Find Your Ideal Property at Auction
Property auctions can be a great way of purchasing a home and often below the current market value, particularly if you're looking for a renovation project. However, it is vital that you know what you're doing, as otherwise you could end up over-paying, so here is a quick guide to getting ready for an auction.
Research Local Auctions
The first step is to find out all the local auction houses in your area and get a copy of the latest catalogues to see what properties are coming up. These are usually available around a month before a sale, which will give you plenty of time to arrange viewings. If you've never been to an auction before, it can be a good idea to sit in on one first before you want to actually bid.
Check Out the Properties for Sale
Look through the properties and arrange viewings for those you're interested in prior to the auction. You can book in as many as you want, and it's vital that you have an understanding of the scale of any work that needs doing to avoid over-bidding. For example, are the electrics in good working order, does the boiler need replacing, or will you want to install a balcony with a steel handrail to make the most of any view? It's useful to take a builder, architect or surveyor with you and ask an agent how much a renovated property is likely to be worth.
Have Your Finances Organised
When you buy at auction, you'll need to pay 10% on the day and the remaining 90% within 28 days, so you need to have your finances organised to ensure you're not going over budget. If you intend to finance the purchase through a mortgage, you'll require an Agreement in Principal from your lender before the auction to prove you have the funds.
Check the Small Print
You'll get all the property information from the auction house, including searches, list of fixtures and fittings and title deeds, so read through these carefully. A solicitor will be able to check them for you and ensure everything is legal.
Carry Out a Survey
Property surveys aren't compulsory, but they give a good idea of the condition, which is especially important at auction when many properties require improvements. Conducting this beforehand will ensure you're aware of exactly what needs doing, and it will speed up the sale process if you're successful.