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How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House at Auction?

Sam Kinloch

How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House at Auction? House auction fees explained.

Cost considerations are important whether you've decided to access a property auction for speed and efficiency or simply wish to sell a home with as little stress as possible. But how much does it cost to sell a house at auction?

While many homeowners assume property auctions will be expensive, this is not true and one or two extra bids cover the cost, enabling sellers to engage with proactive, engaged buyers, particularly where properties are ideally suited to auction.

Looking for an accurate cost to sell your property at auction? Let us know the details of the property here and we'll let you know the expected auction fees. 

How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House at Auction?

Fees and Costs for House Auctions Explained

Generally, before confirming instructions, we agree on fees with the seller, which will cover our catalogue expenses and a commission on the sale. The costs may vary depending on the type of property or land being considered for auction since our catalogue includes a diverse range of lots. The agreed house auction fees will be deducted from the buyer's deposit, and the remaining balance will be sent to the seller's legal representative prior to completion.

We’ll explain all of the potential expenses, how auction commissions work, and why auction sales may provide an excellent opportunity to maximise your property sale value.

In many cases, the overall outlay associated with a property auction is similar to what you might anticipate paying a conventional estate agent – with the benefit of securing an expedited sale and being able to sell to the highest bidder.

As a property auction specialist, we recommend analysing three cost factors as follows.

  • Entry Fees and marketing fees - paid to auctioneer 
The entry / marketing fees, commonly known as a contribution towards expenses will include the expense of advertising your property and creating the necessary materials to attract a significant number of potential buyers, fostering healthy competition amongst them. The exact cost depends on the nature of the property and value and whether it needs specialist marketing material.

  • Legal Pack Creation - paid to conveyancing solicitor 
Legal packs are essential and comprise all the information, documentation and formal paperwork prospective bidders need to see to assess whether a property available at auction is suitable for their requirements. Legal pack preparation services tend to cost £250 and above, paid to a solicitor or other representative in advance and separately from the auction costs.

  • Auction Commission - paid to the auctioneer 
The commission may vary between lots and properties which is why we always advise getting in contact with us for a free auction appraisal to discuss an auction fee % based on your type of property.

The fee is taken from the buyers’ deposit. The benefit from a seller’s point of view is that there is no commission to pay if the property does not sell, the commission only falls due once a sale is confirmed above the minimum reserve value.

Looking for an accurate cost to sell your property at auction? Let us know the details of the property here and we'll let you know the expected auction fees. 

Are the benefits worth the cost of selling a house at auction? 

This very much depends on your situation and how much control you want over the sale of the property.

The main benefit of selling via auction is that you can sell your property quickly. This is a strong selling point should you need to release cash quickly.

Related reading: Sell your property quickly at auction.

Further to this, as the seller you have complete control over the process, the reserve will be agreed with the auctioneer prior to marketing From initial surveys to valuations, photography and assembling your legal pack, a buyer has zero input, so it is entirely within your remit to pick and choose the terms and clauses within the auction sale agreement.

Additional costs that arise, often due to offering flexibility to a buyer, can be passed forward to the purchaser to avoid you bearing additional expenditure.

Looking for a full list of reasons to sell your property at auction? Check out our auction sellers guide here. 

If you choose to sell with Clive Emson, all fees will be agreed upon prior to instructions being confirmed — so there’ll be no unexpected costs once the sale goes through. 

How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House at Auction?

Auctioneer Sales Commissions Explained

As we've mentioned, commissions are variable depending on the type and value of the property.. In some circumstances, often because the property is unusual, of particularly high demand, or has unique features that mean it is likely to sell significantly above the guide price.

Again, it’s best to have a discussion so that we can provide you with accurate information on the anticipated selling costs. It's recommended that you contact us directly to arrange a complimentary in-person appraisal. You can schedule an appraisal by reaching out to the Clive Emson team at 0345 8500333, via email at, or by filling out the contact form provided on our website.

