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Another successful option sprouting from the Property Department

Tue 3 September 2019

“Eat your sprouts, they’re good for you”. I would imagine there’s a high percentage of us that have heard that in their lifetime. As a child, I for one would chase the offending green ball of yuck around the plate with my fork, hoping that if I did it enough, it would erode gradually and disappear. Unfortunately they never did, but I became a dab hand at hiding them in my pocket and disposing of them out of my bedroom window.

Some years later I took the plunge and I ate one! Amazingly it was actually quite nice. The perception of this cute mini cabbage was all a mistake. Not only did I find I liked it, I developed a real taste for them with mint sauce.

Now I find out they’re also really good for me…they’re high in nutrients, vitamins, iron – I could go on, but you’ll probably be glad that I won’t.

So, “why on earth is McCartneys Property Department going on about Brussels Sprouts” I hear you cry? Well, I’m glad you asked, it’s because we have an ‘elephant in the room’ aka ‘a sprout in our dinner’ – The Modern Method of Auction. Stick with me…. I’ll explain all the nutrients.

McCartneys introduced another option to sell or buy property last year. The Modern Method of Auction - our on line auction department. It combines all the good elements of private treaty and traditional auction and is then wrapped up together into online internet live bidding, offering a larger marketplace.

So, what does it all mean? Let’s separate both sides of the service and look at it from each angle.

Selling: Firstly, we check whatever service we offer is right for you and your property, and so we’d pop in and see you as normal, carry out a valuation and have a chat. Once you’ve instructed us, and let’s say wish to go to Modern Method of Auction, then we begin:

We’ll discuss and agree a Starting Bid (the price that the property is marketed at to generate lots of interest) and an undisclosed Reserve price, (the price your property will not sell for any less than).

We will prepare all property details as normal – take photographs, prepare sales particulars and can arrange an EPC if required.

The team will begin preparing the Auction Pack, including all legal documentation. The cost for this is £395 inc v.a.t with our conveyancing team, and £445 inc v.a.t when you source your own conveyancing team.  It’s worth noting that it’s only payable if your property sells. So, no sale, no charge. – this is getting tastier isn’t it?

While the Auction Pack is being prepared, we begin marketing, generating as much interest and as many viewings as possible. Your property will still be on our website, in our window, and on the internet selling sites, all as normal.

After 14-21 days (whilst we market, carry out viewings and prepare the Auction Pack) an end date and time is set for your auction and your property goes ‘live’ ready for on line bids. Your auction listing can last from 7 – 21 days and is again tailored to your property.

All prospective bidders must download the Auction Pack and accept the terms before bidding. Bids can be viewed online and made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Once the auction ends, the successful buyer is required to pay a Buyers Reservation Fee and sign a Reservation Agreement. The buyer and you are then required to unconditionally exchange contracts and complete the transaction in 56 days. This timescale allows for finances/mortgages to be arranged if necessary. Therefore we’re not excluding any prospective buyers.

“So what’s the sales fee for selling this way”? 0%! Absolutely nothing! No sales commission from you whatsoever! – You just discovered it’s all very palatable indeed.

Now you’ve found this quite appetising, let’s have a look at the buyer’s side of things.


Buying: Your heart flutters, you’ve found the house of your dreams, now it’s time to make it yours. As usual, make an appointment to view with your McCartneys Agent. Once you’ve had a good look around and decided ‘this is the one!’ they will arrange for our auction team to be in touch and discuss your interest in bidding.

To place a bid, you will need to register by creating an account. You can do this yourself online, or one of our Auction Specialists will be very happy to help. An active account allows you access to further important information, such as the Auction Sales Pack for each property.

Then it’s time to do your due diligence, as you would when buying any property. To help you, each property has an Auction Sales Pack for you to fully review all the information in before bidding. It’s also advisable to review this with your solicitor.

Bidding - You can bid online, in-branch, or over the phone. If you’re not confident using the internet system we will do it for you. Recently we had a lovely cup of tea in the office with the vendor of one of our auction properties, while we watched it selling on line, (a celebratory biscuit or two were passed around at the end). Our online system allows you to view the current bid, the amount of bidders and a live countdown to the end of the auction. You can enter your bids manually or allow our ‘Maximum Bidding’ function to do this for you - set the minimum and maximum price you’re willing to spend and the auction team will bid on your behalf.

You must take into account with your budget the Reservation Fee needed to be paid on top of the sales price of the property.

Don’t start pushing that sprout around your plate, let me explain. This is really very simple and nothing to shy away from. A reservation fee is payable to reserve your property, this fee is a minimum of £6,000.00 or 4.2% (inc v.a.t) of the final bid price. Don’t put that sprout in your pocket – it’s absolutely fine, hang in there.

Let’s say that you’ve seen a place to call home, done your sums and want to spend a maximum of £100,000 to buy it. You already know that on winning the auction you’re required to pay £6,000 to reserve it, therefore you bid up to £94,000. If you get it for less that £94k, you’ve got some money left over, (Woohoo!), if you go to the full £94k you’ve still got it for £100,000 which is what you were happy to pay, (Yay!). You’re completely in charge.

So, after much cheering and holding of breath, you see that you are the successful buyer, At the end of the auction, you pay your reservation fee and you and the vendor enter into a reservation agreement which commits you both to completing the transaction within 56 days. This greatly reduces the risks to both parties of a sale not proceeding to completion and allows you plenty of time to arrange your finances.

Next stage is to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf. The sales file will be passed to our Sales Progression Team who will keep all parties up to speed and help your sale progress within the required timescales. As usual we’re with you all the way.

So all in all, it’s another recipe for success, another way to purchase or sell your property, served to you by those fabulous people at McCartneys.


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