Richard’s 7 Top Tips for Selling at Auction


Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Richard’s 7 Top Tips for Selling at Auction

FSS has been running property auctions in Harrogate for 25 years. The first sales were led by auctioneer Charles Smailes and took place at our offices on Raglan Street but buyer numbers soon meant a new larger home had to be found.

Today, Charles’s son Richard leads the bidding at Pavilions of Harrogate and Charles still assists from time to time. We asked Richard to share some of his top tips for anyone thinking of selling a property at auction.

1. A good choice if you want a quick sale

If you want to sell quickly an auction is a good option. Contracts exchange when the hammer falls and this can help avoid the uncertainty of a sale falling through. This also means that you can move to a fixed timetable and set your completion date, even prior to the commencement of marketing!

2. Don’t rule out auction because you think it’s only for rundown properties

Auctions are often considered to be a place where hard to sell properties are brought to market. Auction can be a good option for a building that might struggle to generate interest through the usual channels but all kinds of property can be sold at auction. We can advise you on the most suitable route once we have carried out a valuation. We have also found that with properties that we know will generate a lot of interest, the prices achieved by auction far exceed that which is expected by private treaty.

3. Be realistic with your guide price

If a property is realistically priced it is likely to generate more interest. In the competitive atmosphere of the auction room this can really help to achieve the best possible price, as potential buyers are encouraged by others interest.

4. The money will be in your bank within weeks

An auction sale means contracts have already exchanged and completion is set at a point to suit the seller prior to the auction and is generally within four weeks of the sale date. This is an advantage that is often overlooked and means the seller can have the money in their bank quickly.

5. Consider your reserve price carefully

Once the bidding is underway we will be acting on the seller’s instructions and if the bids fall short of the reserve price we simply can’t sell. A sale can be lost if the reserve price is set too high so we always discuss reserve price in detail with our sellers and offer advice based on our many years of experience and the level of interest that has been shown throughout the marketing period. Therefore on the day of the sale the likely outcome can be predicted prior to the start of the sale.

6. Exploit the power of social media

At FSS we use social media to promote properties we have available for rent or sale, including those coming up at auction. If you’ve listed a property with us keep an eye out on social media and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so that the marketing reaches an even wider audience.

7. Come along on the day 

Sellers are sometimes reluctant to come along on auction day but we would thoroughly advise it. Property auctions are lively events and it can be incredibly exciting to watch the bidding activity on your own property.  Feel free to come to any of our auctions as they are free to attend, public and open and offer a good hour or so of entertainment!