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5 tips for buying property at auction

PUBLISHED: 11:30 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:46 04 March 2015

Auctioneer Chris Coleman-Smith in action at Savills London auction 17th Feb, 2015

Auctioneer Chris Coleman-Smith in action at Savills London auction 17th Feb, 2015

Archant

Buying at auction could be a great way of picking up a bargain but the main benefit is to walk out of the room a property owner on the day. Here’s how to get the best from a property auction.

Prospective buyers at the Savills London auctionProspective buyers at the Savills London auction

Tips for buying at auction

:: Do your research: study the catalogue, visit the property to see what condition they’re in. It could even be worth taking a trusted builder along to advise on structural problems and give an idea of possible renovation costs

:: Attend a couple of auctions before you want to bid so you don’t lose your nerve on the day. Also familiarise yourself with the lingo - do you know the difference between the guide price and reserve price?

:: Make sure your finances are in place. You’ll need to stump up 10 per cent on the day and complete within 28 days at most

:: If it’s an investment, do your sums to check what the yield will be

:: Don’t forget your cheque book, solicitor’s details and two forms of id

Lot 83 and 84, Sumartra Road, West Hampstead, NW6, Savills LondonLot 83 and 84, Sumartra Road, West Hampstead, NW6, Savills London

Why buy at auction?

Timing: not only is it a much faster process than buying through an agent, but also you can budget on your time for holidays, etc.

Transparency: The minute you win a bid the property’s yours

Bargains: There’s a chance that you could win a bid for less than you’d budgeted for, leaving you a large chunk of cash for renovations

Why sell at auction?

Andrew Binstock of Auction House London summarises the advantages for vendors as: “Speed of sale; certainty of sale; and high price.”

Prospective buyers at the Savills London auctionProspective buyers at the Savills London auction

What are people buying?

Gianluca Barbieri

Gianluca BarbieriGianluca Barbieri

I come from Italy. Investment is the big idea but if I find a house to split and maybe rent a room to a housemate, it depends on the property I find.

I’m looking in Croydon. I worked there for two months so I know the area. I’m looking for a studio or a one-bed for £150,000.

I think it’s cheaper at an auction. I’m an architect so I want to buy something to refurbish and sell.

James Bovis

James BovisJames Bovis

I’m looking to buy. I’ve never bought at an auction before but I’ve been a few times. I buy to fix up and then sell on at a profit.

I was looking locally at first in East London, but now I’m looking anywhere: Croydon, Battersea, Hackney.

Properties are going so far over the guide price at the moment. The two I’ve had my eye on went for ridiculous money. I think there are more people here buying to live in than investors, so they’re not too worried about profiting. When you get too many of them at an auction you’re never going to get anywhere.

Zoe Norris

Zoe NorrisZoe Norris

I’m looking for investment properties.

It’s my first time buying at auction. I’m looking for anything really, a house ideally but I’d look at a flat.

I’m interested in regeneration areas like Catford and Tottenham.

Anup Singh

Anup SinghAnup Singh

I want to buy for an investment. I have other three other investment properties, all in South London.

I’m a landlord and property developer.

I only buy at auctions because it’s a good deal. Things are going way over the guide price today. It’s a busy auction, I think it’s probably because of the holidays.


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