Best Auctioneers in the West!

Mark Lewis
By Mark Lewis

January 2019

The multi award winning firm of chartered surveyors, Symonds & Sampson, have been recognised as the leading firm of property auctioneers in the region for the 14th year running.

Best Auctioneers in the West!

Partner and Head of Property Auctions Mark Lewis says '2018 was another terrific year for the property auction department with lots offered in five counties eclipsing our competitors by some distance. Our share of the market has increased and stands at over 70% of all lots sold in our region.

'We have shown properties in all winds and weathers, meeting new people from all over the world and making it a record year for attendances and the highest number of legal packs downloaded'.

The highlights for the year were:

Highest Price

This was for Grove Farm Somerset at £1.69 million a new record for Symonds & Sampson. It was sold by one of our many very loyal clients and bought by a purchaser whose family lived at the farm over 100 years ago.

Most Legal Pack Downloads 

3975 total documents were downloaded for the 5 October auction in Wimborne, and in particular the renovation projects sold by the Drax estate.

Most Bids

107 for Kings Corner Barn in East Dorset with proxy, telephone and multiple bidders in the room all competing. The sale price was 80% above guide.

Most Distant Buyer

One buyer was on a boat in the Mediterranean bidding by telephone and another in Australia by proxy. Our 2pm auction time was 1am Australia time so the bidder, reluctantly, decided to send in their proxy!

Most Historical Lot

Elm Tree Farmhouse sold for the Sherborne Castle Estate had links all the way back to Sir Walter Raleigh. The property was last sold in 1617.

Hardest Working Solicitor

The solicitors acting for The Morden Estate, who had to rewrite the contract clauses numerous times during negotiations with prospective bidders. The role of the lawyer can never be underestimated and we are lucky to have so many pragmatic ones in the area. Some solicitors further afield do not always understand the time pressure in organising the legal packs!

Most Disorganised Buyer

The one who forgot to transfer his deposit monies onto his debit card and had mislaid his cheque book. The seller’s solicitor did not allow him to sign the memorandum until funds had been received. The buyer assumed that he would not get the lot and did not check the contents of his briefcase. All was well that ended well and the money arrived.

Highest Percentage achieved above Guide

Land at Verwood sold 593% above guide. It is very difficult to value smaller areas of land and when neighbours start bidding against each other the bids can start flying.

Highest Attendance

In Hampshire in April. The car park was overflowing so buyers parked along the dual carriageway precipitating a visit from the road traffic police. We expected a large crowd but with 15 minutes until the auction started the cars just kept coming.

Best Commercial Lot

A three-storey property in High West Street in Dorchester which may stay as a commercial lot or could become a residential dwelling. The buyer has the privilege of being a neighbour to Symonds & Sampson’s residential office in the town!

Most Conservation-Minded Lot

We sold land on Portland to the Portland Bird Observatory and Field Tenure who we are sure will be great custodians, whilst woodland at Semley was purchased by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Best 'Wreck'

Whitecross Farm near Beaminster. We showed 83 people around the property, 31 people registered for the legal pack resulting in 28 bids at the auction. The eventual buyer bid blind and saw it for the first time the day following the auction!

Best Television Coverage

The BBC filmed our March auction and a property in Milton Abbas which feature in a programme called The Village in 2019.

Most Loyal Client

Red House Farm, Sherborne. The vendor stated in her will that the property must be sold by auction and Mark Lewis of Symonds & Sampson must be the auctioneer. There was a huge amount of pressure on us to make sure the farm sold for as much as possible so that her faith in us was justified.

Hottest Auction

Our July sale was held on the hottest day of the year. Our sale room had limited ventilation and the microphone broke!

Mark Lewis concludes with this advice to those considering selling or buying property at auction in 2019.  'With the present economic and political climate it is essential to employ the auctioneers with the most experience.  No other firm has our depth of knowledge, coverage and ability', going on to add that 'you also get the most experienced auctioneer in the ‘country’'!

Entries for our 2019 auctions across the region are now welcomed to Mark Lewis 01258 473766.  Click here for the 2019 Calendar 

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