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The guide to selling a house at auction and alternative options

Selling a house at auction can be a good idea if your property has structural issues or any other problems that could prevent it from selling on the open market.

Quick cash buying companies, like ours, can buy any property and prevent the cost of selling a house at auction. We'll buy the house in any condition and will save you the hassle of having to sell your property yourself.

Quick Page Navigation

  1. What is a house auction?
  2. How to sell a house at auction - the process
  3. Pros & Cons of selling at auction
  4. What is the cost of selling a house at auction?
  5. Is selling a house at auction right for me?
  6. Selling a house at auction vs cash buyers

What Is A House Auction?

There are several things to remember when you are considering selling a house at auction. To help you understand how the whole process works, we’ll walk you through it:

  1. Fees - the auction house will take a cut from the sale of your property and this will be around 2.5% of the property price
  2. Choose the right auction house - do your research and find one that specialises in house auctions and has a good reputation
  3. Accept offers in advance - this is legal and is a way to get a quicker sale and a price you’re happy with
  4. Set a reserve price - this is the seller’s minimum acceptable price at auction and the figure below which the auctioneer cannot sell. It may be up to 10% higher than the guide price and remains confidential between the seller and the auctioneer
  5. Set a guide price - this is a value that gives buyers a general idea of how much the seller wants. Selling a house at auction is a gamble so the final selling price could end up being higher or lower than the guide price
  6. Prep your property for a viewing - do some basic DIY, tidy the garden and de-clutter. Even if your property has structural issues, you’ll do better at auction if you show it in its best light
  7. Self-advertise - use social media to get your property in front of as many people as possible for free. You could even take out an ad in your local paper
  8. Auction day - if you decide to attend then get there early, stay calm and hope for the best. If your property doesn’t hit its reserve then you may have the opportunity to seal a deal after the auction with a potential buyer

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How To Sell A House At Auction - The Process

Buying a house at auction is relatively straight forward, but if you’re new to auctions then we’ve got some information to offer you an insight into how the process works:

  • Properties - the types of properties sold at auction are usually problem properties. By this we mean properties that have been repossessed, require renovations, are difficult to value or are unusual
  • Picking your auctioneer – whether you’re selling via a traditional estate agent or you’re selling a house at auction, you need to do your research first. Shop about, read reviews and be informed before picking an auction house
  • Setting the price - agree your reserve price with your auction house. This amount isn’t shared with bidders because it’s the lowest amount you would be happy to accept for the property. The guide price is the amount that bidders will see and gives potential buyers a guide as to what the property is worth
  • Before the auction - make sure your solicitor is on stand-by so give them plenty of notice to prepare the relevant documents. Find out what the fees will be from your auctioneer so you don’t get any nasty surprises. Make sure the auctioneer has advertised your property in a variety of ways i.e. a glossy brochure and newspaper adverts, as well as online to get more exposure. Your auctioneer will inform you if anyone has put in an offer prior to the auction taking place. You must let your auctioneer know if any changes occur, either to the property or its circumstances so they can make the required amends
  • On the day - time will be set aside for potential bidders to enquire about any last-minute changes. If there are any changes, the brochure will be updated. Hopefully you will get a buyer and they must pay a 10% deposit there and then so that contracts can be exchanged. Then you must pay your fees to the auctioneer. If your property doesn’t hit its reserve then you’re able to approach the highest bidder via the auctioneer or your solicitor to negotiate a deal with them

The whole process takes around 28 days, but it might be sooner, depending on if you accept an early bid or a buyer settles their remaining balance faster than expected.

Pros & Cons Of Selling A House At Auction

If you’re considering selling a house at auction then it is really important to weigh up the pros and cons of this service.

✔ Quick sale
✖ Sale isn’t guaranteed
✔ Chain-free
✖ Uncertainty over how much over your reserve price you’ll make until the auction actually takes place
✔ Competitive – you could get a great price for your property if it is marketed to create a buzz
✖ High fees – entry fee as well as possible commission fees once the auction completes
✔ You keep control because a buyer can’t legally pull out
✖ You’ll need to move out quickly because the completion time is only a matter of weeks
✔ Property investors are always looking for projects so ‘problem’ houses are attractive to them
✖ All sales are final so you may feel disappointed if you don’t get what you expected and you can’t back out should your personal circumstances change

There are alternatives to selling a house at auction. Quick cash buyers can buy any property, in any condition and for a fair price.

