How do I tackle selling at auction?

Our lawyer, Fiona McNulty, advises on how to prepare for selling property at an auction
Selling at auction cartoon
© Merrily Harpur
Question: I own a row of five terrace houses, all of which once had tenants. One tenant has now died and another has moved out. The houses are in bad repair.

As I am in my seventies I don’t want the hassle of restoring them or finding new tenants. Someone suggested I sell them all at auction but where do I start?

Answer: You could sell only the two houses that have become empty, or sell all five, even though three have tenants, because some investors want to buy tenanted properties. Either way, selling at auction needs preparation.

You’ll need a Home Information Pack and an Auction Pack, both of which can be offered to prospective buyers. The Auction Pack will include a Special Conditions of the Contract document, which your solicitor can prepare, and a Particulars of Sale document, which the auctioneer will prepare.

There will also be a local authority search, any other searches and your replies to standard enquires. Details of tenancies should also be included. This will ensure that the buyer has as much information as possible prior to the auction. Decide with the auctioneer whether there should be a reserve price.

If the bids do not reach the reserve price then the property will not be sold. Your solicitor should attend the auction to deal with any queries and to produce copies of any documents that are required. You can attend the auction or leave everything to your solicitor and the auctioneer.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors www.ttuk.com.

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