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How to Purchase Property at Auction: Explained in 10 Steps

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How to Purchase Property at Auction: Explained in 10 Steps

Read Time:

5 mins


Stamp Duty Tax Relief


28 November 2023

Purchasing a neglected property through an auction presents an exciting opportunity to refurbish it and turn a profit. However, it necessitates meticulous planning and a comprehensive understanding of the auction procedures. This comprehensive manual aims to furnish you with essential guidance and factors to consider when acquiring a rundown property at an auction within the UK.

How to buy property at auction in 2024


Before delving into the auction realm, conduct extensive research to pinpoint suitable properties. Take into account aspects like location, potential for redevelopment, local property market trends, and any legal or planning constraints. Engage with local estate agents, peruse property websites, and attend property exhibitions to gather valuable insights.

2.Know your Auction

Familiarise yourself with the various auction types available in the UK, such as traditional or online auctions. While traditional auctions necessitate physical presence, online auctions can be conducted remotely. Scrutinise the auction catalogue to spot derelict properties meeting your criteria, noting their guide prices and auction dates.

3.Legal and Financial Preparations

Being adequately prepared in legal and financial terms is pivotal to participating in an auction. Seek advice from a solicitor well-versed in property law to scrutinise legal documents like title deeds, leases, or planning permissions, ensuring no hidden issues or potential liabilities exist. Arrange your finances beforehand by securing a mortgage in principle or ensuring sufficient funds for a cash purchase.

4.Property Inspection

Arrange a comprehensive inspection of the derelict property before the auction. Evaluate its structural condition, potential repair needs, and estimated renovation expenses. Enlist professionals like surveyors or builders to provide expert advice and cost estimates—incorporate these expenses when setting your maximum bid for a realistic budget.

5.Auction Attendance and Bidding Tactics

On the auction day, arrive early to register and acquaint yourself with the auctioneer’s rules and sale terms. Establish a strict budget limit and adhere to it to avoid overspending. Consider employing bidding strategies like bidding confidently to discourage competitors, waiting until the final moment to place a bid, or using proxy or telephone bidding services if unable to attend in person.

6.Due Diligence

Once the auction concludes and your bid succeeds, proceed swiftly to finalise the transaction. Seek legal guidance to conduct comprehensive due diligence, including searches, surveys, and necessary investigations to ensure no hidden costs or potential property issues.

7.Financing the Purchase

If financing is required, promptly secure a mortgage or suitable funding options. Submit the necessary documentation promptly to the lender for a smooth and timely approval process.

8.Planning and Permissions

Create a detailed renovation plan and acquire any required planning permissions or building regulations approvals from local authorities. Engage architects, builders, and contractors to estimate costs and offer professional guidance. Ensure compliance with conservation area restrictions, listed building requirements, and energy efficiency regulations.

9.Renovation and Restoration

Upon obtaining all necessary permissions, commence the renovation adhering to a well-structured project plan. Employ skilled tradespeople and professionals to oversee the restoration, ensuring the property meets safety and quality standards. Monitor the project closely to manage timelines, costs, and unforeseen challenges.

10.Legal Completion and Post-Renovation

Following the renovation, inform your solicitor to finalise the purchase. Arrange essential insurance coverage and utility connections. Explore options like selling the property for profit, renting it out, or personal use.

Purchasing a dilapidated property at a UK auction can be an exhilarating venture, offering potential financial gain and personal fulfillment. By following the steps outlined in this informative guide, conducting thorough research, and seeking expert guidance when necessary, you can confidently navigate the auction process and embark on transforming a neglected property into a valuable asset.

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