Buying a property at an auction follows a different process to the one we have set out above. There is no process of exchanging contracts in your own time after a careful examination of the paperwork – the parties are legally bound when the hammer falls – whether or not enquiries have been made. The deposit (and any auctioneer’s fee) is payable by the Buyer on the day, and the completion date is often agreed to take place 28 days later.
The auctioneer will usually have a legal pack (consisting of the title deeds, searches, any other information relevant to the property) available, and these are often available online. Any enquiries or checks should be carried out well before the date of the auction.
The Auctioneer’s conditions of sale will not be the same as the Law Society’s Standard Conditions of Sale, and you should be aware of the small print in the sale contract. There will often be an obligation to make additional payments over and above the price you may have agreed to pay for the property – eg costs of searches, land registry documents, sellers costs and costs for preparing the transfer.
Similar to what was set out above, Solicitors do not make any enquiries as to the state of repair of the property. That is the job of the Surveyor. If you want to bid for a property at an auction, you should consult a surveyor well in advance.
If the successful bidder is unable to complete for an reason – including that the bidder is unable to raise the balance of the funds/ problems or defective title / unable to secure a mortgage, the bidder will forfeit the deposit and may face further legal action if the seller is unable to sell at the same price in the future.
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