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What Happens If Your House Doesn’t Sell at Auction?

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What happens if my house doesn’t sell at auction?

You are emotionally and financially invested and hoping to sell, but what happens if your house does not sell in auction?

Firstly, we are very sorry to hear that, as we have been in your shoes.

Auctioning a property isn’t for everyone.

If a property doesn’t meet its reserve price, the minimum price a seller will accept, then it goes into unsold lots.  Your property auctioneer will try to sell it to property investors and may have an additional 7 days post-auction to do so – as per clauses within the contract.

Sell with certainty & speed

Table of Contents

Why sell house at auction?

Because sellers are fed-up with estate agents and their time-wasting buyers. 

Auctions provide relative certainty IF the guide price is very low and there’s a time limit of up to three months to sell in an auction.

However, there’s an alternative way to sell to a cash house buyer in 10 days or quicker. We’ll buy your property.

Sell with certainty & speed

Is it worth selling house by auction?

It depends on your circumstances, the property’s condition and if a quick sale is required.  Auctions are known as the home of bargain properties as banks, administrators, councils, and local housing associations dispose of their stock.

Auctions are filled with uncertainty, and there’s no guarantee of a sale.

Why do properties get withdrawn from auction?

A property is withdrawn from auction because it has been sold privately, failed to reach its reserve price, auction pack wasn’t prepared in time or the seller has changed his/her mind.

What Happens If You Find Problems After Buying a House?
If you've seen BBC Homes Under The Hammer program, you will understand that auctions attract run-down properties with low guide prices.

Why do some properties fail to sell at auction?

You were worried about not being able to sell your house in an auction.  However, the auctioneer had assured you that property auctions provide a tried-and-tested method of achieving a fair price with a prompt sale. 

You are now left disappointed, out of pocket and feel cheated.  Don’t worry, we are here to help.

Let’s look at the reasons why some properties fail to sell at auction:

  • If the reserve price was set too high and the bids failed to reach, the property remains “unsold.”
  • Legal pack was not ready in time, or there were last-minute addendum changes that weren’t included in the original auction catalogue, putting off any potential bidders
  • Prospective bidders couldn’t view the property because the property was being sold with sitting tenants.
  • The property was listed with the wrong auction house. For instance, a property in Newcastle is listed in a London-based auction house; therefore, Newcastle-based investors weren’t prepared for a long and expensive train journey.
  • Your house could be listed with a commercial property auctioneer and, therefore, not attract any interest.

One of the many disadvantages of a house auction sale is the risk that your property won’t attract any interest and will fail to sell on the day.

If an auction property is not sold, there are several factors to consider, and we can guide you through the best potential options for a successful sale.

Let’s find out what happens if a property does not sell at auction in the UK.

Unsold house in an auction ha a stigma attached to it.
Unsold auction properties put off any would-be buyers due to stigma of 'what's wrong with this house?'

What if my property doesn’t sell at auction?

Even though auction sales can be an exciting way to sell your home, they aren’t the most reliable. 

Understanding the consequences of not selling at auction and having a backup plan will help avoid unnecessary costs or delays.

At Property Saviour, we will buy your property and complete the sale within days. If you are in the unfortunate position of having a property not sold at auction, you should consider giving us a call – we might be the alternative solution you need.  You can read about the advantages of private sale over selling property in an auction here.

Foundation Underpinning
A home that needs underpinning can put off buyers as the costs can easily spiral out of controls. Buyers won't pay for an expensive survey for a property that they may not win.

Why do some properties fail to sell at an auction house?

Here’s what happens when a property does not sell at auction in the UK:

When important legal documents are unavailable for buyers to inspect, they’re likely to fear the worst and bid very low or not at all.  This is one of the pitfalls of selling a house at auction

The legal pack is considered so important that some auctioneers will withdraw a property from auction if the auction legal pack is not ready before auction day – they know that without a sufficient legal pack, the property will not sell at the house auction.  In some cases, an auction house will include a clause in their terms allowing them to charge sellers a withdrawal fee if the legal pack is not ready in time. So be prepared for these hidden costs.