Costs of Preparing a Legal Pack for a Property Auction

Legal packs are essential to list any property at auction and contain details of the legal status and ownership of the lot, such as:

  • Property details
  • Tenancy documentation
  • Land registry information
  • Ownership deeds
  • Property searches
Comprehensive legal packs can improve your chances of achieving a good price at auction since they demonstrate a secure, well-documented lot which bidders will be more confident in acquiring.

The auction house does not prepare the legal pack since this work relies on a solicitor or other legal representative. The costs depend on how complex the lot is and whether there are any specific details bidders need to be aware of, such as a sitting tenant.

Average legal pack costs are around £200-£400, but this tends to be higher for leasehold lots since the solicitor will need to liaise with the freeholder to compile further supporting documents.

However, property searches and legal work are involved in any property sale, whether at auction or not, so this isn’t a cost solely linked to listing a property in an auction.

Property Survey Costs

Sellers are not obliged to provide a full survey within their legal pack since a survey is normally carried out by the buyer to verify whether the listing price represents good value for money or examine any structural issues that may influence the amount they are willing to bid at auction.

However, in some cases, a buyer may ask to organise a survey, at their expense, before the auction day during periods when the property is available for viewings. A buyer cannot bid with a caveat or make an offer pending a survey at an auction, so they need to organise this beforehand.

Looking for an accurate cost to sell your property at auction? Let us know the details of the property here and we'll let you know the expected auction fees. 


Costs if the lot doesn’t sell at the Property Auction 

A small proportion of properties do not sell on the day. While disappointing, this is normal and to be expected - don’t lose hope! Unsold lots are listed online and available normally for 28 days after the auction, anyone who has looked at the property will be contacted and the auctioneer will provide feedback.

Sales commissions are calculated on the property sale price, so if your lot does not sell, you won't be expected to pay. The auctioneer only raises the commission charge once the property has been sold.

That said, costs such as appointing a solicitor to prepare a legal pack, entry fees and other charges associated with your listing are incurred before the auction date and normally need to be paid upfront.

Comparing the Costs of Selling a House at Auction vs Through Private Treaty

The right sale method for your house will depend on your requirements, circumstances and expectations. Auction sales are typically much faster and more reliable than conventional property sales - and often far less stressful!

Achieving a Reasonable Property Sale Price at Auction

Auction properties vary considerably, with some houses selling for a much higher value than they would through traditional marketing and others reaching a lower price point it really depends on the individual properties

Competition can be fierce, and property auctions attract many professionals, such as developers, investors and portfolio landlords, alongside DIY enthusiasts and people looking for their next home.

Lots of auction properties are non-standard or in need of refurbishment and are easier to sell via auction where the bidders are experienced in renovation work and won’t be put off by decorative order.

When a property is highly desirable, often due to the location, or the opportunity to add value following restoration works, bidders compete and drive the price higher, which can mean you secure a far more attractive value.

Transparency in the Property Auction Bidding Process

Another aspect of house auctions is that the process is transparent. You can watch the auction on the day as there is complete transparency as the prospective buyers can see all the bids coming in.

Some property 'flippers' even purchase a low-value house from an estate agent, achieving a very low purchase cost due to the condition of the home, and then sell at auction, making a profit in a short timescale, which highlights why, in some scenarios, the costs of selling at auction represent excellent value for money.

How much does it cost to sell at a Clive Emson Property auction?

We’d love to hear from you if you’re considering selling your property at auction. We can guide you through the process and give you an accurate expectation of the auction selling costs via our free appraisal. Just give us a call on 0345 8500333, email at, or fill out a contact form.

About the Author

Sam Kinloch

Sam Kinloch

Director & Senior Auction Appraiser

Sam’s career in the dizzy world of property auctions began when he hung up his chainsaw and headed in from the forest. Joining the team in 2003 Sam now sits on the Board of Directors and has been instrumental in the adoption of online auction services.
Out of the office you can find him flying around the velodrome or sipping coffee at a local café.

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07968 780714

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