The coronavirus lockdown imposed by the government in March, forced all estate agents in the UK to close their doors for the foreseeable future, leaving over 370,000 residential house moves across the country placed on hold.
Although the buying and selling of a residential property on the High Street was brought to a standstill, the same was not to be said for buying and selling a property at an online auction.
Online Property Auctions
Despite the threat of coronavirus, online property auctions across the UK have continued to prosper by transferring their operation from the conventional in-person face to face auction room to an online auction platform.
This has proved popular with cash buyers, buy-to-let landlords and investors whose business interests have not been compromised by the lockdown, buyers have been able to bid remotely on properties either by telephone or over the internet, whilst all the time adhering to the strict safety guidelines laid down by the government.
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If you need to speak directly with one of our lawyers call us on 0151 264 7363 and a member of our team will be happy to assist.
Buying a Property at Auction
There are many benefits associated with buying a property at auction.
Buying a property at an online auction room offers a level playing field where everyone has the opportunity to bid on a property, with the possible chance of walking away with a bargain. A guaranteed fixed timescale ensures the property will be yours within 28 days of the auction.
With lockdown restrictions in the housing market now eased, it is easy to see why buyers may be tempted away from the normal estate agent route of purchasing a property and consider the possibility of buying a property at auction.
Beware once the hammer falls, there is no going back!
A word of caution though, although there is no quicker way to buy a residential property, buying on impulse at an auction is never a good idea, as once the hammer falls, there is no going back the property is yours… as many have found out to their cost!
Paul Crowley & Co solicitors, conveyancing expert Jenna Gall advises potential buyers who maybe looking to purchase a property at auction, to gather all the information they can about a property before they decide to bid on it.
The information on an auction property can be found in the legal pack available from the auction house. The legal pack is free to view online from the auction house usually two weeks before the date that the auction is due to be held.
Jenna says ‘If you are looking to purchase a property at auction, I cannot stress enough the importance of having the legal pack checked over by a member of our conveyancing team.
Jenna Gall | Head of Conveyancing
Paul Crowley & Co, Solicitors
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LEGAL PACK
Legal packs containing details of the property are prepared by the sellers’ solicitors and are available for each of the properties being sold at auction.
Jenna says she cannot stress enough the importance of reading through the legal pack as there is no recourse if you change your mind, proper due diligence is essential, and I repeat once you have purchased the property, if you come across a problem it is too late to cancel the sale.
What does a legal pack contain?
The following is a list of documents you would find in a legal pack.
The Official Copy of Register of Title sets out the legal owners of the property and whether there are any restrictions on it.
A land registry search provides the property owners with a land title guaranteed by the government, along with a title plan that indicates the property boundaries.
This is a search of the local authority’s records, specific to the property and would bring up situations, such as the building of a new highway or any contaminated land nearby, it would not cover neighbouring properties or reveal planning applications for other houses in the area.
When buying at auction once you have exchanged contracts there is no going back to negotiate, so read this carefully or have Paul Crowley & Co check it through for you. Often Special Conditions could include a short completion date or having to reimburse the seller’s search and legal fees.
If the property is leasehold, this will detail the outstanding lease.
A tenancy agreement will be included if the property is a buy-to-let that comes with a sitting tenant, this is popular for investors looking for a property that will generate an income from day 1.
A standardised form whereby the seller will declare the property’s history, boundaries, disputes and complaints, guarantees and warranties etc, it is important you understand all the information contained as once you have agreed to the purchase there is no going back, Paul Crowley & Co can check through this for you.
As part of the sale, the fixtures and fittings form discloses what items are included with the property, such as carpets, curtains, and kitchen and bathrooms fitments.
If you are buying at auction and looking for a development opportunity, the planning permission document will note any planning applications nearby which could affect the value of the property.
speak to the conveyancing experts
If however you have seen a property at auction and are determined to bid, it is important you seek the correct legal advice to avoid any costly errors.
The conveyancing experts at Paul Crowley & Co have handled the conveyancing for a great many clients who have purchased properties at auction.
To discuss the conveyancing for an auction property you would like to bid on and have the legal pack checked over professionally, call Jenna on 0151 264 7363 and a member of her conveyancing team will be happy to assist you.
At Paul Crowley & Co we move quick so you can too! Contact Paul Crowley & Co today on 0151 264 7363
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