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How To Find Your Perfect Property At Auction


Buying at auction is the quickest way to find your dream house. With most purchases completed within just one month, you can collect the keys and start planning colour schemes weeks before you would if buying through an estate agent. Contracts are legally exchanged once the hammer falls, though, so it’s crucial to go prepared to avoid expensive mistakes and find the right property for you:

Decide what you want and go see it – Make a list of the non-negotiables, whether you refuse to compromise on a parking place or you insist on three bedrooms. Scrutinise the auction catalogue until you find something that fits the bill, then arrange to view it. Floor plans are great, but nothing beats seeing a property in person.

Do your research – To avoid any nasty surprises later on, consider a survey so you know exactly what to expect if you do end up buying. Get to know the local area and check the prices of similar properties nearby so you can work out the price you are willing to pay.

Study the legal pack – Read this carefully, especially if there are any special conditions or extra costs included. It's a good idea to ask your solicitor to look this over too. At Philip Arnold Auctions, we'll also make sure you are aware of anything unusual in the pack. "If we find anything we’re not comfortable with, we will make sure people realise what they’re dealing with before they bid," auctioneer Philip Arnold explains.

Sort your finances – Make sure you are ready to buy on the day. If you make a successful bid, you will need to pay 10% of the purchase price and some costs immediately. Arrange a mortgage in principle if needed so you’re ready to move forward.

Get ready for the big day – If you've never attended an auction, try go to a couple to observe so you know what to expect. Make sure you bring all the necessary documents including two forms of ID, your solicitor's details and a way to pay the deposit. Be prepared to speak to your insurers after exchange too as you will need to insure the property immediately.

Know when to stop – Arrive early and sit somewhere you can easily be seen, then make it clear when you want to bid. Most importantly, always have a maximum price in mind and don’t go beyond it. "Be strict with yourself and stick to the limit you've set," auctioneer Philip Arnold advises. "If it goes over that, it's not for you."