Scott Hendry

The beauty of buying at auction

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18th September 2017

The beauty of auctions is their simplicity and transparency. Every bid is open to the room and, if you bid the highest amount above the reserve price the property is yours – plus the whole process can be over in a matter of minutes without any nailbiting waiting or fears of gazumping.

No wonder buying at auction remains a popular choice across the UK. The most recent figures published by the Essential Information Group (EIG) the country’s leading auction search engine, show residential sales for July totalled £336 million, up £10million on the same month the previous year.

Commercial lots offered at auction in the same month saw revenues increase by £26 million, up almost 16 per cent to £190 million. Little wonder 2,226 lots went under the hammer in just one month, as more and more buyers see them as the ‘go-to’ place to purchase property and land.

Sellers go to auction for a host of different reasons: for example, if they know there will be a lot of interest, when they have a unique property that is difficult to value, or perhaps with a fixer-upper needing restoration, and a quick flick through this month’s auction catalogue web pages reveals some amazing places.

One lot, for example, is the former Holyhead magistrates court in Anglesey, Wales; this three-storey 9,493 sq ft building, dating back to the 1800s has a guide price of £60,000, while a Wesleyan Methodist church (and former Sunday school) in Swadlincote, Derbyshire,  is being sold as a commercial property for a guide price of £160,000. The brick-built former chapel dates back to 1863 and has even retained a pulpit, wooden pews and its own pipe organ!

Buyers snapping up something similar to these unusual lots will need to pay 10 per cent up front and the rest, typically, within 28 days. At Together, we attend about 300 actions up and down the country every year, and can help buyers secure fast finance for their auction purchase, providing on-the-spot decisions or even agreeing funding in advance to give bidders  peace of mind that they have the finance needed in place before the gavel goes down and can bid in confidence up to an agreed amount.

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