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How to sell a house at auction

Guide to selling your property at auction

Selling a house at auction

With over 18,000 residential homes sold annually via auction, it’s a popular choice for homeowners seeking a fast and secure sale. Auctions can be particularly advantageous for properties with structural issues or other challenges that might deter traditional buyers. 

If your priorities include speed, security and attracting a wide range of potential buyers, including investors, then an auction could be the perfect solution. 

Auctions offer several benefits, such as a quick turnaround time and legally binding contracts that eliminate buyer withdrawal risks. The competitive bidding environment can also drive up the final selling price, potentially exceeding your expectations.

However, auctions aren’t without drawbacks. There’s no guarantee your property will sell, and the final price remains unknown until the auction concludes. Additionally, auctions involve fees and require a fast move out after the sale.

If your primary goal is a fast and guaranteed sale with minimal hassle, consider alternative options like selling to a cash buying company. Companies like The Property Buying Company can purchase your house in as little as 7 days, bypassing the uncertainties and complexities of the auction process. We even cover your solicitor fees, making the transaction smooth and stress free.

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Why should I sell my house at auction?

Infographic showing the top 6 reasons to use an online auction to sell a house

Selling your house can be a daunting process, but choosing the right method can make all the difference. Have you considered selling your house at auction? Here’s why it might be the perfect fit for you:

Guaranteed results

  • According to Clive Emson Auctioneers, Auctions boast an impressive 80% success rate, significantly higher than the 50% you might expect with a traditional estate agent. This means your chances of securing a sale are considerably higher from the start.

  • Even in the rare case your property doesn’t sell at the auction, the auction house can continue working to find a buyer afterwards, ensuring you’re not left high and dry. 


  • Say goodbye to lengthy chains and last-minute dropouts. Auctions offer a secure, streamlined process, often completing within weeks of the auction date. You’ll receive a non-refundable deposit on the day of the auction, providing immediate security and peace of mind.


  • As soon as the hammer goes down, the auction becomes legally binding and the buyer can’t pull out. 

A versatile solution

  • Auctions are the perfect solution for properties that are unique, in need of renovation, or might otherwise take longer to sell. Whether it’s an unusual construction, a fixer-upper or a property with sitting tenants, auctions welcome all types of properties.

Stress-free selling

  • An experienced auction house handles everything for you: marketing, managing bids, registering buyers, and taking care of the transaction details. You can sit back, relax and let the professionals handle the complexities. 

When auctions shine

  • If you’re looking for a quick, efficient and secure sale, an auction could be the perfect solution. Properties that might be considered “difficult to sell” through traditional methods often thrive in the auction environment. 

There are also protections in place to protect potential buyers, with property auctions operating under established legal frameworks (Sale of Goods Act 1979), providing buyers with a degree of security and recourse if a property doesn’t meet basic standards.

Auctioneers are obligated to provide accurate descriptions of properties, reducing the risk of surprises or misrepresented conditions. While the standards for “satisfactory quality” may vary for older properties, buyers can expect a reasonable level of functionality and safety.

What types of properties thrive at auction?

While nearly any property can be auctioned, some are particularly well-suited for this method of sale, including:

  • Vacant homes

  • Fire-damaged properties

  • Retail spaces

  • Office buildings

  • Industrial units

  • Tenanted properties

  • Ground rents

  • Garages and car parks

  • Land parcels

  • Conversion projects

  • Land with planning permission

  • Churches and chapels

  • Martello towers

  • Underground bunkers

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When shouldn’t you sell your house at auction?

While selling your house at auction comes with many reasons to, there are also quite a few reasons why you shouldn't:

You need a specific price

Auctions don’t guarantee a specific selling price. The final bid depends on the interest of potential buyers on the day of the auction. If you need to sell at a specific price to cover a mortgage or other financial obligations, a traditional sale might be a safer choice.

You want a longer timeline

Auctions are designed for quick sales. If you need more time to prepare your property, move out, or have other logistical considerations, the speed of an auction might not be ideal.

Your property is highly desirable

In a hot market, a highly desirable property might attract more interest and potentially higher offers through a traditional sale with multiple viewings and negotiations.

You’re not comfortable with uncertainty

Auctions can be unpredictable. There’s always a chance your property won’t reach its reserve price or attract enough bidders. If you prefer a more controlled and predictable selling process, an auction might not be the best fit.

