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Buying at auction

Whether you’re an experienced investor with an extensive portfolio, or you’re searching for your new home, there are a diverse range of options to choose from when you’re looking to buy an auction property with us. On this page, you can browse the information below to discover how auction finance works, as well as how to find the perfect lot for you from our large portfolio of auction properties. This page can also be used to stay up to date with timed auctions and upcoming auction events. If you’re interested in buying a property by auction, you will need to register to bid with us, and we would also recommend taking a look through our guide to buying a home or commercial property from our auctions.

If you’re searching for a specific type of property, location, number of rooms or price range, you can use our property finder to help you filter your search accordingly. However, if you’re still unsure about whether you should use us to find the property that you’re looking for and take part in our auctions, read our Trustpilot reviews and find out why SDL Property Auctions is one of the leading auctioneers in the UK.

Auction finance

Buying a property in an auction is often much quicker than with traditional private treaty purchases. Upon exchange of contracts, you’re the legal owner of your new purchase and you’ll typically have just 20 working days to provide the balance of the purchase price, so it pays to arrange your finance before the auction.

Find out more

Commercial lots

We sell a variety of commercial lots by auction. With retail premises, warehouses and offices to name just a few of the types of property you’ll find on our website. If you’re looking to secure a commercial property purchase through auction, take a look at the lots available to bid on in our auctions today.

Find out more

Unsold lots

In our auctions, there will always be a handful of properties that don’t reach their reserve price. We continue to market these properties after the auction ends to try and secure a sale for the seller under the same auction conditions.

Unsold Lots

Ready to bid?

Whether you’re a seasoned auction purchaser or a first-time auction bidder, our guide to buying by auction to help you understand the auction process and ensure you’re in the best position to secure your purchase.

Register to bid Download our guide to buying

Timed auctions

As well as our Auctions Events, we also offer timed auctions which run every day and are open to bidding 24/7. With something for everyone, take a look at some of the lots on offer on our website right now below.

Live now 03:05:34 left to bid

Detached House in Melton Mowbray

Mill House, Main Road, Nether Broughton, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 3HB

Guide Price:

£685,000+ plus fees

View & bid
Live now 03:05:34 left to bid

Semi-detached House in Manchester

12 Lowther Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 9QQ

Guide Price:

£175,000+ plus fees

View & bid
Live now 03:05:34 left to bid

Apartment in Birmingham

Apartment 198, 51 Sherborne Street, Birmingham B16 8FP

Guide Price:

£120,000+ plus fees

View & bid
Live now 03:05:34 left to bid

Farm House in Middleton

Hawthorne House Farm, Carr Lane, Middleton LA3 3LL

Guide Price:

£198,000+ plus fees

View & bid

Buying at auction

How to buy a house at auction

Buying a property at auction can be a great way to land a bargain with a quick sale, however it’s important to understand the process to be able to reap these benefits. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to buying at auction, to provide you with all the information there is to know to confidently make your bid and hopefully achieve a successful purchase. It’s a common misconception that auction is only suited to experienced investors and that the process is an intimidating one, but actually today’s auction experience is suited to all property buyers, including first-time auction attendees and even first-time buyers in general. While the competition can be fierce, so long as you are prepared in advance, have your budget set and are confident enough to call it quits if the bidding goes above your budget, then you’re more than prepared and qualified to purchase by auction. Here are some steps to take to put you on the right path to successfully purchasing a property by auction:

Browse for properties in your desired area

Take a look online and carry out some research into both auctioneers and auction properties available in your area. If you already know the specific type of property you desire, whether it’s a flat, a house or a bungalow, you can usually narrow down your search using filters on a website’s search function. Using SDL Auctions search tool, you can drill your search down by property type, location, price, minimum and maximum beds and more, so you only see properties that you will genuinely be interested in.

View any property you’re interested in bidding on

While this has been a little tricky during the covid-19 pandemic, we do like to stress that viewing a property before placing a bid is very important. Although you may not successfully buy this property at auction, in the event that you are the winning bidder, viewing prior ensures that you won’t be disappointed when you come to own the property. Viewing helps to give you an idea of any damage to the property and inform any renovation works you may wish to carry out.

