London property auctions – Buying a property at auction the solution to rising house prices?

by Jonathan Adams

One of the most expensive residential London property auctions ever at an auction is set to go under the hammer next month. It includes a residential block of flats in London and is estimated to be more than £10million.

An impressive price tag, but what is more interesting is that the vendors have chosen the unconventional way of auction instead of the traditional way of selling through an estate agent.

Buying and selling at London property auctions is gaining in popularity with purchasers rushing to auction rooms, which were earlier the -exclusive domains of developers and property professionals.

There are several advantages to buying at auction rather than in a private deal because there is finality about the transaction for the buyer as well as the seller. No one can come along with a higher offer once the hammer falls.

Moreover, the entire process of buying or selling at auction is totally open. This particularly proves to be helpful if siblings are selling their parental home and then sharing the proceeds.

Visiting the property as many times as possible is important, preferably during different times of the day. Worth looking for are signs of impending disaster like dry rot, subsidence and any potential rights of way or neighbour disputes. Getting a local builder to look round as well; is a good idea, pointing out any work or renovation that might need to be done.

Remember that what you see and hear at the auction is final. The moment hammer falls, you are legally bound and committed to buy the property, so go fully prepared, along with the required 10 per cent deposit that must be deposited at that time only.

For the balance, there is usually a time period of 28 working days from the date of the sale, unless you make a pre-sale arrangement with the vendor to settle later than that. You’ll need to have the means to settle and that has to be in a tangible form.

Most auction houses will accept phone bidding, postal bidding (which must include the requisite 10 per cent deposit cheque) and online bidding from anywhere in the world. All auction houses will state a guide price which is generally the reserve price for the property.

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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