Blog Post

Do this before bidding on a property at auction!

Publish Date: 03 October 2018

By Priscilla McGregor-Kerr


Do this before bidding on a property at auction!

Further reading

Property Auctions - How to research the Market

I'm interested in buying 1 property from 2 consecutive lots in the same auction, could I accidentally buy both?

The importance of doing your due diligence 

How to do it right

When considering purchasing a particular property at auction it is essential that you prepare by doing your due diligence research in advance. It is your responsibility to be completely satisfied with the property before the auction so you can make an educated decision whether to bid for the property or not and what your maximum bid would be.  

Doing your due diligence includes:

  1. Viewing the property
  2. Ascertaining the likely sale price
  3. Reading the legal pack
Next steps ...
Then, if it is a property you wish to pursue it is prudent to: 
  • Instruct a property survey
  • Ask your solicitor to review the legal pack

Viewing a property

It is important to view every property you are interested in prior to auction. Contact the auctioneer to arrange the viewing which may be arranged as fixed time slots for group viewings (open house viewings) or individually arranged.
It may be useful at this point to bring an experienced builder or knowledgeable friend with you to the property who can spot any potential problems that would need to be included in your financial calculations or may mean the property is no longer of interest to you.
When looking at buying any property it is advisable to view it at least twice, during the daytime and at night which may be just a ‘drive by’ viewing. The plans and photographs published in the catalogue are there to aid identification of the property only, the plans may not be to scale so you need to verify them.  
What to take to a property viewing:
- Tape measure (preferably a laser as much quicker especially if viewing is busy) 
- Camera
- Notepad
- Torch
- Binoculars (to check roof, gutter and chimney)
- Portable ladder (to access loft space)
- Suitable footwear
- Contact details of the auctioneer and research notes for further investigation in the area e.g. an unidentified building
(Important #: Don’t forget to follow up and ask questions that arise from the viewing)
Points to evaluate:
•  Leasehold or freehold property, any additional ground rent or service charges?
•  Parking, garden, access and property boundaries?
•  Neighbours, traffic and noise?
•  Nearest shops and public transport?
•  Heating, insulation, plumbing, electrics?
•  Council tax band, energy efficiency rating?
•  Any structural issues or recent extensions?
•  Vacant or tenanted and history of the property? 

Unfamiliar area?

If an area is new to you, it is advisable to look online at crime sites, google the address and street, for example: – average rentals – nearest schools – area profile – crime rate – for rental and sales prices - find government owned property - private renting

Still interested?

If you decide that you are still interested in the property after viewing it, then now is the time to contact your solicitor and arrange a property survey in advance of the auction. 


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