You’re concerned about fees

Auction fees can be higher than those charged by estate agents. Make sure you understand the fee structure before deciding on an auction.

Your buyer needs a mortgage

Most auction buyers need to have cash readily available or secure a mortgage quickly. This can limit the pool of potential buyers, as some might not be able to meet the auctions strict financial requirements.

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How quickly will my house sell at auction?

If you need to sell your house quickly, auctions offer a compelling solution. From the moment you list your property, to the moment you exchange your contacts it can be legally sold in 3 to 4 weeks. The entire process, from listing to final sale, can be completed in as little as a month.

How does the auction process work?

  • Before the auction (3-4 weeks)

The auction house prepares marketing materials, advertises your property and conducts viewings. Early listings can maximise exposure and increase the chances of pre-auction offers.

  • Auction day 

Each property is auctioned individually, typically taking 3 to 5 minutes per lot. The winning bidder pays a 10% deposit and exchanges contracts, making the sale legally binding.

  • After the auction (3-4 weeks)

Completion usually occurs 28 days after the auction. However, both parties can agree to an earlier or later completion date to accommodate individual needs. 

Infographic showing the property auction process in 3 steps

Should I accept offers before the auction?

Before your property goes to auction it will be marketed to buyers via the auctioneer and you could potentially get a number of viewings prior to the auction day.

At this point you will sometimes find that potential buyers make you an offer before the auction and it is then up to you as to whether you want to take that or risk going to auction.

It would be wrong for us to say whether you should accept this offer or not because it depends on your personal circumstances, if you want a quick sale as a priority then you may want to accept it.

However if someone is making an offer prior to the property going to auction it often means that they think there will be a high demand for it so they're trying to prevent a bidding war.

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What do I need to know about auctions?

As mentioned before, selling your house at auction offers a fast and secure sale, as buyers are legally bound once the hammer falls, with a 10% deposit due immediately and the remainder within a month, or 2 months if selling via MMoA

The competitive bidding process can significantly increase the final price, particularly in a live auction environment where eager buyers vie for your property. 

Auction houses attract a diverse range of buyers, including those specialising in unique or fixer-upper properties, ensuring your house reaches the right audience and receives full market value.

If time is of the essence, auctions are an excellent option. With sufficient interest at a realistic reserve price, your property can sell quickly, making it ideal for urgent situations like relocation or financial needs.

The auction world offers a variety of options, each specialising in different property types or situations. Researching and selecting the right auction house is important to maximising your property’s value and achieving a successful sale.

While auctioning provides these benefits, be mindful of the associated costs. Auctioneers usually charge around 2.5% of the sale price, plus potential advertising fees. Engaging a solicitor for legal aspects is also essential, so compare fees to find a balance of affordability and quality service. 

How to choose an auction house

The property auction industry is less fragmented than the estate agent market, with a smaller number of players dominating the landscape. While around 80% of auctioned properties are sold by just 25 auction houses, choosing the right one for your property requires careful consideration. 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the “best” auction house depends on your own situation and the type of property you have. To make an informed decision, you should:

  1. Compare auction houses: research their fees, marketing strategies, success rates and area of specialisation.

  2. Check online reviews: Look for feedback from other sellers on platforms like Trustpilot or Google. 

  3. Seek expert advice: Consult experienced estate agents, property professionals or cash buyers for recommendations and insights. 

  4. Consider your property type: Some auction houses specialise in specific property types (e.g. repossession) or situations (e.g. quick sales). 

Some other important things to consider when choosing your property auctioneer are:

Beyond market share

  • Don't be swayed by size: The largest auction houses may not have a strong presence in your area or the highest success rates. Their sheer size can also lead to impersonal service and potential delays.

  • Smaller can be better: Boutique auction houses often provide personalised attention, have highly experienced staff and boast impressive success rates.

Prioritising success rates

  • Aim high: Look for auction houses with a success rate above the industry average of 70.6%. Top performers achieve success rates of 90% or more.

  • Beware of low success: Auction houses with low success rates might overvalue properties to attract listings, potentially leading to disappointment for sellers.

Leveraging reviews (with caution)

  • Beware of mixed reviews: Many auction houses also offer estate agent services, so filter reviews to focus on their auction performance.

  • Red flags: Negative reviews from buyers can indicate unethical practices that might impact sellers too.

  • Don’t be fooled by fake reviews: Look for a balance of positive and negative feedback, and consider the number of reviews in addition to the overall score.

