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Guide to Buying Online

Guide to buy online

Buying a property via our online auction is an easy process. Just follow our easy 10 step guide…

1. Look to our website

All our properties are available to view online here and the properties to be sold by online auction are shown in the online section of our website in bright green. You will find photographs of the property, floorplans and open house viewing times together with a legal pack.

2. Register to bid

If you want to look at the detailed legal packs on one of the properties, you will need to register to bid and agree our online terms and conditions. A legal pack is the set of documentation prepared by the seller’s solicitor. These are available to download via the property details page on the website. The elements of a legal pack include a copy of the Register of Title, the Land Registry and Local Searches, Property Information Form, Leases, Tenancy agreements and Planning Permission Documentation.

Registration is an easy process and can be completed online. You will need to provide a few personal details and upload your passport and a recent utility bill showing your current address.

3. Conditional or unconditional sale

You will need to check if the sale is by conditional auction or by unconditional auction. The type of sale and the fees payable by the buyer are clearly stated on our website.

Unconditional auctions work on the same basis as traditional auctions, with exchange on the property at the end of a successful online auction and completion 28 days later. If you are the successful buyer, you will need to pay across a 10% deposit immediately with completion 28 days later so you must have these funds available.

With a conditional auction, if you are the successful buyer you will need to pay a reservation deposit after the auction which gives you the right to buy the property. After a conditional auction you then have 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 28 days to complete. This gives you time to arrange a survey, mortgage or other finance before exchange.

4. Open day viewing

Open day viewings are listed by property on our website. It is worth trying to visit the property on its first open day and take someone with you whose opinion you value, as this will help you make a better judgement on the property. This will also allow you to visit the property again during a later viewing, perhaps taking a surveyor, builder or architect with you as some properties sold at auction will require significant work.

Auction House London team members will be available at the Open Day to talk to you and answer any questions you have about the property.

5. Guide price and reserve price

Every property has a guide price; this is the recommended level at which the bidding should open. It must not be relied upon by potential bidders as a valuation as in most cases the reserve price will be above this level. The reserve price is the minimum price that the seller will accept for the property, we are not allowed to sell the property below this price. The reserve price is not disclosed to buyers as it is a private agreement between the seller and the auctioneer. The reserve price will not be more than 10% different to the guide price. Both the reserve price and the guide price can change prior to the online auction.

6. Determine your bid

Be organised – ensure you determine your budget before the online auction and include all costs that you will incur after a successful bid, such as buyers’ fees, professional fees and stamp duty. Set a maximum bid level before the online auction and make sure you stick to it, to ensure you do not get carried away and exceed your means.

Before an unconditional auction you should make sure that you have all your finance in place as you will need to pay a 10% deposit (subject to a minimum on low priced properties) immediately if you are the successful buyer. You will need to to pay the remainder of the purchase price and the fees within 28 days of the auction.

With a conditional auction, you will only have to pay across a reservation deposit so you will still have time before exchange to obtain a mortgage, finance or obtain a survey.

7. Legal Process

You should instruct solicitors to inspect the legal pack and other information, such as searches and planning permission. Their advice and expertise could prove invaluable to you before committing to buy.

8. Ways to bid

As a potential buyer you should register your interest in the property and get authorisation to bid prior to the auction. There are two ways to bid in Online Auctions, live online bidding and by online proxy. With live online bidding, once you have registered to bid, you can watch the auction countdown online, and place bids live to ensure you are the winning bidder. If you are unable to bid live, you can pre-submit your highest offer by online proxy. The proxy bidding is regulated automatically by the auction platform and you will be notified if your proxy bid has met the reserve price.

9. Online auction bidding process

We have developed our online auctions to be intuitive and easy to follow. You also have the reassurance that you are using a platform that is safe and secure, operated by the UK’s number one property auctioneer.

The auction usually runs for seven days until the finishing time, but this can be flexible depending on the seller’s requirements. The timing of the online auction is clearly stated on our website and the countdown will be shown in real time. During the online auction, the system will extend the time by 60 seconds after a bid to allow for final bidding until the highest bid stands uncontested.

10. After the auction ends

If you are successful with your bid, congratulations you have bought the property. If this is an unconditional auction you will be required to pay 10% of the purchase price plus any agreed costs by registered debit card. For conditional auctions, on the fall of the virtual hammer you will be required to pay over by electronic bank transfer or debit card a reservation deposit, which is held by Auction House London as stakeholder until a successful exchange of contracts. The reservation deposit gives you the right to buy the property.

As the successful buyer at unconditional auction you will need to insure the property after exchange so you should contact your insurers immediately.

There is no possibility of gazumping or re-negotiation with auctions and the whole transaction is transparent for both buyers and sellers.

If the property you are interested in does not reach its reserve, we will contact you if you are the under bidder, it may still be possible for you to buy the property after conclusion of the online auction.r the supervision of your solicitor. Please do not leave the auction room without taking your signed contract. As soon as the hammer falls there is a binding contract of sale. The property is at your insurable risk from this point. Please ensure that you arrange your building insurance immediately after the sale.

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