Get an offer

What Is The Cost Of Selling A House At Auction?

Selling a house at auction could cost nearly £1200 plus VAT in solicitor’s fees and then the selling at auction fees are on top of that, at around 2.5% of the final sale price of the property. Even if your property doesn’t sell, you’ll have to pay the auction fee. The Property Buying Company covers all legal fees and doesn’t charge commission, meaning that the amount we offer you is the amount you’ll receive.

Is Selling A House At Auction Right For Me?

Although a number of properties can do well at auction, it is a gamble. If you don’t meet your reserve then you’ll still have to pay the selling at auction fees and sell your property. Always seek advice from the auctioneer before agreeing to sell your house via this platform. They are experienced enough to let you know if your property is likely to sell and for how much. Don’t go ahead with it if you feel uneasy about anything and if you need a quick sale of your property remember that there are other options available to you.

Selling A House At Auction Vs Cash Buyers

Selling a house at auction can be a great way to get rid of a problem property and it can be pretty exhilarating. However, if you want to guarantee the quick sale of your property then a quick cash buyer could be a better option. The Property Buying Company will offer you a fair cash sum, will complete in a timescale to suit you and will include all legal fees so there are no hidden extras to worry about down the line. What’s even better is that no property is off-limits, even ones that are in need of a lot of renovation or repair.

  • Avoid all the auction & sell fees by choosing us, we even cover the solicitor fees!
  • We're quick, really quick. We're cash buyers that offer a guaranteed sale.
  • The condition, size or location of your home doesn't matter, we buy any home.

Interested in finding out more about our service? Get a free house valuation by calling us on:

0800 024 8444

How much can you get?

Complete a few details to see if your property qualifies and get a cash offer

5 simple steps to having your property sold!

Our quick (but thorough) 5 step sale process means we can buy your house fast and at a great price

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  • 01.

    Check to see if your property is eligible check now

  • 02.

    Receive an offer from us within 24 hours

  • 03.

    We’ll visit your property & formalise our offer

  • 04.

    We’ll instruct solicitors and pay all fees

  • 05.

    Exchange contracts & complete as usual

Rated as Excellent - aww thanks guys!

Independent reviews of our service from reviews.co.uk

4.79 Average

490 Reviews

Morgan Whysall

Abbie wills was absolutely amazing! Throughout a journey of ups and downs she has been the one to be chasing both sides of solicitors making sure we had a quick sale. Customer service Abbie has provided has been absolutely outstanding. Would recommend highly.

Posted 1 day ago

Happy customer

Would highly recommend The Property Buying company if your looking for a quick sale hassle free. My property is complex because it only holds a short lease & because of this it wouldn't sell for the market value & only to a cash buyer. The property Buying Company have helped to change my world by purchasing it from me at obviously a much lower price than it would be if the lease had been longer but now I am able to purchase another property and move on. Elie has gone the extra mile in my opionion... he has worked so very hard to help me not only with the sale of my property but even with negotiating with the seller's of the property I am now hoping to buy! That's what I call great customer service!! Big thank you to Daniel and Charlotte too for their professional friendly customer service.

Posted 5 days ago

Nicola Walker

Abbie has been extremely supportive and professional through our house sale process. We Would highly recommend Abbie and the Property Buying Company! Due to complete very shortly, Thank you for excellent service😊

Posted 2 weeks ago

Philip Coley

Marc has been a joy to talk too over the past few weeks, no pushy sales like other companies I contacted. Looking forward to meeting Patrick once I’m back to full health. Philip Coley (Birmingham)

Posted 2 weeks ago

Malcolm Walker

Never heard of this company before but l have to say that the professionalism was superb from start to finish. Initially Jessica was my first port of call and again she was very helpful indeed. Our main contact after Jessica was Abbie Wills who was both extremely helpful,understanding and gave fantastic customer service deserves a pay rise.What a lovely lady.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Why sell your house to us?

We’re one of the leading buyers of residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

Unlike most of the other options available to you, we are not a broker or middle man, meaning you skip the fees and get a sale quickly and easily.

The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

National Association of Property Buyers The Property Ombudsman

Properties bought by us for cash in
the last 2 years


Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion