Auctions have moved with the times and are now not only slick and modern, but accessible to every type of property, every type of buyer and every type of seller.
Because it’s such a fast and efficient way to get moving, a growing number of private homeowners are choosing to sell their property this way.
Busting the myths
There are many myths about auctions and perhaps the most common is that you have to sell at a knockdown price. The truth is that nobody can make you sell your property for less than you are happy with. While your auction valuation may be a little lower than you expect, this is to encourage competitive bidding, which can drive the final selling price up and beyond your expectations. You are protected by the reserve price you agree with the auctioneer – and your property will not sell below this. The price advertised is called a guide price and must be within 10% (higher or lower) of the reserve, to give bidders a realistic idea of how much you will accept.
There are many great examples of competitive bidding driving up the price of properties in auctions. Among them is Old Lower Hall in Bowling Bank near Wrexham. Dating back to the 18th century and fully renovated in the 1980s, the nine-bedroom detached house is set in two acres of land with stables, next to the River Dee. It was offered for sale by auction with a guide price of £455,000+ and, after 16 bids from five separate bidders, sold for £500,000.
And down in Devon, a three-storey property drew competitive bidding to drive the final price up to £243,000 from its guide of £175,000+. Formerly known as Bridge Stores and dating back to the 1700s, 1 The Teeds has three bedrooms and is located in the sought-after village of Woodbury.
Another myth is that you need cash to buy in an auction. In fact, many people buy auction properties with a mortgage or use a bridging finance provider, which opens them up to a much wider pool of potential buyers.
Any type of property can be sold by auction. It’s a myth that they are only for rundown properties. There’s nothing run-down about 46 Montana Gardens in Sydenham, a well presented South East London property with an ultra-modern kitchen, three bedrooms, a garage, off-street parking and a garden. It was sold by auction for £430,000.
And there’s nothing outdated about 5 Harlech Street in Liverpool either. The newly built property was finished to a high standard and was ready to move into when it was sold by auction in July for £138,000 from a guide price of £90,000+.
Auctions are ideal if you are keen to get moving. There are many reasons for wanting a speedy sale, not just financial ones. For instance, you may have found your dream home and don’t want to risk losing it. With auctions you can set your own timetable – and reach completion within just a few weeks. Depending on the type of auction you choose, completion can take place just 28 days after.
You’ll avoid hassle too. You may have heard stories from friends – or had your own experiences – which have made you anxious about buyers pulling out or the property chain breaking. One of the big advantages of auctions is the certainty; buyers are fully committed and because they face a financial penalty if they pull out.
Auctions are also ideal if you have a character property, such as The White House in Whalebone Lane North, Chadwell Heath. The Grade II Listed detached house in Essex was sold by auction for £610,000.
They are also great for unique properties, like 21 Loggans Road in the Cornish town of Hayle. This two-bedroom detached chalet style bungalow just minutes from the beach was sold by auction for £191,000 from a guide price of £150,000+.
Types of auction
There’s a great deal of flexibility and choice available when you sell your home by auction. Your property can be part of a multi-lot event conducted by an auctioneer and live-streamed to a nationwide audience of committed buyers. Bidding takes place online, on the phone or by proxy where the auctioneer bids for you up to your agreed amount, making the auction accessible to everyone, and the auctioneer ensures nobody is left behind, which allows each property to reach its full potential.
Your property will benefit from a period of intense marketing to generate interest from potential buyers. You may find you receive offers ahead of the auction, which you can accept if you wish, to speed things along. This is what the seller of 13 Andrew Street in Liverpool chose to do. After offering the property for sale with a guide price of £45,000+, they accepted an offer of £76,000 ahead of the auction.
If time is short, you may prefer a single-lot auction held on the internet as these can be started at any time and are run with 24/7 online bidding. They usually run for three weeks but you can choose a shorter time frame if you wish. And you still have the option to end the auction early if you receive an offer you’re happy with – as the owner of 50 Grange Garth in Fulford near York did, accepting an offer of £370,000 for the large three-bedroom family home before the end of the auction.
The beauty of auctions is that everyone’s a winner, achieving a great price for your property, quickly and with no hassle, while the buyer benefits from the speed, certainty and full transparency.