Should I sell my house at auction?

Selling your house at auction could be a great option. Here’s all you need to know…

Our ultimate guide to selling at auction...

Watched a few episodes of Homes Under the Hammer? Think property auctions are only for street-smart investors and property developers? Think again! Auctions have huge appeal to both buyers and sellers alike.

For the sellers amongst you, auctions are a solid and secure way of shifting a property quickly, and there’s no messing about from buyers. If you’re a buyer, then you can purchase properties with no chain and be completed within a matter of weeks. It's a win-win really.

From a breakdown of the auction process to its pros and cons, here’s all you need to know.

Is selling your house at auction a good idea? 

If you're looking for a speedy sale and the peace of mind that your buyer won't just pull out at the last second, then property auctions are great. 30% of private treaty (open market) sales fall through due to the buyer changing their mind and 27% from the seller going with a different buyer. With the modern method of auction, you complete swiftly within 56 days and you also get to set a reserve price of whatever you like. Plus, there are no agency fees to pay, which means you get to keep 100% of the sale price. Not too shabby, eh?

If you’re wondering what reserve price to set, you’ll need to have a good idea of what you could sell for. Grab a 60-second valuation now.

Why not see how much you could sell for at auction?

What are the two types of auction?

As well as the more popular modern method of auction, you also have the option of the traditional method which effectively exchanges contracts as soon as the hammer falls. Traditional auctions are usually held in an auction house, but they can also take place online. All the bidding happens within a few minutes. If your property sells, you’ll exchange contracts immediately. The winning bidder will put down a deposit – usually 10% – straight away.

What is the modern method of auction and why is it so popular?

As mentioned, this is a really popular auction method. Unlike traditional auctions, exchange of contracts doesn’t take place straight away. Instead, exchange and completion take place within 56 days of the auction ending and the draft contract being received by the buyer's solicitor from the seller’s solicitor – so it can be a good choice to reach as many potential buyers as possible. Think of it like bidding on an eBay auction – it allows much more interest as it’s open for longer and includes mortgage buyers. You also get to set your own reserve price - which gives you even more security and total peace of mind.

What are the benefits of buying at the modern method of auction?

As a buyer, you’ll get a detailed auction pack in advance so you can bid on your chosen property with confidence. The structure of the modern method of auction also removes the worry of being gazumped – which can be a real pain when buying on the open market.

What is the reservation fee at the modern method of auction?

Buyers must put down a non-refundable reservation fee to secure a property, which is on top of the purchase price. It's a sign of commitment and agreement to the auction terms. The seller doesn’t have to cover this cost, and they are aware that the buyer is required to consider this on top of the purchase price. You’ll also have to sign a reservation agreement which provides commitment between yourself and the seller to complete the transaction.

Do you know the value of your home?

What are the steps to selling at auction?

1. Pick an estate agent that specialises in auctions

The first step to successfully selling is finding an auction house or an estate agent that specialises in auctions. A company like iamsold has a proven track record, having won multiple awards and currently stands as the largest residential auctioneer in the UK. This can make a big difference as you’ll want to work with someone who knows how to market a home for auction and will get as many people interested as possible. They can help you with every step.

2. Hire a property lawyer

This is a standard step in the property-purchase process. You’ll need a property lawyer who specialises in auctions to do the legal legwork. Often, a lot of the legal work is done before the deal is agreed so find a property lawyer who is efficient and swift.

3. Prepare your home for auction

The fun part! Get your home ready for photographs and the auction process. It’s worth having a clear out of the property – those finger paintings that your children created might make your heart soar with joy but, in photos, they just look like clutter. Consider rearranging the furniture to create a feeling of space.

4. Set a reservation price

You’ll need to fix a reserve price, as well as a guide price. The guide price is what buyers will see on your property listing and a property expert will be able to advise what this should be to encourage maximum interest for your property.

The reserve price is the lowest price you are willing to accept for your property. This may be kept secret, between you, your estate agent and the auctioneer. If offers are lower than the reserve price, the auctioneer can withdraw your property.

5. Get sold

Depending on the type of auction, you’ll either exchange contracts on the day or if it’s the modern method, then your buyer will pay a reservation fee. With a modern method auction, you don't have to exchange straight away, but buyers won’t want to pull out. They’d lose their reservation fee and would probably have to pay pretty high admin fees too.

This is when you’ll complete – and ownership will officially change hands.

Have you got a property to sell? Interested to see how much it may be worth at auction?

Here's the good bit - we can help. We offer a complete range of auction services and we don't take a sales fee until you're sold. So, come on. Let's get moving...

The first step is finding out what you could sell for. And that starts with a free valuation…

How much could I sell for?

*Rightmove House Price Index June 2022
**No agency fees with our modern method of auction, where the buyer pays the reservation fee. Please note the buyer may consider this within their total purchase amount.