When you want to find a buyer for your leasehold or freehold flat or house, you might want to consider using an auction – it can be a good way to make some decent profit through the sale, although it can also be tricky trying to figure out which auction house you should use.
Even if you have never sold a home using the method of auction before, thankfully it shouldn’t require too much time or work to decide whether it’s right for you and your needs. But always be honest with yourself and as you find out more about auctioning a property, also try to ensure that it is something that makes financial sense for your budget.
Research, research, research: the secret to finding the right auctioneer
As with making any major financial decision in your life, selling your home via an auction house is something that requires you to undertake some significant advance research before opting for a particular auctioneer. You don’t have to learn the ins and outs of laws and regulations about auctioning homes, but you should find out as much about several auctioneers as possible.
Spend some time looking online to see if searches for a specific auction house uncover any potential negative news stories or bad customer reviews, so that you’re made aware of them.
You should never simply agree to sell your home through the first auctioneer that you talk with. They might quote you a very low minimum reserve price for your property even though another auction house might be able to start the bidding at a better value. Or they might have excessive commission rates or other fees compared to other companies. It will benefit you in many ways to speak with a number of auction houses before you decide which company you’d like to use.
Questions to ask the auctioneer include how much they will charge you if your property successfully sells. By asking a number of auction companies for their fee rate, you might be able to find an auctioneer that will charge you less commission that one of their competitors.
Also, some auctioneers will allow the seller of a property to shift the obligation for paying this and other fees to the winning high bidder, which will help you to protect your profit from the sale. Be sure to ask each auction house you speak with whether this approach might be possible.
And quiz auction houses about their past success with selling homes like yours. If your property has any unusual or potentially negative features, some auctioneers might have never sold such homes before. And if that’s the case they might not know the best way to market such houses or flats, which in turn could mean that very few, if any, people take an interest in buying it.
The top five factors to consider when choosing a property auctioneer
To help further inform your research as you consider whether to sell your home via an auction, there are certain key issues that it’s important to always speak with auctioneers about. Whatever they tell you in response on these five tops could be crucial in helping you to determine whether an auction is right for your sale, or if you should look at other alternatives.
1. Choosing the reserve minimum price
The reserve price is the minimum value that you’re comfortable with your home selling. A bid on your property at an auction is considered to be a legally enforceable agreement to purchase it. This means that you need to accept that your home might sell at the reserve price. Auctioneers often try to get homeowners to set this price at a low value, below what the home might be able to get through other means. The auctioneer’s goal is to make as many people as possible interested in thinking they’ll get a bargain by making a bid at that reserve price, but other people will want to buy the home and keep placing ever-increasing bids that should make the final sale price much higher. Always know that there’s no guarantee this will happen, and you might have to settle for selling at the reserve price. Ask around several auction houses to get their suggested sale price for your house or flat so that you can compare the different values you’re given.
2. Finding an auctioneer for your area
When you’re contacting auction companies about potentially selling your home, a vital first question is whether they can sell properties in your neighbourhood. Some auctioneers might not include your location in their sale area, so it’d be pointless trying to list your home for sale through them. Some auctioneers specialise in serving specific cities such as London, whilst others sell homes throughout the UK.
3. Selecting a date for your auction
Another key factor to ask auctioneers is for their timetable of upcoming auctions. Most major property auction houses in the UK will host auctions either every month or at least every other month, so you should be able to find a schedule that works for you regardless of the time of year that you want to sell your home. Whichever auctioneer you are talking with should be happy to share their upcoming auction schedule with you.
4. Finding out about an auctioneer’s past sales
You should aim to sell your home with an auctioneer who has a good track record of being able to generate more than just the opening minimum reserve bids on the properties that they sell. Many auction houses in the UK have sections on their websites listing the results of their past auctions, including the price at which specific properties sold. Spend some time online browsing auctioneers’ websites to find out the value at which flats or houses that are similar to yours have sold at auction previously.
5. Asking whether the auctioneer can sell your home
Some property auctioneers only have experience with selling certain types of houses or flats. Other auction houses are able to sell a wider range of homes, including dilapidated properties, houses where the owner can’t find the title deeds, flats located on noisy streets, and more. Consider carefully before selling your home using an auction house that has never, or rarely, sold that kind of property before, because they might not know the best way to generate interest from buyers. Instead, ask around auction companies to find one that has successfully sold properties like yours in the past and at a decent profit.
Are there any alternatives to selling a home than an auction?
Yes – and you’re probably very aware of the alternative of using an estate agent to sell your house or flat, but you might not know as much about the other popular method which is contacting a fast home buying company to quickly find a buyer for your property.
When you sell via an estate agent, they’ll do a lot of the hard work for you. They’ll prepare the listing for your property that includes photographs and a description of it, and will advertise it locally whether that’s in their office, in the local newspapers, online or elsewhere. And they usually host the viewings where prospective buyers come to tour a home inside and outside, although these are often inconvenient and time-consuming for the property owners.
Or you could use a fast home buyer such as LDN Properties, which was founded in 2003 and gives homeowners a hassle-free and no-stress way to get speedy and fair offers for selling their houses or flats in London. And a major reason why some people particularly like this method of selling is the fact that trustworthy fast buyers never charge homeowners any fees. That means if you sell your property through this method, you’ll retain all of the profit from whatever price offer the fast buyer gives you.
Figuring out the right option for your home sale is dependent on your specific needs; if you need a fast sale, a quick buyer could be a viable choice. But if you are willing to face some uncertainty on the final sale price for your home, you might want to consider auction. Be honest with yourself and your needs, and you should be able to decide relatively easily on what’s the better method for finding a buyer for your home.