Property auctions are a favoured route to both buy and sell residential and investment property and land, with the benefits of fixed timescales and transparent bidding.

Cheffins' property auctions take place four times per year and offer a professional and comprehensive service for both purchasing and disposing of various property types.

Download our property auction guide

What type of property is suitable for property auction?

Most types of property can be sold at auction, but some properties are more suitable than others.

Cheffins offers a wide variety of properties for sale by auction including:

  • Amenity land and paddocks
  • Farmland and buildings
  • Properties for refurbishment or conversion
  • Properties with structural damage or derelict properties
  • Residential and commercial investments
  • Development land and building plots
  • Sales by executors, charities, government bodies, banks and corporations

We also consign property from executors, charities, government bodies, banks and corporations. If you wish to speak to us about consigning a property to one of our Property Auctions, please contact us.

How much does it cost to sell a property at auction?

The fees for selling a property at auction include an upfront entry fee which is non-refundable and payable before the auction which ranges from £250 plus VAT - £500 plus VAT.

If the property sells successfully, there is also a sale commission fee which ranges between 1.5% and 2% plus VAT of the sale price; this is deducted from the deposit paid by the buyer. The auctioneer will always confirm the selling fees with the seller following initial inspection of the property.

It is important to agree terms at an early stage as marketing cannot commence until we have received signed instructions. If you are not known to us then we will need copies of documents in accordance with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations to confirm Proof of Identity and Evidence of Address.

How to buy a property at auction

If you wish to purchase a property at one of our auctions, you can either attend the auction personally or instruct a friend, agent or solicitor to attend and bid on your behalf.

Bidding at the property auction

The person bidding for you at the property auction will require written authority to do so and identification documents verifying both your and their identities.

If you intend to bid personally at the auction, please make sure that you arrive in plenty of time to register. You will need to complete a simple form which includes your details and those of your solicitor as well some form of identification. You will be given a Buyer's Number for use at the auction. There is no charge for registering or attending the auction.

I'm unable to attend the property auction, can I still bid?

If you or your representative are unable to attend the auction in person, you can bid by telephone, by proxy or online. Contact Cheffins auctioneers in plenty of time to make the relevant arrangements. To register to bid online please click here.

Fees for buying a property at auction

If you are the successful bidder at the auction you will be bound under contract on the fall of the auctioneer's hammer.

You will need to pay a deposit on the day of the auction (usually 10% of  the sale price), sign the Sale Memorandum and ensure funds are in place to complete the sale 20 working days after the auction. There is also a fixed Buyer's Contract Fee of £600 including VAT for purchases upto £150,000, or £900 including VAT for purchases of £150,000 or over. If you are not the successful bidder this fee is not payable.

Stamp duty on auction property

Stamp duty obligations are the same for properties purchased at auction as with other methods of sale.

The rate of stamp duty on auction property depends upon the type and value of the property, the sale price and whether the asset is your only property or an additional one.

We recommend that buyers check with their solicitor/accountant as to the amount of stamp duty payable or use the stamp duty calculator on HMRC's website.

Does an auction property need a survey?

If you would like to undertake a survey of the property that you are interested in purchasing, this will need to be arranged at your own cost.

You may also want to take independent professional advice or obtain a valuation of the property.

The property auction Legal Pack

If you are selling a property at auction it is important that you involve solicitor in the auction process at an early stage so that a detailed Legal Pack can be produced.

The Legal Pack includes details on title, legal searches, propery seller's information, fixtures and fittings, planning permissions etc and any Special Conditions of Sale that need to be included in the contract. A full legal pack provides full disclosure of any legal issues relating to the property and can give buyers more confidence to bid at auction.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will be required for certain types of property (including nearly all residential properties) and these can either be arranged by the auctioneers or through your solicitors as part of the Legal Pack.

Legal Packs are available to download via our website prior the auction.

Setting a Reserve Price at a property auction

Most properties are sold subject to a 'reserve' which is the minimum price at which the auctioneer will sell the property.

The amount of the reserve is not normally disclosed to potential buyers. The reserve will be discussed and agreed with the seller 2 or 3 days before the auction once there has been some feedback from the marketing of the property. It is important to note that the level of the reserve should not be set above the lower end of the guide price.

Completion of the sale 

On the day of the auction, when bidding reaches the reserve price or above, the fall of the auctioneer's hammer creates a legally binding contract.

The auctioneer's clerk will sign the Sale Memorandum on the seller's behalf and collect the deposit from the buyer.  Once the deposit funds have been cleared, we deduct our sales commission and any outstanding expenses, and the balance is sent to the seller's solicitors together with a copy of the Sale Memorandum. The solicitors will then deal with the completion and handling of the balance of the purchase price.

How long does completion of the sale take?

Completion normally takes place 20 working days after the auction but this can be sooner or later depending on the seller's requirements.

More questions about buying & selling at a property auction?

Download our property auction guide

Call one of our team.