Beyond price: Understanding auction fees

Auction house fees vary widely. While cheaper options might seem appealing, consider the bigger picture:

  • Value over cost: A higher-priced auction house with a superior track record and stronger marketing strategies might achieve a higher sale price, ultimately making them the most cost-effective choice. 

With so many auction houses to choose from, finding the right one for your specific needs can be a challenge. Some auction houses specialise in specific types of properties (repossessions, probate properties) or situations (quick sales, cash release). 

Consider if your property fits any of these categories. But, most auction houses can handle a wide range of property types. If you have a standard residential or commercial property, this could be a good option.

Property AuctionProperty AuctionMarket ShareSuccess RateReviews (Trustpilot)Selling Fees
Auction HouseFranchise / TraditionalN/A86%4.8/52%+VAT
Barnard MarcusTraditional26%75%3.1/500%
The Property Auction CompanyOnlineN/AN/A4.6/50%
Property Solvers Online AuctionOnlineN/AN/A4.6/5N/A
Under the HammerOnlineN/A80%4.6/51.5% - 2.5%

*Correct as of May 2024. In case where "N/A" is used, our researchers could not find the data on their website. The Property Auction Company is a brand new auction company, so data is limited.

Companies like Allsop, Auction House, Barnard Marcus, and Countrywide have extensive reach and a large database of potential buyers. Which could be beneficial if you want maximum exposure for your property. 

But, platforms like The Property Auction Company, Property Solvers Online Auctions, and Under The Hammer offer a modern, convenient approach. They often use technology for faster and more secure sales, and they may be part of larger networks specialising in quick property transactions.  

In order to choose the right auction company for you, you should: Compare the different auction houses, their fees, marketing strategies and success rates. Look for online reviews on Trustpilot or Google from other sellers. Talk to experienced estate agents, cash buyers (like ourselves) or auctioneers to get recommendations and insights.  

Check out our guide on the Best Online Auction Companies for detailed information and comparisons to help you make an informed decision.

What are reserved prices?

The reserve price is simply the lowest price you will be able to accept - it completely depends on your situation but again this is something that your auctioneer can help you with.

If all the offers you get on your property are lower than this then your property will be withdrawn.

Think long and hard about it though, if someone offers your reserve price then the hammer will drop and you can't drop out at this point!

If you get your reserve wrong and nobody offers high enough, don't worry. After the auction has finished you can still negotiate with any of the buyers at the auction.

What to do before auction?

Before the property auction, you will need to carry out everything in this checklist:

1. Choose your auction company

Select a reputable auction house with a track record of successful sales, particularly in your property type or local area. This ensures your property is marketed to the right audience by experienced professionals.

2. Instruct a solicitor

Secure legal representation early in the process. Your solicitor will handle the conveyancing process and prepare the legal pack, a crucial document for potential buyers.

3. Set your price expectations

Work with the auctioneer to establish a guide price (the amount you’d ideally like to achieve) and a reserve price (the minimum you’ll accept). Research similar properties and get a valuation to inform these figures.

4. Get your property ready

Declutter, clean and make minor repairs (painting, fixing doors etc) to showcase your property in its best light. Your auctioneer should arrange for high-quality photos to showcase your property online.

5. Make sure your auctioneer is marketing your property

Your auction house should handle most of the marketing, and you will need to check that they are sharing your house across the property portals, social media and their database.

6. Accommodate viewings

Be flexible and welcoming to potential buyers who want to inspect the property. This can be a deciding factor for many bidders.

7. Finalise the legal pack

We will speak on this later, but you will need to work with your solicitor to ensure all necessary paperwork is prepared and submitted to the auction house well in advance.

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What are the fees for selling house at auction?

Selling a house at auction could cost nearly £1200 plus VATin 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.

How to set a guide price

The guide price is important for attracting potential buyers and driving a swift sale in a property auction. It is the publicly advertised starting point for bidding. In estate agent listings, it usually reflects the seller’s minimum price and the agent’s assessment of market value. In auctions, it’s set by the auctioneer after the seller establishes their reserve price. 

To ensure transparency and avoid misleading buyers, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) introduced guidelines in 2014:

  • 10% Rule: The guide price must be within 10% of the seller’s reserve price (either a single figure or a range).

  • No Understating: The guide price cannot be more than 10% lower than the reserve price. 

