Like all property transactions, when you are buying or selling a property at auction, there is a lot to think about beyond the sale of the property.
At AFG Law, we can help with these complicated legal steps and guide you through the purchasing process at auction.
What is auction conveyancing?
Auction conveyancing is the sale and purchase of both residential and commercial properties at auction.
Purchasing a property at auction involves making decisions at a fast speed, which is why it is always beneficial to have an auction conveyancing solicitor to guide you through the conveyancing process if you are successful at the auction. Most importantly, an auction conveyancing solicitor should be instructed as early as possible before the auction.
How does auction conveyancing work?
Buying a property at auction is very different from buying a property on the open market. The process of buying at auction will generally be as follows:
- You, as the buyer, will identify a property in the online auction catalogue.
- Your auction solicitor should review the legal pack to identify any issues with the property.
- The auction pack report will be prepared by your solicitor, which will outline issues identified in the legal pack and what documents are missing.
- You, as the buyer, can then review the auction report and from there, you can:
- Withdrawn from the transaction if it’s too risky
- Instruct your solicitor to try and rectify title defects
- Resolve to bid at auction
- Ensure your finances for the purchase are in order, whether this is for a mortgage in principle or cash purchase.
- If you choose to bid on a property at auction, you will either lose out or make the winning bid. If you are the winning bidder you will exchange contracts on the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer. This means you will have a legal commitment to buy the property.
- If you make a winning bid, you will have a limited amount of time to complete the purchase. Usually the window to do so is around 20 working days, but this can be reduced by the seller.
- You would then provide funds to your solicitors and the completion of the purchase will take place.
What does a solicitor do when buying a property at auction?
An auction solicitor’s role when buying at auction is to review the property’s legal pack as well as completing the transaction.
The legal pack contains various important documents about the property, including evidence that the seller owns the property, searches and specific conditions that may affect the sale.
Auction solicitors will identify any title defects that are revealed by documents within the legal pack. Title defects are issues affecting the title to the property that may affect the value of it and your ability to sell it on after completion. In addition, your solicitor will identify what documents are missing from the pack and what risk there is in that document being missing.
Do I need to instruct a solicitor for an auction property?
Yes, it is vital that you instruct solicitor when buying a property at auction. Many buyers may read the auction pack and understand it, but even the most experienced property investors will not know exactly what to look for.
Properties are more than likely put into an auction because they have something wrong with them. This is usually the reason why they cannot be sold on the open market. By reviewing the legal pack a solicitor acting for a buyer may identify what the problem is, whether or not it can be resolved and at what cost.
Some buyers go to auction with the intention of getting a mortgage on completion, but in these circumstances, they need to be sure that there is nothing affecting the property that will prevent getting a mortgage on it. This is when you will need the advice of a solicitor before the auction.
When you make a winning bid at an auction, on the fall of the hammer, you will exchange contracts to purchase the property. This is a legally binding contract in which you are committed to buy the property.
If you later decide not to buy the property and fail to complete the transaction, you will:
- Lose your deposit that your have paid to the auctioneers; and
- Potentially face a claim from the sellers for a breach of contract
Do I need a conveyancer before going to the auction?
Yes, you should instruct a solicitor before going to the auction since they need to review the legal pack to identify any title defects. After the auction may be too late.
If a buyer makes a winning bid at auction, they will be committed to buying the property “warts and all”. Buyers should make sure before the auction that they have carried out all necessary checks. This includes checking the legal pack and obtaining a report on that pack from their solicitor. Buyers should not expect to carry out checks after the auction as it will be too late. Once a buyer has exchanged contracts at auction to buy a property, they will not be able to back out or withdraw from the contract if they subsequently discover a problem with the property. For this reason, it is key a solicitor is appointed as early as possible.
How much does auction conveyancing cost?
Our costs here at AFG Law will depend on the type of property that is in auction,our instructions and the contents of the auction pack.
At AFG Law, our costs for an auction property purchase start at £395 plus VAT.
Auction Conveyancing Solicitors in Bolton and Bury
At AFG Law, we have a team of highly experienced solicitors who have years of experience dealing with property auctions. We know, as a buyer, you will need a quick turnaround, which is why our knowledgeable and expert solicitors are the perfect choice.
If you are thinking of buying a property at auction, contact us today to see how we can help you.