Frequently Asked Questions

Property Auction Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of property do Symonds & Sampson LLP sell by auction?

We are very lucky as we cover Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Devon and we have some of the most exciting and interesting properties that come to the market. We have auctioned all sorts of property including a waterfall, a beach, a hangar and airstrip, an island, beach huts, follies and even picnic spots with lakes and woodland. Our main lots are residential and commercial premises, building sites and investment opportunities.

Q: Do your auctions only cover country properties?

The majority of our lots at auction are situated in the South and West of England but with such strong expertise in the firm, and eleven highly trained and experienced auctioneers, we would be happy to quote for any properties in the South of England or abroad.

Q: Where do I get an auction catalogue?

A description of the lots including photographs can be downloaded from this website. You can also obtain a hard copy if required.

Q: Do you make guide prices available?

The guide prices are printed in our catalogue and are available on line. The guide price represents the range within which the lot is available at the time of printing. Guide prices may however change during the pre-auction marketing period, but we do update them on this site each working day up to the last day before the auction. For the latest figure you can also call our main auction office on 01258-473766.

Q: Can I view the properties?

We can usually arrange for you to view and have group viewing times for most properties. All interior viewing appointments must be arranged through our auction offices. Please telephone the office dealing with the property.

Q: Do I need a mortgage arranged prior to bidding?

If you require a mortgage or other form of loan to finance your purchase you must obtain an offer of advance prior to the auction. Most building societies and banks are familiar with auction procedures and normally issue offers quickly.

Q: When do I instruct my solicitor?

Prospective purchasers can inspect copies of important legal documentation at our auction offices and sometimes this is available on line. It is prudent to get a solicitor to check the legal pack.

Q: Can I have a structural survey done of a property prior to auction?

If you require a survey your surveyor should contact us to arrange for access. Your building society or bank may also send a surveyor to the property.

Q: When do I need my deposit?

If you make a successful bid, on the sale day you must provide the auctioneers with a contractual deposit of 10% of the purchase price (minimum deposit 2,000). This is normally in the form of a bank or building society cheque.

Q: Could there be any late changes?

There are occasionally late amendments to the lots and we advise that you contact us right up to the day of the auction to ensure that there are no changes affecting your intended bid. Amendments will also be with the solicitors but we advise that in the first instance you get in touch with the main auction office on 01258-473766.
Changes, however, can occur on auction day and are either printed on an amendments sheet found as you enter the auction room but you should also talk to the auctioneer and listen for announcements. If your lot is amended on the day then a member of the auction team or legal representative will be there to help you.

Q: What is the Addendum?

The Addendum details are any revisions or additions to information in the auction contained in the catalogue. Addenda are updated constantly and it is important that you check this information before bidding on any lot.

Q: Can lots be sold prior to the sale?

Occasionally lots are sold or withdrawn prior to the sale. Check with us on the working day before the sale to ensure your particular lot is still to be offered.

Q: What order are the lots offered in?

The order of sale is usually decided five days before the auction and you should get in touch with the auction office to get the full running order.

Q: Do I have to be at the sale from the start?

It is advisable to be at the auction from the start so you can listen to the auctioneers opening announcements.

Q: How early should I arrive for the auction?

Arrive as early as possible as we often hold our sales in town centres where parking can be restricted. Our advice is always to find the hall about one hour before the auction commences. You can always have a cup of tea or refreshment from us or once you have parked your car and located the hall, you may wish to go elsewhere.
Our auctions can get very busy so the earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to get a seat.

Q: How do I bid?

When your lot is announced and the auctioneer invites bids, you need to make your interest known. Please be bold with your bidding and make sure that you can see the auctioneer, but it is far more important that he can see you. The auctioneer will give you every opportunity to consider your bid but if you are at all concerned that you have not been seen, confirm this out loud.

Q: What if I cannot be there in person to bid?

If you telephone the main auction office on 01258-473766, we can organise a telephone or proxy bid on your behalf. This should be arranged several days before the auction to give you time to send us the completed form and a cheque.
Whether you choose a proxy or telephone bid, you must pre-register and you must discuss the matter with the auctioneer prior to the auction day so that we are clear of your requirements. The following link will give you more detail.

Remote Bidding FAQs

Q: What happens if my bid is successful?

Contracts are exchanged as soon as the gavel has fallen. If you are the successful bidder a member of our auction team will come to you with a form requiring your contact details (and those of your company if bidding on its behalf), together with the details of your solicitor. You must also provide some ID (e.g. driving licence). You will then need to provide a 10% deposit. If you are unable to do this, the auctioneer has the right to re-offer the lot. If the property then sells for a lower figure the seller may claim any losses from you.

After the auction, you will go to see the person representing the vendor, sign the memorandum of sale and pay 10% of the purchase price. You will then be handed a copy of the memorandum signed by the seller or by us on behalf of the seller and you should then pass this to your own solicitor as soon as possible.

Q: Are there are any other costs on the day?

Each successful Buyer or Bidder will be liable to pay a Buyers Administration Fee as indicated in the Auction Catalogue, payable to Symonds & Sampson LLP. You will probably have to pay for the legal searches, please refer to the solicitor's legal pack.

Q: What about insurance?

You are responsible for the property from the date of exchange and it is therefore very important that you make arrangements to insure it immediately. If you do not have insurance in place, we can suggest firms who will be able to assist.

Q: What is a guide and reserve price?

The Guide Price is an indication of the seller’s current minimum acceptable price at auction.  It is given to assist consumers in deciding whether or not to pursue a purchase.  It is usual, but not always the case that a provisional reserve range is agreed between the seller and the auctioneer at the start of marketing.  As the reserve is not fixed at this stage and can be adjusted by the seller at any time up to the day of the auction in the light of interest shown during the marketing period, a guide price is issued.  A guide price is   different to a reserve price (see below).  Both the guide price and the reserve price can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.

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.

Q: Can I buy a property prior to auction?

Vendors will often consider offers made before the auction day, but they should be made in writing via post, fax or email. Once this is received we can pass it on to the Vendor and will then contact you with her/her instruction. Please note however that you must be in a position to exchange and pay your deposit before the auction day.

Updated August 2014


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