Going, Going, Gone… Our advice on buying property at auction


Thinking of buying a property at auction? There may be more to think about than you expect. These are a few top tips you may want to follow before making that all important bid:

  • Are all the relevant searches part of the auction pack (if applicable)? You may incur extra cost if you want more searches after a successful bid. These may contain information which had you known might have influenced whether or how much you bid.
  • Have they included all the title documents? Another extra cost if you need to order any documents referred to in the register.
  • Is the property subject to any leases or tenancy agreements? Are you familiar with the obligations on the Landlord?
  • Do you want to do a survey of the property, if possible?
  • Will you be able to raise any further enquiries after a successful bid? The contract will almost certainly provide that you cannot do this.
  • Do you need to obtain a mortgage offer or funds in place?
  • If the sale is to be a TOGC (transfer of a going concern) you may need to register for VAT.
  • Are there any additional fees that you will need to pay? Auction contracts quite often contain a buyer’s premium on top of the price.

It is important to get a solicitor to look at the documents provided as they could contain information affecting what you can and cannot do to the property even after you own it. There could be issues with the property (ask yourself why it is at auction?) that if you had known would have changed your mind about purchasing. This could become particularly pertinent if you are hoping to develop the land or property in the future or change its use.

It is important to be aware of the completion date as you are bound to purchase once the hammer falls and there is likely to be a limited gap to completion from the date of the auction.

It’s sensible to be as well advised as you can be before bidding as it is too late after the auction date. It can be a case of act in haste and repent at leisure.

For more information, please contact Rachel Henry on 01274 037075 or email rachel.henry@awbclaw.co.uk

And here’s some links to what your appetite!

Online Auctions | Auction House

Auction Properties for Sale | OnTheMarket

More from our property team:

What’s the difference between leasehold and freehold? – AWB Charlesworth Solicitors (awbclaw.co.uk)

13 July 2023