Is selling property at auction right for you?

31 May 2023
Sarah Butt, Solicitor

Is selling property at auction right for you?

If you’re looking to sell property in the UK, you may have considered selling at auction. But is selling property at auction right for you? In this article, part one of a two-part auction series, we’ll explore the legal implications, rules and regulations, and important considerations when selling property at auction in the UK.

Property auction process
First, it’s important to understand the auction process. Auctions are typically held in a public venue or online and allow potential buyers to bid on the property. The highest bidder at the end of the auction is legally bound to purchase the property, provided the reserve price (the minimum price at which the property can be sold) is met.

What to know about selling property at auction
One of the biggest advantages of selling property at auction in this way is that it can be a quick and efficient process. Unlike traditional sales methods, which can take several months or even years, auctions are typically completed within a matter of weeks. Additionally, auctions can generate a lot of interest from potential buyers, leading to competitive bidding and potentially higher sale prices.

However, there are also potential disadvantages to selling property at auctions. For example, if the reserve price is not met, the property may not sell at all. Additionally, sellers may need to pay auction fees, which can vary depending on the auction house and the type of property being sold.

The legal side of selling property at auction
Before deciding whether to sell your property at auction, it’s important to consult with legal and financial professionals to fully understand the legal implications and costs involved. Here are some important legal considerations to keep in mind:

Contractual obligations
When you sell via an auction, you are entering into a legally binding contract with the highest bidder. It’s important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of your obligations and the buyer’s obligations under the contract.

Payment and completion
Once the auction is complete, the buyer is legally bound to pay the purchase price and complete the transaction within a set timeframe. It’s important to ensure that you have a clear understanding of these deadlines and any consequences for failure to comply.

Legal and financial advice
It can be a complex process, and it’s important to seek legal and financial advice to ensure that you are fully aware of your rights and obligations.

Rules and regulations
In addition to these legal considerations, there are several rules and regulations that govern property auctions in the UK. For example, auction houses are required to provide potential buyers with a buyer’s guide, which outlines the terms and conditions of the auction and any fees that may be charged.

Choosing an auction house
Finally, it’s important to choose the right auction house when selling your property. Look for an established auction house with a good reputation and experience selling properties similar to yours. Be sure to read reviews and ask for references before making a decision.

Selling property this way can be quick and efficient way, but it’s important to fully understand the legal implications, rules and regulations, and costs involved. Seek legal and financial advice, and choose the right auction house to ensure a successful sale.

If you would like a free initial consultation with a member of the Property team simply click on the “Speak to Our Experts” button on this page, call us on 01244 356 789 or email

Next week in part two of our auction series we ask: Is buying property at auction right for you?” 

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

Solicitor Sara Butt

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