Find a House at Auction

auctionWe’ve discussed the whole idea of buying property at auction before. However in this post I wanted to be a little more specific and discuss how you can find a house at auction.

Firstly their are a number of aggregation sites that provide information to their subscribers. The largest of the online information providers is Essential Information Group. They offer a free search facility on current house autions, but be aware you can’t find out who the auctioneer is until you subscribe.

If you’re a tight wad, like me you’ll prefer to do a little online investigation work by finding out who has an up and coming auction in the next 2 weeks. From here you’ll be able to detect who the auctioneer is and find out more about the lot that interests you via their online catalogue.

Pre Auction Property
In addition to the national searches you’ll be doing every 2 weeks it’s also worth registering with the local agents. Many local agents do not offer an auction service but they do partner with national auction houses like Allsop and Savills. By registering with your local agent you may be able to get notice of a property before it goes to a national auction. Some estate agents belong to national groups like the countrywide property group. Countrywide also offer regular regional auctions which can be found here.

Unsold Lots
Always look back to the auctioneers sites. Here you’ll find all the properties that didn’t meet the reserve and couldn’t find a buyer. If you see an unsold lot you’ll be able to see what the last bid was; do you research and find out what it’s worth to you. If the numbers add up, give the Auctioneer a call. If the vendor (Seller) was motivated enough to put the property into an auction, they’ll be even more motivated now to receive an offer. There will always be an argument to put the property back into a future auction, but in my experience properties that fail to meet a reserve price have to reduce it for the next sale in order to get a sale. So if you can get in before this happens with a reasonable offer you could get a bargain.

Get Familiar with the Auction Environment
If you’d like to buy a house form an Auction, it’s best to get familiar with the auctioneer you’re planning to buy from. Buying at auction can be very exciting and a bit daunting, so the more auctions you’ve been to the easier it becomes. Some Auction houses ask that you register prior to the auction taking place, so it’s best to check in your catalogue to see what the requirements are for any purchaser. You’ll also need to have the deposit and 2 forms or ID on you, usually Passport and a utility bill. I suggest going to at lease 2 auctions beofre you dive into your own auction purchase.

Remember stand at the back so you can see your competition, don’t bid until the closing stages and never go beyond your limit price.

Keep Researching
For most property developers researching property prices is easy, they just love lookign at property. But it is an essential part of knowing your marketplace and being in a prosition to identify the worth of a property. I try to look once a week. I’ll check out the local auction houses, estate agents and websites. Even if I’m not in a position to buy, I make sure I know what comeing onthe the market, what’s not selling and who are the best agents (i.e. the guy’s that are selling stuff fast). Knowing your market means that you’re always in a position to make an offer (even if you don’t have the finance) because you’ll know what properties are selling for.