Bidding at commercial property auctions – A checklist

by Jonathan Adams

It is important to be aware of key issues on the auction day. Follow a few simple steps prior to the start of the auction to ensure that everything runs smoothly and you are able to bid for the lot of your choice at the commercial property auctions without hassles.

Taking your cheque book or other required mode of payment along is most important because you will be required to deposit 10 per cent of the cost at commercial property auctions if your bid is successful.

Be sure to carry two identification documents. One of them must be a photo ID and the other should be a utility bill or bank statement mentioning your current address. Passport or driving licence would do well for the photo ID.

Details of your solicitor will also be required.

Consult the Order of Sale on arrival to make sure that the property or properties you are interested in have not been withdrawn from the auction. This can also be done by telephone prior to setting out, which could save you finances, time and effort.

Finally, checking the Addendum is important in case of any changes to the Conditions of Sale.

Arriving early at the auction is a good idea in order to secure a good and central position in the room where the auctioneer can see you easily and clearly. You may also opt for a strategic position to evaluate the whole process and watch other bidders in the room.

When the auction begins, the auctioneer will announce each lot and invite bids. You can indicate a bid by raising your hand, a copy of the catalogue or a paddle with a number on it issued to you by the auctioneers staff. Be very sure not to bid if you have any doubts because you are legally bound to complete the sale once the hammer falls.

In case your bid is successful, you will be required to provide the details and documentation listed above. You will be asked to sign the memorandum of sale and pay the above-mentioned 10 per cent sum.

Remote Bidding

You can also bid remotely by prior arrangement if you are unable to attend on auction day. This can be done by telephone or by proxy. In the case of telephone bidding, the auction house will call you prior to the opening of bidding on the lot of your choice.

If you choose to bid by proxy, you will be asked to submit a maximum bid in writing and the auctioneer will bid on your behalf. Some auctioneers also offer online bidding facility.

In all cases, you will have to submit a completed registration form, proof of identification and a blank cheque or deposit transfer to cover the deposit in advance. You can also visit the auctioneer’s website and download a remote bidding registration form or find a copy in the printed catalogue.

This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.

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