Buying a house by auction is becoming more common as the property market struggles to recover.
Auction properties are not sold 'subject to finance' or 'subject to survey', but are sold unconditionally. If your bid is accepted, you are legally obliged to buy.
Before the auction,
Get a list of auction properties and identify the lots which suit you. Check whether they come with vacant possession, tenants or other special conditions.
Commission a survey to ensure the property is structurally sound.
Get your solicitor to ensure there are no legal problems with the title or peculiar conditions that could affect the property, including right-of-way or access issues.
Have all your finances in order, with formal approval from your lender.
At the Auction
Set a limit for what you will spend and stick to it
Bring a chequebook, details of your solicitor, a valid form of identification such as a passport or a driving licence, and proof of address, including a utility bill or bank statement.
If your bid is accepted at an auction, you are legally bound to buy the property.
Following a successful bid, complete a purchaser's slip; give a 10pc deposit cheque, identification and your solicitor's details.
After completing the purchaser's slip, approach the contracts desk and sign the Memorandum of Sale. don't leave the auction without your signed Memorandum of Sale.
Completion of sale takes place about five weeks after the auction date.
If the property you are interested in does not sell, register your highest bid before leaving, as many lots are sold 'off the floor' after the auction.