These rules help potential buyers estimate the reserve price and make informed bidding decisions. Your auctioneer will advise you, but ultimately, you decide the guide price. Consider these factors:

  • Market value: Research recent sales of comparable properties in your area.

  • Condition: Factor in the condition of your property and any necessary repairs.

  • Motivation: How quickly do you need to sell? A lower guide price can attract more bidders and create a sense of urgency. 

The guide price is just an indication, not a commitment. You are not obligated to accept any bids below your reserve price. By understanding the role of the guide price and working closely with your auctioneer, you can set a price that attracts competitive bidding and leads to a successful auction sale. 

How to set a guide price infographic 10% Rule

Legal considerations

When it comes to selling your house at auction, there are a few legal hurdles you and your solicitors will need to consider:

Legally binding contract

Once the hammer falls at auction, the sale becomes legally binding. The highest bidder is obligated to purchase the property, and you, as the seller, are obligated to sell it. This means you cannot change your mind or negotiate further after the auction.

Pre-auction legal pack

Before the auction, you’ll need to instruct a solicitor to prepare a legal pack for potential buyers, this usually includes:

  • Title deeds

  • Property information form (TA6)

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

  • Any relevant planning permissions or building regulation documents

  • Information and fixtures and fittings

  • Leasehold information (if applicable)

  • Any other relevant legal documents.

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Special conditions of sale

Your solicitor can also draft special conditions of sale that address specific aspects of the transaction, such as:

  • Completion timeline

  • Payment terms

  • Any issues that need to be resolved before completion

Buyer’s due diligence

It’s important that potential buyers conduct their own due diligence before the auction, which may include reviewing the legal pac, conducting surveys and obtaining their own legal advice. 

Post auction legal process

After the auction, your solicitor will work with the buyer’s solicitor to finalise the sale, which includes exchanging contracts, transferring ownership and completing the financial transaction. 

Other legal considerations

Due to Disclosure of Information, you are legally obligated to disclose any known defects or issues with the property. Failure to do so can lead to legal disputes after the sale.

10 Things to avoid doing at an auction

While selling your house at auction offers many advantages, there are some common things that can undermine your success. By steering clear of these missteps you can ensure a smoother and more profitable auction experience:

1# Don’t overestimate your property’s value

Setting an unrealistically high reserve price can deter potential buyers and lead to a failed auction. Collaborate with your auctioneer to determine a fair and competitive reserve that reflects market conditions and attracts interest.

2# Don’t neglect pre-auction preparation

While the auction house handles the most of the marketing and logistics, your active participation is vital. Provide accurate and compelling information about your property, ensure high-quality photographs and be readily available for viewings.

3# Don’t be dishonest about property defects

Transparency is key in any property transactions. Disclosing any known issues upfront builds trust with potential buyers and avoids potential legal disputes down the line.

4# Don’t rush into an auction

Allow ample time for the auction house to prepare the legal pack, market your property effectively and conduct viewings. A rushed auction can lead to inadequate preparation and potentially lower bids.

5# Don’t disregard professional guidance

Your auctioneer and solicitor are valuable resources throughout the process. Seek their expertise on setting a realistic reserve price, preparing legal documents and navigating the auction process.

6# Don’t be rigid with completion dates

While you can set a preferred completion date, be open to negotiation with the buyer. Flexibility can attract a wider range of bidders and potentially result in a higher sale price.

7# Don’t lose hope of your property doesn’t sell initially

If your property doesn’t reach its reserve price at auction, it’s not the end of the road. You can still negotiate with interested bidders afterward, or re-list the property in a future auction.

8# Don’t underestimate auction fees

Factor in the auction house’s fees when calculating your expected profit. These fees can vary depending on the company and the final selling price.

9# Don’t neglect the presentation of your property

Ensure your property is clean, well-maintained and visually appealing for viewings. First impressions matter and can significantly influence potential buyer’s interest and bidding behaviour.

10# Don’t overlook online auctions

Online auctions offer convenience, wider reach and increased accessibility for potential buyers. Consider this option if you’re comfortable with someone taking the auction process completely off your hands.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following these guidelines, you can maximise your chances of a successful auction, achieving a quick and profitable sale while minimising stress and any potential complications.

