In recent years, increased mobility and growing rates of home ownership have meant that ever-larger numbers of people nowadays inherit properties from relatives who lived many miles away. Similarly, many buy-to-let properties have been purchased in areas with a large student population, miles away from where their owners live. In such cases, when the time comes to sell the property, it is often difficult for the usual process of showing it to prospective purchasers to be carried out by the owner.
In such circumstances, it is quite common for a property to be sold at auction. If you are considering selling a property by this method, here are some steps you can take to help make sure your sale goes as smoothly as possible.
Well before the auction is planned, make sure you put together the necessary documentation.
Make a list of the information a prospective buyer will find useful, such as the age of the central heating system, wiring etc., and include any guarantees.
Set your reserve price, which is the lowest price you will accept for the property. If the reserve is not met at auction, the property will not be sold. The reserve price should therefore be reasonable as if the property does not sell, there will still be costs to meet for the marketing of the property and the related legal work.
You should also decide when you want the completion date to be. The contract to buy and sell is created when the auctioneer's hammer falls and the deposit is payable immediately, with the completion normally a few weeks later.
Work out your plan B. Do not assume that the property will inevitably sell at auction. It may not. Make sure, therefore, that you are prepared for the possibility that after the auction, the property will still be yours. Vacant properties do qualify for rate relief, but other costs (such as insurance) may rise.
We can assist you with all legal matters relating to buying and selling property.