My office has been like a doctor’s waiting room at times this year but it is amazing what a bit of sunshine can do to lift your spirits, and it’s not just the weather that’s been changing around here. The property auction world is transitioning – and for the better. Auction days are growing and becoming a much more popular platform to both buy and sell property and, even more excitingly, the traditional auction audience is evolving.
Seven years ago as a fresh faced 22 year old, I bought my first property from an auction in London; something that was seen as quite a brave move at the time. Granted, I had the benefit of auction experience under my belt, but I never understood what all the worry and fuss was about really, and I still don’t.
Back then the phone would ring regularly with excited callers desperate to view the latest instruction. They would enquire eagerly about a particular property whilst stressing that it was just what they want and that they’d got everything in place to buy it immediately… and then they’d discover it was being sold ‘by auction’. The mood would instantly change and, as quick as you can say: “I can’t buy from auction” / “I’m not interested in auctions”/ “I don’t like auctions”, they’d gone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that response.
Back then, it was a really hard nut to crack to try and convince somebody that actually, auction probably was for them and in fact, in a lot of cases, could be more beneficial than buying off an estate agent. So let’s just break it down:
A potential buyer calls up. They have nothing to sell and their mortgage is in place (in principle). Then they discover it’s an auction property and they’re not interested. Why? From experience and in general the real answer to this is because of their perception of how the auction works, or a fear of the unknown.
Picture your dream home, that property which ticks all your boxes and is exactly what you’re looking for at the moment. If you saw it for sale on Rightmove as: ‘1 Smith Street’ being sold by ‘Joe Blogs estate agents’ you’d be interested, right? Obviously – it’s your dream home. Now imagine if that exact same property was on Rightmove as ‘1 Smith Street’ being sold by ‘Joe Blogs Auctions’ instead.
Would you still be interested?
It is the same property. What you’re buying hasn’t changed; the end vision is still the same; it’s still around the corner from your Mum & Dad’s; it’s still in the catchment area for the school that you want your kids to go, and you can still stagger back from that boozer you like…etc.
You would still view the property like you would if it was being sold by an estate agent. You’d still go back again with your Dad, Wife, Best Friend or Builder for a second opinion – like you would with an Estate Agent. You’d still apply for a mortgage and instruct a solicitor and do everything else that you would with an estate agent. The bricks and mortar is the same and therefore the due-diligence on it is too. It’s just done in a different order.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone should only buy from auction. If you see that dream house of yours on the market with an estate agent, then go and buy it, obviously. But equally, if you see that property and is being sold By auction, don’t rule it out.
I’m pleased to say that more and more people are considering auctions for both buying and selling property these days and whilst the weather might still be subject to frequent change, this auction trend is one that I can only see going from strength to strength.