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Grab Your Dream UK Home On The Cheap - Property Auctions

By Tukshad Engineer

Did you know that every year thousands of UK properties are sold at significantly below market value? The majority of these properties are released through property auctions where regular savings of between 10% to 40% are available to market value. Even so, property auctions continue to be used only by the elite and for the astute buyer/investor this generates a fantastic opportunity to secure a dream home/good investment at bargain basement prices.

For example, at a recent auction a studio flat was sold in London for a mere £9,000. In another, a 2 bed flat right on the south coast with a market value of upto £100,000 sold for just £14,000 at auction. And those are just a couple of examples of the bargains that people do find at property auctions. However it's also important to know the potential issues and problems when dealing with auctions and to understand exactly where the best deals are available. If you're interested in getting into the world of property auctions the below tips & tricks of the trade should be very helpful.

TYPES OF PROPERTIES FOUND AT AUCTIONS

UK Property Auctions Home Contact

The following is a guide to help anyone unlock the value available through UK Property Auctions. Thousands of homes are available at any given time with property auctions, most of which are sold at prices far below market value. However it's important to know the potential issues and problems when dealing with auctions and to understand where the biggest bargains are available. Details of thousands of cheap, repossessed & auction properties are also available at Property Auction Bargains.

Its perfectly reasonable to expect to pay between 15% to 40% less for a property at auction than you would for the same property through an estate agent. For example, at a recent auction a studio flat was sold in London for a mere £9,000. In another, a 2 bed flat right on the south coast with a market value of upto £100,000 sold for just £14,000 at auction. And those are just a couple of examples of the many bargains that people find at property auctions each and every week.

TYPES OF PROPERTIES FOUND AT AUCTIONS

Repossessions – Sadly for the previous owners, repossessions can often be picked up at bargain prices through auctions.

Investment properties – Properties, which are valued due to the return on investment that they provide. Includes everything from individual office/shop investments to blocks of flats.

Rundown properties – Auctions are great places to pickup properties that are unsaleable in their current state. The attraction here is if you can get such a property in a good location at a cheap price it’s perfectly possible to refurbish and resell on at handsome profits. Indeed there are individuals and organisations that make their living doing this. Unsaleable properties come under the following categories:

Derelict or in derelict areas.

Subject to severe disrepair.

Subject to local authority notices.

Subject to closing orders.

Offered with ambiguous legal titles.

Sold without access.

Sold with major fencing, paving, drainage or other similar responsibilities.

Sold subject to covenants or restrictions, which prevent normal use.

Exceptional properties – Include ones that have historical meaning and plots which ‘get in the way’ of major development projects.

TYPES OF PROPERTY AUCTIONS

Large composite – Tend to have over 100 lots. Expect well over 300 people to attend and the venue to be held in a large hotel or conference centre. Large composite auctions are likely to be run by a single auction house. The type of property may be restricted to just one (e.g. vacant possession houses, factories, warehouses etc) or may be a mixture of different types.

Medium composite – Have between 5 to 100 lots and will typically attract between 200 to 500 people, most likely in a hotel or conference centre. It’s similar to a large composite, only on a smaller scale.

Small composite – Offer between 2 to 5 lots and will attract upto 5 bidders. The likely venue is likely to be somewhere like a pub, restaurant, church or small hotel. Small auctions will generally follow a theme – for example the properties involved may have been part of a bigger group (such as a portfolio of properties owned by one company) who believe the best returns will be obtained by offering the properties for sale individually.

Single lot – usually for a property that is in great demand.

IDENTIFYING PROPERTY AUCTIONS

Auctions aren’t as easy to find as you might expect. Traditionally auctioneers get more than enough interest from in-the-know regulars so they don’t need to spend much money on costly advertising to the public. Here’s where the list of auction houses that comes with this guide becomes invaluable. There are details on each auction house including which area the auction house covers. Go through the list and identify ones, which cover the areas you are interested in. Then:

Phone the auction house and ask them when their next auction is likely to be held. Ask them to put you on a mailing list, which details forthcoming auctions. Some may charge a small fee for this, others offer the service for free.

Prepare a list of questions for each auction house you contact. These should include:

Do you have a mailing list?

How long do you keep people on your mailing lists and can you let me know if I am about to be removed?

What type of properties do you auction?

It may also be worth subscribing to certain pedigree property magazines. These include Property Auction News, Under The Hammer and Property Week. Local newsagents usually carry these.

THE INFORMATION AN AUCTIONEER WILL PROVIDE

Obviously they will provide the details of the properties going under the hammer at their auctions. These tend to be more detailed than the snippets given by estate agents (there are laws such as the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 which make it illegal for auctioneers to give false information about a property). On the whole, for any given lot they will provide:

Location

Construction details

Tenure (e.g. freehold)

Accommodation details (e.g. 3 bedrooms etc)

Notes (e.g. refurbishment required)

Viewing details

Solicitor details

Auctioneers usually publish a catalogue with the lot details – this is a book detailing the various properties available at auction. These will usually be available a month or less prior to the auction date.

IDENTIFYING REPOSSESSIONS

Some banks/building societies can be sheepish about revealing that they are selling repossessed properties so you need to be alert in the auction for clues. Auction adverts may reveal that a bank may be the seller of a number of properties, or the auction catalogue may state a phrase such as ‘on instruction of a liquidator’ or something similar – this should tell you that the property being sold is a repossession. If you are unsure, ask the auctioneer directly if the lot being offered is a repossession.

FINDING PROPERTY AUCTIONS NEAR YOU

There are several thousands of properties available for auction at any given time all over the UK. It's important to understand how auctions work before purchasing a property from one. To find out where you can get hold of a list of UK property auction venues and websites of auction properties for sale take a look at my resource box below. I wish you every success in finding your dream bargain home at auction


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