The other main reason for a property unsold at auction is that it has not attracted a high level of interest – and that’s usually because the reserve price is too high.  One of the ways auctioneers try to generate interest in a property is by setting a guide price lower than the reserve price, which, again, is not what you want.

A man looks disappointed and leaning against a wall inside a house
Preparing a legal pack well before auction, ensuring clean title and a solicitors who is proactive are key success factors that are outside of control of a seller.

What happens if a property doesn't sell at auction?

If a property doesn’t sell in the auction due to lack of interest or no bids, then it will be withdrawn and listed as ‘unsold’ or ‘available post-auction’. 

There’s the stigma of ‘why didn’t this house in an auction?’ resulting in lower offers post-auction.  There’s an alternative way to sell.

During the property auction process, if bidding fails to reach the reserve price but there has been interest in the property, the auctioneer will invite interested parties to ask questions about the property, however, it is unlikely a sale will be made at this point.

If a sale cannot be concluded on auction day the property will be advertised as “unsold”, and the reserve price will be revealed to the public, narrowing your chances of selling even further.

Thankfully, that’s where we can help, as here at Property Saviour, we will buy your unsold auction property, eliminating all risk and taking the weight off your shoulders.

Property auctioneers insist on a low guide price
Property auctions are widely known as places to pick-up 'bargain homes' and therefore, auctioneers insist on putting in a house at a low guide price to attract bids.

What happens when your house IS sold at auction?

During a commercial property auction or a house auction, when a winning bid does meet the reserve and the offer is accepted, the bidder can still back out.

Once the auction has ended, the auctioneer will prepare the required documents, known as the Sale Memorandum — these documents, which detail information of the sale, must be signed by the buyer.

The buyer will now be required to pay a deposit; normally 10% of the final sale price. The remainder of the funds should be paid on completion, which usually happens within 28 working days; however, don’t forget the buyer still has the right to withdraw during this time, and they’ll only lose their deposit.

Can you back out of an auction bid?

If a successful bidder chooses not to pay due to auction contract law, an auctioneer has the legal right to cancel the sale and re-offer the property without a reserve.  At a house auction, bidders are more hesitant to bid on a property that is re-offered, as they know it’s gone unsold and it’s lost a lot of its appeal.  Plus, there’s always the stigma of ‘Why didn’t it sell in a previous auction?’

Also, it takes much longer to complete the consignment process, delaying things even more. Suddenly, a quick sale has turned into a long drag – and that’s because you can’t rely on bidders to be consistent.

Auction property results
In current market, majority of properties fail to sell at an auction house, so it’s important to have a plan B. Source: Hammered Auction/EIG.

Can I sell my house before auction?

Understandably, a lot of sellers are nervous about the possibility of not selling at auction.  They may start advertising their properties privately, hoping to attract a buyer.

So, can a house be sold before auction? The short answer is yes.

If the seller completes a sale before the auction takes place, they can do so. However, they will still need to pay auction house fees.  This could still be better than giving away your property with a low guide price.

If that’s you, contact us for a chat to see how much we can offer.

Just relying on an auction sale is a huge risk.  If certainty of sale is important to you, then selling to genuine cash buyers like Property Saviour could be the way forward for you.

Can I sell my house before auction?
You absolutely can withdraw your property from auctioneer and sell it privately to us if you wish. We have cash ready to buy any home whatever the condition.

What you can do next

Now you know what happens when a property doesn’t sell at auction in the UK. You’ll probably agree it’s not a great position for a seller to be in.

Nobody wants to buy your property; you’ve spent a lot of money, and you’re feeling unsure of what to do next.

That’s where we can help. At Property Saviour, we pride ourselves on being honest, which means we’ll give you the best price for your property and complete the sale at the speed of light.

We guarantee to complete the sale within your timescale, and we’ll even take the legal fees off your hands, offering you £1,500 towards them.  We know it’s a hassle when you want a quick sale, but we don’t want you to suffer – and we certainly don’t want you to be left disheartened at an auction.

To find out more about how we can help, get in touch with us.

Sell with certainty & speed

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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