Successful ways to bid at auction
Buying a home at a public auction can be a daunting experience, particularly for first-timers. But with an increasing number of Irish properties going under the hammer, it's time to face your fears and get bidding! Here June Edwards gives some key tips for surviving your first auction.
Before the auction, get a list of auction properties and identify the lots which suit you. Check whether they come with vacant possession, tenants or other special conditions.
Commission a reliable survey, undertaken to ensure the property is structurally sound.
Get your solicitor to ensure there are no legal problems with the title or peculiar conditions that could affect the property, including right-of-way or access issues.
Have all your finances in order, with formal approval from your lender.
As the actual reserve is often concealed, check the maximum reserve price which is the price below which the seller is unwilling to sell. By informing you of the maximum reserve, the seller is guaranteeing they will sell the property for any price in excess of this figure. However, the actual reserve price may be lower.
Register your interest so the auctioneer can contact you if the property is withdrawn or sells prior to auction.
On the day
nCheck for last minute changes to the conditions of sale.
nIf you are nervous about the bidding process, ask your solicitor or another party to bid on your behalf.
nSet a strict limit for what you will spend.
nBring a chequebook, details of your solicitor, a valid form of identification such as a passport or a driving licence, and proof of address, including a utility bill or bank statement.
nCheck the order of sale, so you know when bidding opens on your lot.
nOnce invited to make bids, raise your hand or catalogue when you want to bid and make sure the auctioneer sees you.
Going, going gone!
nOnce your bid is accepted at auction, you are legally bound to buy the property.
nFollowing a successful bid, complete a purchaser's slip; give a 10pc deposit cheque, identification and your solicitor's details.
nAfter completing the purchaser's slip, approach the contracts desk and sign the Memorandum of Sale.
nCompletion of sale takes place about five weeks after the auction date.
nAuction properties are not sold 'subject to finance' or 'subject to survey', but are sold unconditionally. If your bid is accepted, you are legally obliged to buy.
nIf your bid is accepted, don't leave the auction without your signed Memorandum of Sale.
nIf the property you are interested in does not sell, register your highest bid before leaving, as many lots are sold 'off the floor' after the auction.