Consider having a survey carried out

If you have viewed the property and decided that you would like to bid on it, then having a professional survey carried out is recommended. This further informs any renovation or work that is required, giving you confidence that you won’t receive any nasty surprises on the day you get the keys. A homebuyers report is usually around £600, and it’s a little extra, around £1000 – £1500 for a full structural survey. This may seem like a lot of effort for a property that you aren’t 100% certain you will successfully purchase, but it will save you in the long run, as it will be completely clear whether the property will require any work or whether it is move-in ready.

Read the legal pack in full

This is the single most important piece of advice we can give. Read the legal pack in full for any property you wish to bid on, from cover to cover. Any reputable auctioneer will provide you with access to the legal pack with enough time in advance of the auction date. The legal pack includes crucial documents such as the title deeds, local authority and environmental searches, a fixtures and fitting list, the seller information and any relevant leasehold information. To be extra safe, we recommend that you ask a qualified solicitor to look over this information with you, to explain anything you may not understand, or to identify any covenants or loopholes within the pack that may see you paying more than you were aware you had agreed to.

Understanding the guide price

Guide prices are based on the sellers likely reserve price and are disclosed to enable potential purchasers to decide whether to pursue their interest in a property. There is no guarantee that the final price will fall exactly within this bracket. If there are several bidders interested in a property, then competitive bidding will often result in a sale price beyond the guide price. This is why it is so important to work out your maximum budget and retreat from bidding if the price goes beyond this. Having control and remaining calm is key, while it can be disheartening to be outpriced, you will again find a property that you love and may just be more successful on the next occasion.

Prepare your finances – How much deposit do I need to buy a house at auction?

As with most house sales, a deposit is often required to secure a property by auction. This will be up to 10% of the sale price, and not a percentage of the guide price, which is again why we stress that budgeting is so important. Bear in mind your deposit amount at all times when bidding and ensure the price does not go above what you can afford. If you are a cash buyer, then be sure to factor in any fees as well as the property price to your budget. As a cash buyer, you will likely have a more definitive idea of budget, so err on the side of caution and do not go above this. If you are purchasing with a mortgage, then be sure to secure a mortgage in principal ahead of the auction day. If the sale type is unconditional, you will need to secure your mortgage and pay the funds in full within 20 business days of exchange. Once your deposit is paid, you cannot back out – please note you must pay your deposit on the day. With a conditional sale, then you enter into a reservation agreement at the point the sale is agreed and are granted 20 days to can carry out any due diligence. Following this exclusivity period, you will then have a further 20 business days to complete the sale. This option is likely better for mortgage buyers, but mortgage buyers are still welcome and encouraged to purchase by unconditional sale. You can find more information about unconditional and conditional property auction sales here.

What happens on the day of the auction?

Whether you’re joining a live streamed auction, bidding in a timed online auction, or attending a physical room auction (once Government restrictions allow), the process of bidding can feel overwhelming due to the competition, but be sure to keep calm. Keeping a cool head ensures you don’t make any rash decisions and enables you to logically increase your bids as you see fit. Arrive, or log on to the auction site early to ensure you’re not late and you feel settled in ahead of the bidding process. Ahead of the auction day, you will need to provide two forms of valid identification, such as a passport or driving license and a utility bill, along with evidence that you can afford to pay the 10% deposit amount. This will need to be supplied ahead of the auction day if you are bidding in a live streamed auction or timed online auction. You can register in the room on the day if you are attending a physical room auction. Then, it’s time for the bidding to begin. The auctioneer will begin with the starting bid and bidders can then declare their interest. Bidders can join in at any time in the process so be aware that those initial bidders aren’t your only competition. The seller will have set a reserve price, which is the amount that they are not willing to sell under. If the reserve price is not met, then the property will go unsold. This doesn’t always mean that your luck is out. Sometimes, you may be able to make a post-auction offer to the seller, so perhaps approach the auctioneer to discuss this. If you’re nervous about attending your first auction, or you’re a regular attendee, the aim is the same – come prepared and you’ll be fine. We’re not currently holding any physical room auctions, but please check out our upcoming live streamed auctions and daily timed online auctions to see if there’s a property you may be interested in. If you would like any further information, then please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team who will be more than happy to advise you.