How To Buy at Public Auction

Guide Price & Reserve Price

A guide price gives you an indication of the price that the property is expected to sell for and what the vendor is hoping to achieve. A reserve price is the lowest price the vendor will accept. This is agreed between the vendor and the Auctioneer. This is confidential and not disclosed to any interested parties.

Obtain legal advice

It is important that you obtain independent legal advice before bidding. The vendor’s solicitors prepare legal packs containing (where applicable) Energy Performance Certificates, special conditions of sale, title deeds, leases, office copy Land Registry entries, searches and replies to pre-contract enquiries. These will be available at the offices of the Agents and the vendors solicitors seven days prior to the auction. These documents should be passed to your legal adviser. They will help you make an informed decision about the lot. If you need further legal information please contact the vendor’s solicitor. Legal packs will usually be available for inspection in the auction room. Remember that you buy subject to all documentation and terms of contract whether or not you have read them.


If you decide to have a survey done, please ask your surveyor to call us directly to make arrangements for access to the property.

Arrange finance

If you need to arrange a mortgage it is important that you obtain an offer from your lender in principle before the auction day. Most building societies and banks will wish to instruct a surveyor to prepare a valuation report before making a mortgage offer so you will need to make your mortgage application as early as possible. You will usually need to complete your purchase 28 days after the day of the auction. You should discuss this with your lenders to make sure that this will not be a problem.

Making an offer prior to the auction

You can make an offer (which should be in writing) for a property at any time up to the date of the auction, but if your offer is accepted you will have to be in a position to exchange contracts and pay your deposit immediately.

Understand all terms and conditions

Buying property at auction is different to buying property privately and we advise potential purchasers to check that they have read and understood all the various legal documents and terms and conditions.

Auction Day

We strongly advise potential purchasers either to call us on the day before the auction to make sure that the lots in which they are interested are still available. You should arrive at the venue with plenty of time as important announcements are made at the start which could be related to the property you wish to purchase.

Bidding at Auction

To bid at a sale, ensure you arrive in plenty time, where possible make yourself known to the auctioneer and make sure you can clearly be seen by the auctioneer. We may accept proxy/telephone bids by prior arrangement.


We will ask you for two forms of identification, so please bring your driving licence or passport and proof of your address such as a bank statement or recent utility bill.

Methods of Payment

It is important that you have all finances ready for the day of the auction. Should you be the successful bidder, a 10% deposit will be required on the day. This may be paid by company cheque, personal cheque or bankers draft. A separate deposit cheque will be required for each lot purchased. The balance plus VAT (if applicable) will be due on completion.


On the fall of the hammer the buyer is responsible for the insurance on the property, therefore it is important that you speak to your insurers prior to the auction date and that you arrange building insurance immediately after the sale. However, you will not be entitled to keys or access until the sale is completed.

Unsold lots

In the unlikely event that the property that you wish to buy does not sell, please approach one of our staff who may be able to negotiate and forward your offer to the vendor. If your offer is acceptable, auction terms and conditions still apply.

Please click here to read the Property Auction Selling Guide