Written by: Toby Limbrick | 16 Aug 2023

8 ways to prepare for buying on auction day.

Although the actual auction and following sale procedure of a property is a very speedy process, it’s the lead up to it where you want to put the time in. As we like to say, the best way to be successful at auction is to be prepared. So here are our top tips for how to best prepare yourself for auction day.

1.     Research
It’s best to know everything you possibly can about the property you’re looking to bid on. That doesn’t just stop at the extensive legal packs we provide. Try researching the homes in the surrounding area to ascertain the local market and get a good understanding of what properties have recently sold and for how much. This will help you gain a ballpark figure of how high you’re willing to bid. Even if you’re not planning to live in the property, you want to gain a sense of the area and the amenities and facilities nearby that would make a property desirable, such a schools, shops and gyms.

2.     Knowing your limits
When you’re going into an auction, it’s not just enough to know one budgetary figure, it’s best to have three prices in mind; your starting price, this is usually the guide price of the property, your top price, the price that is ideally where you’ll cut off, and then your stretch price, the very limit you are willing to go up to. Often the auction comes down to the very last one or two percentages of bids, so it’s always good to know just how high you can feasibly go to nab the lot you want. You don’t want to get too caught up in the excitement of a bidding war and then realise you’ve gone way beyond your budget or lose out on a dream property only to realise you could have gone further. And remember, never exceed your borrowing capacity.

3.     Get your viewings in
We always recommend that you view any property you’re considering buying. Even if you’ve had surveys and a building report, there are some things that photos and documents just won’t convey. Actually setting foot in your potential property will also help you get a better understanding of the neighbourhood as a whole in a way research couldn’t. Is it easy to get to? Is there a lot of traffic? If you’re able, try visiting at different times, so you can ascertain a fully formed impression of the area.

4.     Make sure your renovation dreams are doable
If you’re thinking of making major changes and upgrades to a property, it’s always best to contact a builder or architect to get their opinion on whether it is feasible. Here research will be important again too, as you should always check the surrounding area of what renovations and extensions other properties have undergone, as you’ll get a better sense of what will be approved.

5.     Contact a solicitor
Buying at auction is completed far quicker than by traditional methods, so you need to do thorough due diligence beforehand so you’re 100% certain about what you are buying and the terms. Consulting a solicitor to thoroughly go through all the paperwork is highly recommended. They will help circumvent all the red tape and make you feel confident in your decision when it’s time to bid.

6.     Ask to be kept up to date
It’s always a good idea to ask to be kept informed on any amendments or updates on a property so you can keep your bidding strategy as fresh as possible. If you have your heart set on a property, you can always ask if the seller is willing to settle before the auction takes place. It happens more than you’d think!

7.     Check the small print
It may sound obvious but be sure to familiarise yourself with all the terms and conditions of the auction house and not just on the property you’re aiming to bid on. You want to ensure there are no surprises once the hammer falls and you are legally obligated to follow through on the purchase.

8.     Don’t do it alone
Auctions are an exhilarating experience and there is nothing like the rush of a bid, but if you’ve never done it before it can be a little nerve racking. Reach out to a friend or family member who has recently bought a property or has experience with the auction process, and don’t ever hesitate to get in touch with us at Network Auctions if you have any questions or reservations about the auction process. We’re always on hand to help.

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