first step is to find auction houses that sell properties in the area you’re looking in. London auctions have properties in London and the Home Counties, but also some much further afield.
Outside London, auction houses are more likely to specialise in local properties.
Once you’ve found an auction house, get on its mailing list, either for paper or online auction catalogues. The catalogue should be available a few weeks before the auction, usually with a schedule of viewing for the properties being sold. The catalogue/website will also have the guide prices and conditions of sale. LEGAL documents for each lot should be available to download from the website.
Make sure you read them carefully and send them to your solicitor, as they could affect how high you bid, and if you bid at all. Searches are often THERE is a presumption (in the absence of contrary evidence) that a included in the legal documents, but if they’re not, you may want your solicitor to do them before the auction, although this could, of course, be a waste of money. The same applies to a survey – if you don’t want to pay for one on a property you may not buy, ask a surveyor or builder to view the property with you. RESEARCH the local housing market before the auction so you know how much the property is worth, and decide your maximum bid accordingly.
The temptation at auctions is to property owns the adjoining private road up to the middle of the road. It is in some circumstances possible to apply to the Land Registry to register this ownership. In any event, you will need to club together with your adjoining owners to have the road resurfaced. If it’s not evident from the deeds that someone has the obligation to repair, then it must be done co-operatively. get carried away and bid higher than your maximum.
If you’re worried about this, get someone to bid for you, or bid by proxy, where you authorise the auction house to bid on your behalf up to a specified limit.
the auction, check what identification you need to take with you on the day to register to bid and what methods of payment are accepted for the deposit.
If you’re the successful bidder, you have to insure the property, exchange contracts and pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) and a fee to the auction house immediately. The completion date is often four weeks from the date of the auction, but it can vary. If you fail to complete on that date, you could lose your deposit and even be sued by the seller. For this reason, THE best advice has to be not to marry. If, however, you choose to marry then a pre-nuptial agreement can be drafted setting out what the two of you have agreed in the event of your marriage not working out. There is no guarantee that the agreement will be upheld by the court, but recent cases suggest that the court will take into account the fact that a pre-nuptial agreement has been prepared. You will have to ensure that certain criteria are fulfilled, such as full disclosure of your assets, independent legal advice for both of you and an agreement signed well in advance of the wedding. See a solicitor specialising in family law. paying cash is a much safer way to buy property at auction than with a mortgage.
guide price is the price the auction house expects the property to sell for, but it’s not necessarily realistic – properties often fetch much more.
Lots will usually have a reserve price and only the auction house knows what it is. If the bidding doesn’t reach the reserve, it may be possible to do a deal with the seller, via the auction house, on the day.
You can check online after the auction to see which properties didn’t sell – it usually says the price they’re available for.
You may also be able to buy a property before the auction, but be prepared for the seller to refuse because they know that prices can leap up in the heat of the moment. IF the Probate Registry couldn’t find a will made by your mother, she either didn’t make one, it hasn’t been proved or the value of her estate was less than £5,000 which means probate is not required. If your sister was appointed executor of a small estate, her main duties may have only extended to sorting out the funeral. It’s also possible that your stepfather made a will leaving the house to his son with the provision that your mother could live there during her lifetime. You could try to find a copy of his will to confirm this. Again the Probate Registry may be able to assist. YOU should write a letter to your neighbour, sent by recorded delivery complaining that the Leylandii are too high, that they are damaging your property and if they aren’t cut down to a safe height you will complain to the local authority. If this doesn’t produce action or at least a sensible response, contact the council. Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 the local authority has the right to decide whether the Leylandii are too high, and if they are, to order them to be cut to a correct height.