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By Andrew Parker

Managing Director and Auctioneer, SDL Property Auctions


Revealed - how to sell a property in a day

We all know that selling a property can be a slow and unpredictable process – with latest figures from Rightmove and Zoopla showing it takes an average of more than 40 days to find a buyer, and then nearly four months between agreeing a sale and completing the transaction. 

Here at SDL Property Auctions we appreciate this can be incredibly frustrating for a seller, not least because they are embarking on a journey into the unknown. 

So we are always delighted to tell sellers that we can get them the best price for their property, with a fixed completion date – and we can do this quickly, too. In fact, in some cases, we can even sell the property in less than a day. 


One way a speedy sale can be achieved is by offering the property in a Timed Auction. We are used to working fast and can have a property inspected, valued, photographed and added to our website within just a few hours of a customer’s first contact with us.

The property can go live online with bidding open as soon as we have the legal pack and, although our Timed Auctions usually run over three weeks, the seller can set their own timetable, running a shorter auction to suit their schedule if required. This is especially useful if the seller needs to realise an asset quickly, whether to purchase another property or simply to access the capital. 

In this case, with speed being of the essence, the seller can accept an offer as soon as the reserve is met, which is how several properties across the country have sold within 24 hours of appearing on our website. 

three bedroomed semi in Sheffield achieved speedy results in a Timed Auction which we ran in partnership with Blundells Estate Agents recently. Within a 24-hour period, the property had received seven bids from three different bidders, selling for an undisclosed amount the day after it went live when the seller agreed to end the auction early.  

Previously, a property in Crumpsall in Manchester sold even faster than that. The seller came to us the day after one of our national property auctions but didn’t want to wait until the next auction event a month later. Instead, we offered the three bedroomed semi-detached house for sale in a Timed Auction in partnership with estate agent Aubrey Lee & Company.

The auction went live at 3.30pm and by 7pm – just three and a half hours later – the property had attracted 23 bids, the reserve was met and it sold for £185,000 from a guide price of £171,000. Naturally, the seller was delighted. 

What’s so satisfactory about these sales is that both buyer and seller walk away happy. A property will only sell once its reserve price is met, so nobody is forced to take a penny less than they are happy with. 

If a seller is motivated more by speed than the prospect of competitive bidding driving up their property’s price, another option is the Buy It Now sales method. This really is as simple as it sounds; the price you see is the price the buyer pays.

As soon as the seller receives just one bid, at the Buy It Now price, the property sale is agreed. The fixed price ensures both buyer and seller are happy and there’s no haggling, no risk of gazumping or gazundering. 

A fixed completion date – in most cases either 20 or 40 working days – ensures certainty for both parties and, if the longer completion time is chosen, allows the seller to carry out surveys and source finance if required. Yes, it’s a common misconception that auction properties must be bought with cash – they can be purchased with a bridging loan or a mortgage, too. 

Compared to the average of nearly four months between agreeing a sale and completion reported by Zoopla earlier this year, this is lightning speed. Plus, auctions offer an unrivalled degree of transparency and certainty, requiring a high level of commitment from the buyer, giving both parties peace of mind and resulting in a fall-through rate of less than 1%. 

As well as our Timed Auctions and Buy It Now sales, we continue to run monthly national property auctions, with a marketing period of up to six weeks culminating in bidding in our live-streamed auction. In the vast majority of cases, exchange takes place at the fall of the hammer and the property sale will be completed 20 working days later.

This is still remarkably speedy compared to a private treaty sale but for some sellers this simply isn’t fast enough – so we are happy to have two other methods of sale open to them. 

Each method has its own merits but the main thing is that the seller is in control, armed with choices of how to sell their property with the level of urgency they require. They no longer need to wait for the next ‘ballroom’ auction to come along; they can get their property listed on our website and start accepting bids straight away.

As soon as they receive a bid they are happy with, they can end the auction and achieve that all-important sale – which could be in as little as one day. 

*Andrew Parker is the managing director and auctioneer at SDL Property Auctions.


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