How do I go about selling my inherited property at auction?

I have inherited my mother's old mews house. Despite being in a poor state of repair it is in a desirable location, which estate agents tell me makes it a good candidate for sale at auction. How do I go about doing this?
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Question: I inherited my mother’s old mews house and I have spoken to several estate agents about the place. It is in a poor state of repair but the location is very desirable, and the agents say there would be a lot of interest in the house, especially at auction. I would like to take that route but have no idea what to do next, and I am not sure when I need to involve my solicitor. Can you help?

Answer: Decide which auctioneers you wish to use. They will advise you about the value of the property, the guide price and what the reserve price should be. Tell your solicitors you wish them to act for you in selling the property at auction.

The contract for sale at an auction usually contains particulars describing the property, conditions relating to the terms of sale and a memorandum which will be signed by, or on behalf of, the buyer at the auction. The auctioneer will work with your solicitors to ensure the contract is in the correct format.

Your solicitors should prepare an “auction pack” of documents to go with the contract, containing your replies to enquiries and searches, such as drainage and water, chancel check, environmental and local searches, and, if appropriate, a flood risk or mining report. Documents showing the title to the property must be included, for example, official copies of the register of title and title plan.

It is good to include copies of any relevant planning documentation. The auctioneer will give copies of the pack to interested buyers before the auction and your solicitors should attend on the day to answer any queries.

What's your problem? If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona McNulty is a partner in the residential property, farms and estates team at Withy King LLP (

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor. 

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