Buying or Selling a Property at Auction

Buying or Selling a Property at Auction

Property Auctions give buyers and sellers a different way to buy or sell a property.  There are two methods available and here we discuss both, with our comments on the legal side and the legal implications of each method.

The Modern Method/Online Auction

This is a popular way of selling a property and is often termed as the ‘Modern Method of Auction’.

This is conditional when an offer or winning bid has been accepted.  A buyer pays a fee of usually 3.5% or £5000 to secure the property and then the buyer has 28 days to exchange contracts and often a further 28 days to legally complete.

Traditional Method

This is also a popular method of selling a property and is often termed as a ‘Traditional Auction’.

This is unconditional so when the gavel goes down, contracts are exchanged at the auction and in the contract, there is a legally binding completion date, usually 28 days later.

However, we have seen contracts exchanged unconditionally at auction with a completion date only 14 days later, this is often when the seller is a mortgagee in possession.

Selling a Property at Auction

We prepare the auction pack for both methods of auction.

Our work on your behalf work does not alter whichever method you choose.

We ask you to fill in a Fittings and Contents Form and a Property Information Form, we also ask you for any guarantees/warranties and any other documents that you have regarding the property.

For registered land we download your title deeds from Land Registry and prepare the contract for sale.

In an auction pack the seller provides the searches so we also ask you for search fees so that we can obtain searches in advance on your behalf.

Once we have prepared the auction pack we usually upload the pack electronically through your providers portal together with providing all parties (buyer’s solicitor, agent and client) copies by email.

Our pre-auction service does not stop there.

We are available by telephone and email to answer any questions that any prospective purchaser may have and any questions that may arise from a buyer’s solicitor reviewing the auction pack.

Once the property has sold at auction we see the conveyancing through to completion.

Buying a Property at Auction

If you see a property at auction that you would like to purchase, we would happily review the auction pack documents on your behalf and have a detailed discussion by telephone appointment or face to face meeting.

We do not charge for this service on the basis that we would charge you a normal fee for your conveyancing if you are successful with your bid at auction.

Please feel free to contact us prior to choosing to sell or buy at auction.

We are familiar with both methods and we have acted for many clients with different scenarios and needs.

We have acted for clients selling and buying residential and commercial properties at auction and we have also acted for clients buying at selling land at auction.

Conveyancing and Estate Agents

Traditional Estate Agent or Online Estate Agent?

Discussing the effect on Clients and Conveyancers

Traditional Estate Agent

Most high street Estate Agents will typically charge an average of £1500.00 or a percentage of the sale price, on a no sale no fee basis, with no deferred payment, so they get paid when the property sells.  They usually often offer, a dedicated sales team, extensive sales progression work and local market knowledge.

Online Estate Agent

Most online Estate Agents will typically charge an average of £750.00, usually payable up front with a deferred payment charge/loan as an option. Big names in the online market are PurpleBricks, eMoov, Tepilo, HouseSimple, YOPA, Settled and Hatched.

Conveyancing Explained

When a new client instructs us to act on their behalf in the conveyancing, the property has already been sold, usually by the Estate Agent.  When a property has sold and Solicitors/Lawyers have been instructed, we receive a Memorandum of Sale from the Estate Agent.

Whether it be a traditional or online Estate Agent, we receive a detailed Memorandum of Sale detailing the main terms of the transaction which usually includes:

  • The full address and postcode of the property
  • The sale price
  • The names and addresses of the seller and purchaser
  • The name, address and contact details of the lawyer they have instructed
  • Any special remarks or conditions

We use that information to open your new file and start the conveyancing process.

The Main Differences

The main difference that we find is that a traditional Estate Agent will contact us several times throughout the transaction, often by telephone for updates on how the matter is progressing.

They will also contact the other party’s Solicitor/Lawyer for updates on their part of the transaction.  Updates will also be asked for by email and then the information passed on to the seller and buyer.  It is a ‘hands on’ approach and ensures that sales progression is maintained and all parties are fully informed and up to date.

An online Estate Agent will rarely contact us once a property has reached the conveyancing stage and sold subject to contract, their contact with us, the seller and the buyer will be minimal.

Once contracts have been exchanged and a completion date set as legally binding, we will always inform the Estate Agent whether they are traditional or online.

  • With a traditional Estate Agent, a fee invoice will usually be generated to be paid on the day of completion.
  • With an online Estate Agent, the fee will have usually been paid upfront and therefore their involvement at this stage is usually not needed.

We also find the day of completion very different with the Estate Agent models compared here.

  • With a traditional Estate Agent, the seller’s keys are deposited with the Estate Agent at their office ready for collection by the purchaser when legal completion takes place.
  • With an online Estate Agent, the onus is on the seller and buyer to meet and hand over their keys direct, once we have confirmed that funds have been received.

With a property sale, you are welcome to leave the keys to your property with us for collection if this assists you on the day of completion.

Conveyancing Service

Whichever model you choose to sell your property we can act on your behalf in the conveyancing of your property.  We will assist you with any negotiations that you require and be in regular contact with your buyer or seller’s Solicitor, we will ensure that funds are received into our client bank account on your behalf before you hand keys over to your buyer.

Residential Conveyancing
New Build Conveyancing
Commercial Conveyancing