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How To Get The Most Out Of An Auction Property Viewing

An estate agent shows a couple around property in a viewing prior to the auction

When the gavel falls at auction, the highest bidder has entered into a legally binding contract where they must buy the lot being sold. This can feel like a huge commitment, particularly if it's your first time buying a property at auction.

Viewings are a great way for bidders to find out more about a property, its structure, and its condition before they make a commitment.

But if you’ve never had the pleasure of attending an auction viewing before, it can seem daunting. Use the questions below as a guide to help you prepare adequately for any property viewings you might wish to book in before an auction.

How to book an auction property viewing?



In most cases, it is usually possible to attend a pre-auction viewing of a property. However, sometimes, it is not always possible to gain access to a property. In these instances, there are a few options available. Walkthrough videos may be provided as well as photographs or even 3D images. 

If you’re looking to book a property viewing before an auction, the process is quite simple. Simply navigate to the webpage for the specific lot you are interested in and book a viewing online, alternatively use the contact information provided to get in touch with one of our associates

What to take to an auction property viewing?



After successfully booking your slot to view an auction property, it is wise to prepare beforehand. You might want to bring a few things with you to help you get the most out of your lot viewing experience. You can use the list below as a source of inspiration:

  • A tape measure
  • A camera (or a phone with a camera)
  • A torch (or a phone with a torch)
  • A notepad to jot down any information you might find out while there 
  • Suitable footwear in case you have to access the roof space or garden 
  • Contact details of the auctioneer in case you would like to enquire further about something you see at the lot (EG an outhouse)
  • A list of questions you want to ask (more on this later).
Please note: some auction property viewings may be quicker than you’d expect, so the more you can prepare in advance, the greater the value of your experience.

What to look for when viewing an auction property?



When entering an auction property for the first time (or a type of property you haven’t had experience with), there are numerous things to consider. Take your time looking around the property and don’t be afraid to inspect it up close (safety permitted), asking questions as you go. 

Inspect the property



When looking at the property itself, there is a whole range of things to inspect — structurally, aesthetically, and otherwise. For example, inside the property you could look for:

  • Any damp patches, peeling paper, or musty smells. 
  • Recently decorated rooms with thick paper that might be concealing something (damp or cracks).
  • Crooked doors or misaligned frames. This is often an indication of uneven floors or ‘settlement’.
  • Poor sealing around baths and sinks which may have leaked and caused water build-up and damp in places.

While looking at the outside of the property, keep an eye out for:



  • The condition of the roof tiles and ridges. Are there areas where the roof is sagging? Are there areas of recent replacement?
  • How well the gutters and drainpipes are channelling water. Do they appear to be blocked? Are they structurally sound?
  • If the outside has just been painted, could it be hiding something?
  • If the outside walls are cracking or bowed in some places. As with misaligned doors, this could indicate settlement or structural instability. 
A couple investigate the condition of a property at a viewing before the auction

Research the local area 



You may also want to research the surrounding area, assessing the following criteria:

The links in this list will take you to websites that provide you with the information you require. This point is particularly useful if you are thinking about moving into the auction property you’re looking at (or renovating to sell your house at auction (or by private treaty) as a home to someone else). 

Questions to ask when viewing an auction property



Holding all of the considerations above at once during a property viewing might seem overwhelming. So, we’ve compiled a condensed list of questions to ask while attending an auction property viewing to help you find out as much as possible.

Financial



  • Is this property leasehold or freehold?
  • Is there any additional ground rent or other service charges?
  • What is the council tax band?
  • What is the energy efficiency rating?

Locational



  • What are the property’s boundaries like?
  • What is the neighbourhood like?
  • Is there parking? (On/off-road?)
  • Is there a garden? 
  • What is access like?
  • Where are the nearest shops and facilities?

Structural 



  • Have there been any recent extensions?
  • Are there any structural issues?
  • Inquire about the heating, insulation, plumbing, and electrics.

General 



  • Is the property vacant or tenanted?
  • What’s the history of the property?
If the representative giving the tour of the property is unable to provide you with any of the information, remember there is always the Legal Pack. Or, you can find plenty of locational information about an area yourself as we’ve mentioned above.

Speak to the experts today 



If you’ve had a look at our upcoming auctions and would like to view any of the properties you’ve seen, get in touch with our team of experts today.

For more strategic insights into the property and land auction process, browse the other articles on our blog

 


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