Purchasing a Property at Auction – The Process Explained

Joanne LerwillPurchasing a property at auction is not something that just exists on ‘Homes under the Hammer’ – it’s an exciting process to buy property! Whether purchasing a buy-to-let or as a project to do-up, it’s important to be aware of the issues that can arise in this process.

Joanne Lerwill, an experienced Licenced Conveyancer at CJCH, discusses five areas of importance when considering purchasing a property at auction.

Know the process for purchasing a property at auction

The process of purchasing a property at auction is different from the usual process of buying a property. It is vital that you do your research beforehand and arrange a viewing to inspect the property.

It is important to understand the difference between the guide and the reserve price. The guide price is the starting price at which the bid will commence. Whereas the reserve price is the minimum figure the buyer will accept. The reserve price is not disclosed to the bidders but is usually 10% higher than the guide price.

If successful in your bid, you are bound by the terms and conditions when the gavel falls! You must sign the contract and pay the deposit on the spot, so make sure your finances are in place.

The main difference from purchasing a property at auction and buying through an agent is timescale. An auction works on a fixed timescale for exchange and completion. It provides speed and certainty for the buyer and seller. Whereas purchasing through an agent has no fixed timescale for exchange or completion.

Understanding the legal pack

A legal pack is the set of documents prepared by the seller’s solicitor/licenced conveyancer. Fortunately, a copy is available in the auction room and will be available to download via the property details page. The pack includes:

  • Official copies of Title held at the Land Registry
  • A local search/any other searches
  • Special conditions of sale
  • Property information form
  • Management information, leases and tenancy agreements if the property is a leasehold

The purchaser should look through the pack and seek advice from a solicitor that specialises in auction properties. Especially important if there is anything onerous in the pack for the buyer.

Key issues that arise when purchasing a property at auction

The most common issue is a short window of time to arrange a survey for your solicitor to check the legal pack. Worryingly, it is easy to get carried away ad go over budget! Make sure all of your financial arrangements are in order. No turning back after the gavel falls!

Top tips for purchasing a property at auction

Imperative you research the property, arrange viewings, ask questions and obtain a copy of the auction particulars.

Just be prepared! Stick to your budget! Check the small print!

Importance of seeking legal advice

Taking a DIY approach might seem attractive to cut costs – but don’t be fooled! Without knowing the process, you could incur costs down the line. A solicitor or licenced conveyancer will use their legal training and study the conditions of the legal pack. Do not take the risk!

How can we help

The CJCH conveyancing team has 35 years’ experience in property matters. Our reasonable fees, friendly service and expert advice gives you peace of mind. So you don’t have to worry. Why not get in touch with a member of our team today?

Get in touch:

Telephone: 0333 231 6405

Email: privateclients@cjch.co.uk

Top Tips for Purchasing a Buy-to-Let Property – the Process Explained

property law - handing over keys

Joanne LerwillPurchasing a buy-to-let property can seem like an attractive investment – with investors collecting rental income and relying upon steadily increasing property prices. Despite the slowdown in house price increases, the number of renters continues to climb. There are important considerations about purchasing a buy-to-let property and being a landlord – whether you have a portfolio of properties or are just starting out.

Our specialist solicitor, Joanne Lerwill, takes a look at the process of purchasing a buy-to-let mortgage and the recent changes that have come into force.

How can a solicitor help someone purchase a buy-to-let property?

A solicitor can give advice and guide you through the legal complexities of buying a property to rent out.

Are there any differences between the process of purchasing a residential property and a buy-to-let?

Whilst a buy-to-let mortgage is a lot like a residential mortgage, there are noticeable differences. Firstly, the fees tend to be much higher. Additionally, so too are the interest rates. Furthermore, the minimum deposit for a buy-to-let mortgage is usually 25% of the property’s value. Finally, you are liable for the higher rate Stamp Duty (in England), or the Land Transaction Tax (in Wales).

What are the rules around the letting fee ban which came into force in 2019?

The new law, taking effect from 1st April 2019, means tenants will no longer face fees for services, including viewings, credit checks, references and setting up a tenancy. However, it is entirely possible that these additional costs, once eliminated, will raise the tenant’s rent.

What are the other main considerations with buy-to-let properties?

The biggest consideration for anyone thinking about a buy-to-let mortgage is financial. Firstly, you will require a larger deposit to make the purchase. Secondly, the mortgage is generally based upon the rent, rather than your income. To cover the mortgage and expenses of running the property, in addition to making a profit, you need to charge high enough rent.

What top three tips would you give to someone purchasing their first buy-to-let property?

  • Number one – Research the market! This cannot be understated. Ask yourself, what do you know about the market? Are you sure this is an investment you want to commit to? It is important to consider the risks as well as the benefits.
  • Number two – Do not rush the process and look around for the best buy-to-let mortgage deal. It pays dividends to speak to a good independent broker and your bank. They will explain what deals are available and which one is right for
  • Number three – Above all, think about your target tenant. Who are they and what do they want? Will you rent to students, young professionals or a family?

How can we help?

The CJCH conveyancing team has over 35 years’ experience in property matters. Your matter is expertly managed by qualified solicitors and conveyancers, ensuring you are in safe hands.

Get in touch via:

Telephone: 0333 231 6405

Email: privateclients@cjch.co.uk

In the event that you encounter difficulties with your tenant/s any time after completion, get in touch with our Litigation Team on 029 20 483181 who have the necessary expertise to assist whatever the problem.