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Pros and cons of selling property 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 - properties bought at auction often complete in 28 days, so you could have your next project on your hands within just a few weeks.✖ Sale isn’t guaranteed
✔ Chain-free - immediately after an auction, contracts are exchanged and you're legally bound to sell the property. This means that no-one can offer higher and take it off you. During the auction you'll see what other people bid for the lot, so you won't have to decide if you trust an estate agent saying what others may have offered.✖ 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 - many investors go to property auctions in the hopes of grabbing a bargain. This often comes in the form of a property much in need of repairs. Property investors who can afford to do up a house can sell it on for a profit. Other people purchase properties with a view to let 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.

What are the pros of the selling house at auction?

Properties bought at auction usually complete within 28 days, offering a fast and efficient sale process compared to selling with an estate agent, this allows you to move on to your next project or investment without delay.

Contracts are exchanged immediately after the auction, providing a legally binding agreement and eliminating the risk of gazumping or lengthy chains, offering sellers security and peace of mind. 

Witnessing the bidding process firsthand allows you to gauge the true market value of your property and potentially achieve a higher selling price than anticipated through competitive bidding.

Auctions often attract property investors seeking renovation projects or rental opportunities. This can be beneficial if your property requires repairs or upgrades, as investors are often willing to pay a premium for the potential return on investment.

Once the hammer falls, thes sale is legally binding, giving you control and eliminating the possibility of buyers backing out due to cold feet or finding a better offer. 

What are the cons of the selling house at auction?

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee your property will sell at auction. If it doesn’t reach the reserve price, you might re-list it or explore alternative selling options. 

While competitive bidding can drive up the price, there’s also a chance it won’t exceed your expectations. The final selling price remains uncertain until the auction concludes.

Auctions involve fees, including entry fees and potential commission fees upon successful sale. These costs should be factored into your financial calculations. 

The fast completion timeline can be challenging if you need more time to move out or make arrangements. You’ll need to be prepared for a quick transition after the auction. 

All sales are final at auction. If you’re not satisfied with the final price or your circumstances change, you cannot back out of the transaction.  

If these potential cons of selling your house at auction are causing hesitation, consider selling to us! Here at The Property Buying Company we can offer you a secure, free and fast sale that no auction company can offer.

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Is selling my 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.

If after reading this guide, you are perhaps getting an inkling that property auctions aren’t your best option then you might be curious as to what other options you have available, here are your main choices:

Infographic showing the time to sell and Below market offer for property auctions, quick house sale companies, online estate agencies, part house exchanges, private sales and estate agents

Estate agents

  • This is the most traditional way of selling your home. It involves an estate agent visiting your home, valuing it and putting it on popular property portals and waiting for enquiries. This method is typically quite slow in comparison to auctions and other options. Estate agents will also charge you a fee which is either a percent of your property or a flat cost when the sale is complete.

Private sale

  • This is when you sell your house yourself. It means you put in the leg work and use your network of connections in any way possible to sell your home, this will save you the estate agent fee.

Part exchange

  • This will only work for some as it tends to only be offered if you're buying a new build. The new build company itself will offer to buy your home if you buy theirs in exchange. This however is often done at significantly below market value.

Quick sale companies

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.

Why do houses not sell at auction?

While auctions often lead to successful sales, there are instances where a property might not find a buyer. This can happen for several reasons. One common issue is misaligned pricing. If the reserve price, the minimum you're willing to accept, is set too high, it can discourage potential buyers, even if they are genuinely interested.

Auctioneers are experienced, but misjudgements can happen. Similarly, the guide price, advertised publicly can also influence buyer interest. An inflated guide price might deter bidders, while a suspiciously low one could raise concerns about the property’s condition. 

Insufficient buyer interest can also be a factor. Despite the auctioneer’s efforts, sometimes a property fails to generate enough buzz. This could be due to various factors, including timing, marketing strategy or the property’s specific appeal. 

Even with decent interest, the actual number of bidders on auction day can be unpredictable. If too few bidders participate or their offers fall short, the property might not sell. 

Another potential issue is limited viewing opportunities. Potential buyers might need to see the property in person to make an informed decision. If viewing slots are limited or inconveniently timed, it can hinder buyer interest and participation. 

Finally, problems with the legal documentation can also deter buyers. A flawed legal pack can raise red flags for potential buyers and their solicitors. Missing information, inconsistencies or potential legal issues can deter bidders from proceeding. 

Remember, auctioneers are motivated to sell your property, as their commission depends on a successful outcome. They’ll work with you to address any issues and find solutions to ensure your property reaches its full potential at auction. 

Can a seller pull out of an auction sale?

