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Property expert adamant auctions are 'still best way to sell'

With credit tight and confidence low, one would imagine the auction room might have lost its lustre as the place to sell property.

However, Paddy Jordan, of Jordan Town and Country Estate Agents, Newbridge, Co Kildare, is a firm believer that public auction remains the best way to sell agricultural land.

"Although we are in a very difficult economic environment, our company sold most of the land on our books in 2010 via public auction," Mr Jordan said.

"In the past year we sold 1,000ac. Of that, 90pc was by public auction, with about 80pc sold on the day.

"Even though the values have changed dramatically since the peak in 2006, the traditional auction environment still provides the best forum for the vendor to maximise the price achieved, assuming they have a saleable product from the outset."

He maintained that the auction room suits the Irish temperament.

"The traditional auction process is embedded in the Irish psyche and many country people prefer to buy this way; they understand its parameters, terms and conditions and clearly favour its openness to private treaty," Mr Jordan said.

According to the auctioneer, there were certain key factors in successfully selling a property by public auction. He identified four essentials that have to be in order: the paperwork, the guide price, local goodwill and target marketing.

"First and foremost, the property must be saleable with legal title, planning permissions and any other licences all in order so there are no problems to hinder or delay a deal on the auction day," he said.


"After that the vendors must be prepared to guide and sell the property at a realistic figure. Although the final decision on the day rests with the vendor, they need to develop interest from the outset and therefore a realistic and competitive guide price is essential."

In these days, where fire-sales and enforced sales of one kind or another are becoming more common, Mr Jordan had a word of warning for vendors.

"There needs to be general goodwill if property is being sold, particularly with farms or land," he said.

"There is no point in incurring the expense of advertising if there is a family dispute or the likelihood that some outstanding issue will come to the fore closer to the auction date."

Mr Jordan said properties needed to be presented and marketed in a way that ensured it hit the right target audience.

"In regard to processing the sale, all the financial arrangements of prospective buyers must be in place prior to the auction date as the successful bidder must immediately sign unconditional contracts of sale and pay a 10pc deposit on the property at auction," he said.

Jim O'Brien

Indo Farming