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Property auctions can be an efficient and cost-effective way to buy or sell a property. Because the contract is completed when the bidding ends, it does not involve many of the lengthy and complex procedures that usually come with transactions on the property market.
Because sales at property auctions are binding, it’s essential to have expert legal advice so you know exactly what you are committing to. Our conveyancing solicitors can help guide you through the legal practicalities if you are looking to buy or sell a property at auction.
Buying or selling a property at auction involves exactly the same legal paperwork as if you were completing a sale or purchase in another way. Legal packs for each property will be made available shortly before the auction for interested buyers to review.
These legal packs should include all the relevant details about the property, including any covenants and restrictions. We strongly recommend having the professional advice of a conveyancing solicitor when reviewing these documents – it will ensure you know exactly what you’re buying before making an offer.
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Yes, we have extensive experience helping sellers as well as buyers. Our conveyancing experts can help you prepare all the necessary legal paperwork to submit to an auctioneer. Making sure everything is clear and comprehensive will make your property a more attractive prospect for potential buyers and avoid disputes after the sale is completed.
If you are looking to buy a property at auction, it’s best to attend a few auctions first to get an understanding of the process. When you’re ready to go as a bidder, you need to carefully review the legal packs in advance. If you make an offer and that offer is accepted, you are contractually bound to purchase the property.
Legal packs are made available shortly before the auction. The timeframe to review may be quite short, so we recommend having legal support in place to flag any potential problems as soon as possible.
We also recommend that you get a survey done on the property, to assess any issues such as damp, rot, and structural problems. We can advise on any searches that need to be conducted, so you know about any issues in the surrounding area that may affect the value of the property. This could include:
It may be that we need input from experts in other departments if there is a commercial or agricultural aspect of the sale. Having expert legal advice is essential, especially given the quick turnaround of the auction process. We can identify any necessary issues straightaway and advise you accordingly.
The bidding itself will take place on one day and may only last a matter of minutes. There will be a short window, often of about a week, prior to the auction date when the legal pack will be available for review and surveys and viewing of the property can take place.
When the hammer falls, the contract is final. The buyer is required then to pay a 10% deposit, with the full amount payable on completion of the sale. Sales are often completed within 28 days.
Although property auctions typically entail fewer costs than more conventional methods of buying or selling property, there are still some fees to consider.
We will charge a standard fee to review or prepare any legal packs prior to the auction. Both buyers and sellers are also required to pay a fee to the auctioneer when the bidding closes on a property.
You may also need to consider costs for surveys and other conveyancing work if you are considering bidding on a property.
We deal with drafting and submitting legal packs to auctioneers across the country. As we have offices around the country, we may even be able to attend the auction in person and be on hand to help with any last minute issues.
All Scottish cases will be handled by the Scottish law firm with which we are associated, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP. The law relating to conveyancing and property is different in Scotland and you will receive separate advice about what that means. Please visit our Scottish Conveyancing page for more information.
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