While a seller has flexibility before the auction - they can withdraw the property, postpone the sale, or even accept a pre-auction offer - the situation changes dramatically once the hammer falls. 

At that moment, a legally binding agreement is formed between the seller and the highest bidder. This means the seller cannot simply pull out of the sale without facing significant consequences. 

Unlike a standard sale where there might be room for negotiation or withdrawal, an auction sale is definitive. Attempting to back out after the auction can result in:

  • Loss of deposit: The seller will usually lose their deposit, which is a substantial amount (often 10% of the sale price). 

  • Liability for fees: The seller may also be liable for the auction house’s fees and other associated costs incurred by the buyer.

  • Legal action: In some cases, the buyer could take legal action against the seller for breach of contract, potentially leading to further financial penalties. 

In essence, once the gavel falls at an auction, both the seller and the buyer are firmly committed to the sale. The only way for a seller to withdraw at this stage would be if the buyer fails to fulfil their obligations, such as not providing the necessary funds for completion. 

If you’re looking for an even more secure and predictable selling experience, consider selling your house with a reputable cash house buyer. Here at The Property Buying Company, we guarantee a sale at a pre-agreed price, often with a faster completion timeline and no risk of buyer withdrawal, providing a reliable alternative to the uncertainties of an auction.

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Sell your house at auction

Looking to sell your house quickly and efficiently? Want a truly stress free house sale? The Property Auction Company, a branch of our leading UK house selling solutions company, offers a seamless auction experience, combining our expertise as cash buyers with a streamlined auction platform.

Forget the weeks of waiting to get your property listed, our efficient process can have your house on auction within a week, ensuring a fast sale. We boast high success rates, thanks to our established reputation and a vast network of potential buyers.

Although The Property Auction Company is a relatively new auction company, as it was brought into existence just this year. Our process is completely transparent, with rigorous AML checks and a simple registration and bidding process.

We are proud of our 4.6/5 star rating on Trustpilot, reflecting our commitment to positive customer experience. With our team bringing over 100 years of combined experience, ensuring you’re in safe hands throughout the process.

The Property Auction Company Logo

When you sell your house with The Property Auction Company, you benefit from a seamless, Trustworthy and efficient process. We’ll guide you through every step, ensuring a stress-free experience and a successful sale. 

If you are ready to sell your house quickly and confidently, fill out our postcode form as normal below, and then ask to sell your house at auction! Let us help you achieve your selling goals with our streamlined auction process and expert guidance. 

How to sell a house at auction FAQs

What happens if a property doesn’t sell at auction UK?

If your property doesn’t reach its reserve price at auction, it doesn't mean the sale is over. The auctioneer may invite any interested bidders to make offers directly to you after the auction or they might re-list your property onto the next auction.

Do I have to accept the highest bid?

No you are not obligated to accept the highest bid at auction if it does not meet your predetermined reserve price. 

If the highest bid doesn’t reach your reserve price, the property is considered “unsold” and won’t be sold at that auction. However, you can then negotiate with interested bidders after the auction or explore other selling options.

Only when a bid meets or exceeds your reserve price does the auctioneer’s hammer fall, signalling the acceptance of the highest bid and the legally binding sale of your property.

How quickly will I have to move out?

The exact timeframe for moving out depends on the specific auction house and the chosen auction option, but generally you can expect to vacate the property within 28 to 56 days after the auction.

If the prospective buyer does not agree to pay the fee do I lose my offer?

The buyer’s refusal to pay auction fees doesn’t automatically void your offer, but it could potentially jeopardise the sale. If the buyer refuses, then you can try to negotiate the terms of the sale with the buyer. 

Perhaps they’re willing to pay a higher price to cover the fees, or you could agree to cover a portion of them. If negotiations fail, you have the option to seek out another buyer who is willing to meet the auction terms. 

In some cases, the auction house might have the right to take legal action against the buyer for breach of contract.

Is selling a house at auction a good idea?

Selling your house at auction can be a good idea for certain situations, like if you need to sell your house quickly, auctions can often be the fastest route. Completion usually occurs within 28 days, allowing you to move on without delays. 

Once the hammer falls, the sale is legally binding, providing certainty that the buyer won’t back out due to a change of heart or a better offer. 

Auctions are particularly beneficial if you require a quick cash release. Whether it’s due to financial pressure, probate, divorce or other circumstances, an auction ensures a guaranteed sale and faster access to funds than a traditional sale.

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