Blog Post

What type of property is suitable for sale at auction?

Publish Date: 06 June 2017

By Beth Fox


What type of property is suitable for sale at auction?

Further reading

EIG feature in Martin Roberts new book 'The Property Auction Guide'

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Selling at Auction:

What type of property is suitable for sale at auction?

A vendor is usually primarily looking to achieve the best market price when selling their property, although this sits alongside their timescale and certainty of sale requirements. The key is to identify the optimum method of sale to suit the vendor’s criteria by taking into consideration the type of property, it’s condition, demand in the marketplace, and the vendor’s time constraints.

Vendor’s frequently ask:
"Under what circumstances would I sell my piece of land, home or business premises through auction rather than by private treaty disposal?"

The objective of an estate agency is to achieve the highest price possible in a given marketplace within a defined timescale. In comparison, where there is a perceived high demand for a particular type of property, or where the value of an asset is difficult to value or the vendor requires a quick and certain sale then this is where a disposal by auction comes into its own. 

Typical auction properties

Of 35,000 lots a year that go to auction 25% are commercial, of the other 75% residential, half of the remainder is vacant flats and houses. Given the high volumes there is something for everyone with 13,000 aproximate vacant flats and houses offered every year.

Examples include:
• Properties that require renovation.
• Building plots that are in high demand as there are so few of them.
• Properties where the value is difficult to assess because it is unique.
• A piece of land located between two neighbours where both are interested.
• Buildings offered for sale by local authorities, public utilities or charities that want the transparency of the auction room in deciding the market value of the property.
Typically, it is an asset where it is identified that there will be a large demand either because of what it is or because of the sales price. 

Benefits of the auction process

An auction sale is a fair and open process for the vendor and the buyer; and with those properties in high demand, avoids the unfavourable practice of gazumping, gaining the vendor the best price in the market place and a sure conclusion to the sale.

The market is changing

Property auctions used to be the realm of repossessions and distressed properties with structural issues or in need of substantial refurbishment. More recently this is changing as the market is seeing a rise in the number of properties typically sold via estate agents being offered at auction. This could be attributed to the growth of the online auction platform which is making properties conveniently available to a wider marketplace.
As online auctions are also now becoming more mainstream being offered by more estate agents as well as auctioneers we are seeing a resulting increase in buyer confidence in bidding in this manner as vendors and buyers are attracted to the certainty of the sales process.

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