Property Auctions 101: How To Buy A Home At Excellent Value
If you ask anyone who has recently bought a home what they found most trying about the process, the chances are that they will have a list of complaints as long as your arm. From the horrors of finding yourself in a chain to the miseries of being gazumped, there is no shortage of stress to be had when you’re house-hunting. So if you’re looking to find the right property for you, you might be cheered to know there’s an option that avoids the main drawbacks of home-buying.
Property auctions are surprisingly under-discussed outside of speciality property shows and magazines, but they offer an alternative to the seemingly endless process of viewing possible homes, putting in offers and waiting for completion. Indeed, if you find a place you like, then an auction may well be the quickest way to be the proud owner of a new home. Keep the following tips in mind, and you could find something ideal.
You can’t do too much research
Property houses release their catalogue ahead of an auction – usually a few weeks in advance – and this allows you to know what is available, where. From here it is often possible to arrange a visit on any house that takes your fancy, which you should attend with a handyman or handywoman in tow. They’ll be able to give you an idea of the extent of the works needed and the cost – which should still bring the overall final cost to much less than buying a house on the market.
Be ready to move fast … in more ways than one!
Some of the houses in an auction catalogue may be snapped up before the auction takes place, so it is wise to be in contact with the auctioneers from the start. If you see a house you like and its reserve price is promisingly low, you might be able to make an offer and buy it yourself without going through the auction. You need to be prepared, though; ensure you can get a mortgage or pay in cash; contact someone to see when a rubbish removal can be carried out; and be ready to take ownership of the house as soon as possible.
Know the rules of the auction
The rules behind buying a house at auction are largely straightforward and quite standardised; for example, you’ll rarely need to pay the full sale price once your bid is accepted, just a deposit. However, each auctioneer will have their own list of rules (in case of the deposit, that might be 10% and it might be more). Reading and digesting the rules ahead of time can ensure that you’re able to be flexible, which is a strong advantage to have in an auction situation. It may even be worth attending an auction even if there’s nothing you intend to buy; getting a feel for the process and a head for the terms is invaluable.
Buying a house at auction may not seem like the obvious way to find your dream home – but with a bit of research and the right connections, you could find a real bargain.