day of the auction, you must provide the auctioneers with:
- Contractual deposit of 10% of the purchase price (minimum deposit £3,000)
- £995 Buyers Administration Fee (or £595 for transactions of less than £10,000) including VAT
This deposit is usually is in the form of a same day transfer or personal debit card. Unfortunately we can't accept business cards.
Q: Could there be any late changes?
A: There can be late amendments to lots.
If you have registered to download legal documents from our website, you will receive automatic updates of any changes by email. However, changes can be made up to the auction day - these will be available on the Strettons website and read aloud by the auctioneer at 12pm on the auction day. Please listen for announcements, sometimes referred to as "addendum notes" or "the addendum".
Q: Can lots be sold before the sale?
A: Occasionally, auction lots are sold or withdrawn before the sale. Check with us on the working day before the sale to make sure your particular lot will still be offered.
Q: What order are auction lots offered in?
A: Properties will be offered in the order they appear in the catalogue. The auctioneer will announce when late entries are made available, which may impact the sequence.
Q: Do I have to be at the sale from the start?
A: We recommend that you log in to watch the live auction at the start of the auction so that you can listen to the auctioneer's opening announcements. You will be able to access your particular lot for bidding just as the previous lot completes.
Q: How do I register to bid at auction?
A: ALL bidders MUST pre-register through Passport by EIG, linked from the lot page on our website https://passport.eigroup.co.uk/bidder-registration/strettons. You'll be asked to upload your ID (e.g. driving licence, passport, utility bills, and bank statements) and to identify the lots you wish to bid on and the method of bidding. This will be either by way of telephone, internet or proxy bidding. The auction team will then review and authorise your registration to bid on the requested lot and confirm your method of bidding. Please note we have a limited number of telephone bids available for each lot.
Q: How do I bid for an auction lot?
A: This depends on which method of bidding you have selected.
If you are bidding by telephone:
- One of our team will call you before the auction starts to introduce themselves, ensure they have the correct phone number, and have a good signal.
- Our team will then talk you through how they will communicate the current bid to you and what you should do if you want them to bid on your behalf at any point.
If you are bidding via the internet:
- You will receive a login in the run-up to the auction.
- When your lot is offered, you will have a bidding portal that will open on your browser, via which you can place your bids at your own pace.
If you are bidding by proxy:
- The auctioneer will place bids on your behalf at appropriate times, up to and including (but not exceeding) your indicated maximum bid.
- The auctioneer will give you notice of the intending fall of the hammer, usually by saying: 'Selling for the first time… Selling for the second time… Selling for the third and final time… Sold'.
You may bid at any time before you hear the word 'sold'. However, it is advised that you do not delay, as this increases the risk of you missing out.
Q: What happens if my bid is successful?
A: Contracts are exchanged as soon as the gavel has fallen. If you're the successful bidder:
1. A member of our auction team will email you to confirm your contact details, those of your company if bidding on its behalf and your solicitor's details.
2. You'll need to provide a 10% deposit plus the buyers fee. If you're unable to do this, the auctioneer has the right to re-offer the lot. If the property then sells for a lower figure, the seller may claim any losses from you.
3. When the paperwork is complete, the deposit and fees are confirmed as received.
4. You'll be asked to sign the Auction Memorandum sent via email.
5. Your solicitor will then be sent the Auction Memorandum signed by us on behalf of the seller.
Q: Are there any other costs on the day?
A: Each successful buyer pays:
- Buyers Administration Fee of £995 (or £595 for transactions of less than £10,000).
- VAT on the exchange of contracts for each lot purchased. Strettons will issue a formal VAT invoice.
Q: When do I need to ensure my property?
A: On exchange of the contracts, the purchaser becomes responsible for the property's insurance, and you need to arrange for building insurance to start immediately.
We have an insurance department in-house that can arrange same-day cover if necessary at a competitive rate. For help here, don't hesitate to get in touch with our department on 020 8509 4445 or email@example.com.
Q: What if the lot I want is unsold after the auction?
A: A few lots may not reach their reserves. If you're interested in one of these, speak to the auction team after the auction has finished. It may be possible to contact the seller and negotiate a mutually acceptable price.
Q: Any words of caution about buying at auction?
A: If you've done your research, due diligence and have your finance in place, buying at auction should be a straightforward process. If you have any remaining doubts on the day of the auction, our advice is not to bid.
Please feel free to call us beforehand with any questions – we will be very happy to help.