Guide to Selling at Auction

Market leader for auctions in the South West

When advising on sales, Symonds & Sampson will always consider whether a property is more suitable for sale by auction, by private treaty or by tender.

Our auction and private treaty/tender departments effectively work as one team, ensuring that advice is always impartial, professional and carefully considered.

Symonds & Sampson auctions offer:

  • Advertising every week in regional newspapers and additional papers, national/trade journals where appropriate.
  • A full colour catalogue that can also be downloaded from our website
  • Online access to six websites
  • Online access to the legal packs
  • An average success rate approaching 95%, i.e. the strong likelihood of a sale on sale day or just after.
  • The peace of mind that the property will be offered in a professional manner from the most experienced auctioneer in the region.
  • An auction team who understands this discipline and who are available to talk to prospective buyers.
  • Weekly reports on sales progress and legal packs that are available to be downloaded 24/7 from our website.
  • The knowledge that with a realistic reserve price the property will achieve the best possible price on sale day.
  • Symonds & Sampson have been recognised as the leading firm of auctioneers in the West Country, as shown in the statistics from the Essential Information Group and can provide an unrivalled exposure to the market with sales covering five counties; Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Devon with at least 12 auctions each year.

Questions Asked when Selling at Auction

When do you want to sell? Decide when you want to market your property and which auction you would like to be in. Provisional sale dates and venues can be found on our website. To contact Symonds & Sampson, ring your local office or the main auction centre on 01258 473766 and we will arrange to visit and give you a free auction appraisal.

The auction appraisal will be without obligation. We will give you impartial professional advice on whether we think your property is suitable for sale by auction. Advice will also include discussion on the reserve and guide price.

The agreement includes the commission, if it is sold at auction, sold before the sale or after the auction; and it will also set out any other charges and whether and when you are liable for them.

The terms of agreement will also include the auctioneers right to:

  • Change the auction date or time.
  • Instruct your solicitor…
  • Hold the purchaser’s money on deposit in the firm’s client account.
  • Refuse any bid.
  • Determine disputes between bidders
  • Regulate bidding increments
  • Accept postal, telephone and proxy bids
  • Keep all proxy bid amounts confidential
  • Bid on your behalf at the auction
  • To bid on behalf of the proxy buyer at the auction
  • Sign the sales memorandum on your behalf
  • Charge the buyer an administration fee

We will also discuss with you:

  • The guide and reserve price
  • Reporting bids prior to auction
  • Sales before auction
  • Insurance
  • Advertising
  • Sale boards
  • Viewing arrangements

You should refer to the RICS Common Auction Conditions which are obtainable from Symonds & Sampson LLP office, from our website or from the RICS.

Draft sale particulars will be sent to you and your solicitor for approval and/or amendments.

At the same time, your solicitor will be requested to prepare a legal pack containing the special conditions of sale, title documents, leases where applicable, searches, planning documentation and office copy entries so they are ready for despatch to interested parties.

The auction particulars may form part of the auction contract including plans and photographs of the property, which must be as up to date as possible.

Particulars must be factual and accurate and comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

You must liaise with your solicitor to make sure you have revealed anything that could affect the sale of the property, e.g. public health notices, local land charges, notices of arrears, rent, service charges or disputes.

The marketing period starts 5-6 weeks before a sale with the publication of on-line and printed catalogues.

Potential purchasers will want to view your property during the marketing period and have a survey carried out. We usually try and organise pre-arranged viewing days for this, which we would ask potential purchasers to check with us first in case there has been a change in the dates or times. For people wanting a survey, separate appointments can be made. Details will be printed in each catalogue.

A 'Guide Price' gives an indication of the possible sale price or price range for a property at auction. The 'Guide Price' provided may change prior to an auction. Each property auctioned is typically offered subject to a 'Reserve Price'.

Reserve Price is the seller’s minimum acceptable price at auction and the figure below which the auctioneer cannot sell. The reserve price is not disclosed and remains confidential between the seller and the auctioneer. Both the guide price and the reserve price can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.

The ‘Reserve Price’ may exceed the ‘Guide Price’ listed. If so, it is customary for the ‘Reserve Price’ to exceed the ‘Guide Price’ by no more than 10%.

A buyer may submit a Proxy Bidding Form whereby they will ask the auctioneer to bid up to their price limit on their behalf. This figure will remain confidential between the auctioneer and the bidder as will the identity of the bidder if they are unsuccessful.

While the auction properties are being advertised Symonds & Sampson will keep you informed about the level of interest in your property and whether you receive any offers prior to auction.

At the auction, when the hammer comes down it signifies a binding contract. The auctioneer, his clerk or your solicitor will sign the memorandum of sale with the buyer and collect the deposit. The completion date will be 28 days after the auction unless stated otherwise.

If you have not sold at auction before, you may want to attend a Symonds & Sampson sale. The atmosphere in the room can be extremely exciting, dramatic and competitive and you will often see buyers from all over the country. Come along and see how we work for you.

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