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Commercial Finance

Buying a new home at auction

If you’re looking to buy a property and want to secure a potential bargain, one option is to buy at auction.

Property auctions have become more popular in recent years – no doubt, in part, because of the popularity of shows such as Homes Under the Hammer. And while many properties changing hands at auction are rental and commercial investments, a small number of people choose to buy their next home this way.

Buying at auction is very different to a traditional sale, however, so this guide explains the process – and how you can fund your purchase with a Together Bridging Loan.

Viewings

Unlike a traditional sale through an estate agent, you can’t make an appointment to view an auction property. In the run up to the auction, there will typically be a short ‘open house’-style event, when all potential bidders are invited to view the property en masse.

The auction house’s team may have scheduled many lots’ viewings to happen the same day, and the viewings cannot overrun – so don’t be late!

Legal pack

The legal pack is a set of important documents that you (and ideally your conveyancer) should view in advance of the auction, if possible. They can typically be downloaded from the auction house’s website, and provide all of the necessary disclosures that the vendor must make.

As with all property sales, the maxim ‘buyer beware’ should be remembered. When the hammer goes down, sales are final. So you should only bid when you’re entirely happy with the property.

Deposits

You’ll need to have 10% deposit available to pay by credit or debit card on the day of the auction, if you’re a winning bidder.

You’ll also have to pay some additional fees on top – commission that goes to the auction house, basically. You can often find out what these are in advance, on the auction house’s website.

Completions

When buying at auction, you’ve got 28 days (at most) to pay the balance of the purchase price. Some properties have shorter completion dates.

Be mindful that residential mortgages can often take more than 28 days to arrange, and if you don’t complete before the deadline that you’ll lose your deposit, and your right to buy the property. An alternative to a mortgage is short-term auction finance, which can often be provided within days and gives you up to 12 months to sell your existing property.

In essence, this is a bridging loan. If you're using a bridging loan to buy a property to live in, there are no monthly repayments to make – so you won’t end up making two mortgage payments at the same time. The interest is simply rolled up, and is repaid as a lump sum (with the initial loan, plus any applicable fees) when you refinance. So the earlier you refinance, the less you'll repay in total.

Remember: as with any mortgage or secured loan, any property used as security may be repossessed if you don't make repayment.

Refinancing

You’ll need to arrange a mortgage on your new property once the bridging loan is in place. It may be that your existing mortgage provider can port your existing mortgage onto your new property, once the sale of your previous home has been completed.

Alternatively, you may wish to remortgage with a new provider. The funds provided by your mortgage provider are used to repay the bridging loan, and you may be offered the option to roll the interest and fees for the bridging loan into your long-term mortgage.

Find out more about bridging finance.

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