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Where to sell property online

At SDL Property Auctions, we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the UK’s leading property auctioneers, largely thanks to the countless successful sales we’ve achieved on behalf of our sellers. While the majority of these sales have been attributed to our longest-running auction method, our Auction Events, these traditional-style property auctions are not the only selling route we have available – with our Timed Auctions offering a new and exciting way to buy and sell property online.

Developed in response to the changing times and trends, in which increased bidding flexibility and freedom are prioritised, our Timed Auctions offer buyers the chance to bid at their leisure within a predetermined deadline, set by the seller. This alternative online property auction method is a modernisation, rather than a complete rehaul of traditional auctions, meaning that the same binding contracts still apply. With the transparency, certainty and security of online auctions protected, and more flexibility granted to both sellers and buyers, Timed Auctions may be the best way for you to sell your property online.

To help you decide if this method of sale is right for you, we’ve broken down the most important things to know about our online property auctions on this advice page. We’ll cover exactly what a Timed Auction is, what the differences are between them and our other selling methods, and a full step-by-step guide on how to sell by online auction, if this is the route you choose to take.

What is a Timed Auction? 

As the name suggests, Timed Auctions take place over a pre-specified length of time, during which prospective buyers are invited to make bids on the listed property. The lengthened bidding period gives buyers sufficient time to organise viewings, compare properties, contact solicitors and ultimately register their interest through a bid. 

The bidding process for online auctions also works similarly to live streamed auctions, where buyers can bid incrementally, offering more than the existing highest bid to secure the sale. If a bid is placed within the final 30 seconds of the auction’s timer, an additional 30 seconds will be added to allow all prospective buyers a chance to raise the bid. Crucially, these bids are contractually binding, with the highest bidder legally required to complete the sale once bids have been closed at the end of the auction.

These rules are put in place to help the seller achieve the best price possible for their property and reduce the possibility of a buyer dropping out to near zero. The process is also very hands-off, allowing the seller to sit back and watch the bids come in on their property, with the responsibilities of marketing, hosting viewings and mediating offers all completely taken care of by our experienced team.

What is the difference between a Timed Auction and a live streamed auction?

The biggest difference between our online auctions (Timed Auctions) and our live streamed auctions (Auction Events) is the time frames in which they are hosted. Properties available in both auction formats are listed online and available to view at any time, however, while buyers must wait for the live-streamed auction to bid on a property in our Auction Events, online auction properties are open to receive offers for the entire length of the Timed Auction. 

What is the difference between a Timed Auction and Buy It Now?

Our Buy It Now selling method allows buyers to purchase property immediately and under auction conditions (meaning the sale is binding once the bid has been made). In order for a bid to qualify, it must meet the guide price displayed on the listing. This is the most important difference between Buy It Now and a Timed Auction for sellers to be aware of, as the former accepts the first bid which meets the guide price, while the latter encourages competitive bidding over a longer time period, increasing your chances of securing a higher price for your lot.

How to sell your property online in a Timed Auction

One thing that all of our selling options have in common, whether it be our live streamed auctions, online auctions or Buy It Now listings, is that the process for the seller is designed to be quick, easy and hassle-free. In only seven short steps, you could go from having a property to sell to having sold your lot safely and securely with us. 

If you’re considering selling by online auction, familiarise yourself with these simple steps by reading our full walk-through below, or get in touch with our team to learn more. We’ve also got a full guide to selling your property by auction which you can refer to, as well as a selling FAQs page which addresses our most-asked questions.

1. Request a property valuation 

At SDL Property Auctions, we offer free, no-obligation property valuations to all potential sellers to help them decide whether or not they want to sell with us and give them an idea of what they could achieve if they did. We utilise the experience and local expertise of our team to provide these appraisals, taking the time to consider everything from market trends to the property’s specific offerings, to generate an accurate valuation.

2. Agree on a reserve price

Using the initial property valuation, the next step is to strategically price your property ready for the online auction. This involves our knowledgeable team setting a guide price for the property, and advising you on a suitable reserve price. These figures can’t have a difference of more than 10%, so we’ll help you strike the right balance between protecting your property and drumming up buyer interest. 

3. Choose a method of sale – unconditional or conditional

Within our Timed Auctions, you have two selling methods available to you, which are unconditional and conditional. We recommend visiting our blog and reading our comprehensive guide to conditional and unconditional auctions which breaks down the differences between each selling option, and why one may suit you more than the other, but we’ve given a quick summary of these options below:

  • An unconditional Timed Auction sees the exchange of contracts happen immediately after the auction has ended. In order to qualify, the highest bid must have met or exceeded the seller’s reserve price. Once contracts have been exchanged, both parties have a completion period (usually of 30 days, unless specified otherwise) to complete the sale.
  • A conditional Timed Auction extends the length of the completion period from the standard 30 days, to 60 days, through the addition of an exclusivity agreement. The extension is ideal for attracting a wider range of buyers, particularly those who will rely on a mortgage offer to purchase the property, as it allows more time to organise finances.

Regardless of the sale method chosen, all bidders are required to provide payment details in advance of bidding as pre-authorisation. This allows immediate payment to be made when the auction ends, giving sellers instant confirmation of the sale, as well as security in the deposits and fees paid, should the buyer fail to complete the sale for any reason. Please note that we will never take payment if you are unsuccessful.  

4. Set the length of the auction

Next, you’ll be invited to set the length of time the property will be available for bidding in the online auction, up to a maximum of 30 days. Our teams are on hand to provide advice specific to your needs and your property, but typically the longer the auction period, the greater the chance of achieving the maximum amount for the property. 

5. Produce an auction legal pack

To complete the listing process, you’ll also need to produce a full auction legal pack to support the sale of your property. A solicitor will be required to help with this, and we can recommend legal partners if you don’t already have someone in place. A full guide on what needs to be included in a legal pack can be found in our dedicated blog.

6. Sit back and watch the bidding commence 

Once all of your initial decisions have been made, and the supporting administration duties have been carried out by yourself and your solicitor, your jobs are complete. Our teams will handle marketing, enquiries and viewings, so you can sit back and watch the bids come in throughout the online auction.

7. Complete your sale

Finally, the last step in the online property auction process is to complete your sale. How this will look depends on whether you’ve chosen to sell as conditional or conditional, as we’ve broken down below:

  • For unconditional sales, the successful bidder is charged a deposit for the property purchase and is legally obliged to complete the sale within the time frame specified in the legal pack (usually 30 days). As the seller, you will also be legally bound to complete the sale within this time.
  • For conditional sales, the bidder is charged a reservation fee, and an exclusivity period begins (usually 60 days). The buyer must then exchange contracts and complete the sale within this time frame, or forfeit their non-refundable reservation fee, as well as the full amount of their deposit.

Sell your property by online auction

How you sell your property is a personal choice which isn’t just influenced by your personal circumstances, but also those of the buyers you’re targeting. If you think that the buyers your property would attract could benefit from a longer bidding process, it might be time to consider Timed Auctions as a sale method. 

To get the process started, reach out to us to organise your free sales valuation, or contact our team on 0800 046 5454, or by email at enquiries@sdlauctions.co.uk to ask any questions you may have. 

Selling by online auction… that was easy