Buying Auction Property Without Attending The Auction In Person

Property auctions in London and the other major cities can be incredibly intimidating for first-time buyers. They can also be incredibly exciting and it isn’t difficult to get carried away when the bidding starts. If you’re nervous about going to property auctions in London for example, but you’re interested in a property advertised in the auction catalogue then there are ways of bidding and buying without actually attending the event.

Putting in an offer prior to auction day

Every property in a property auction has a guide price (based on its market price and condition) and a reserve price that is set by the vendor. If, during the auction, the reserve price isn’t met then the property isn’t sold and the vendor has to pay to advertise and auction the property again.

Many auctioneers, and especially those that run property auctions in London where some types of property rarely get sold first time, will often take offers from interested buyers prior to the auction that they then pass on to the vendor for their consideration. If you offer to pay just above the guide price but below the reserve price you stand a chance of getting the property without going to auction. Vendors like to hedge their bets with regards to the reserve price so offer less than they’re asking to start with and negotiate from there.

Telephone bidding or pre-bidding

If your early offer is rejected and the property goes to auction then you can still win it without actually being there. Because property auctions in London are so popular, and hence so crowded, it is normal for buyers to bid via the telephone. To do so you will need to register yourself as a telephone bidder before auction day and you will need to show proof that you have the 10% deposit required by the auctioneer.

Alternatively you can place a pre-bid up to a maximum amount and have the auctioneer bid on your behalf. If the price exceeds your maximum then the auctioneer stops bidding as arranged.

Both of these methods allow you to make the most of property auctions in London without actually being there.

Making an offer following the auction

As mentioned above some property auctions, and especially property auctions in London, see a fair few properties go unsold. This may be because the property itself is undesirable or it may be because the right buyers weren’t at the auction. Most auctioneers leave unsold properties on their website for a few months following an auction (or until the next auction date) with the guide price clearly displayed. In these cases however they rarely display the reserve price.

Making an offer on an unsold property after the auction has finished can sometimes win you the property even if you fail to offer the reserve price. A lot of vendors would rather sell the property for less than the reserve than have the hassle and expense of auctioning it again. If you can negotiate with the vendor through the auctioneer you can often grab yourself a bargain.

Attending property auctions in London, or indeed elsewhere in the UK, but not actually bidding is a great way to get used to the atmosphere and intensity of the day. Go along to a couple of auctions before the one you want to bid in and see how things work and what is expected. This way you won’t get carried away and spend more than you can afford.