UK House Buying Auction Filter
May 19, 2020 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Oh noes, I got bitten by a house for auction that I (very provisionally) WANT and I have questions, some pandemic related

Okay so I might not be able to do a viewing due to Covid 19. Is there someone I can hire to do the viewing for me, possibly a surveyor, who is going to be safer and in a better position legally? How dumb is this? I have examined every inch of this property from the outside already

The auction is next month. Is there a specific lot of lawyers that are particularly good at auction conveyancing and are especially effective given the pandemic? The auction house is up North somewhere far away from the property. Do I get local lawyers?

The thing is on its second auction this year - it sold for nearly twice its guide price in February but then got put back on the market with a quickness and now its got a higher guide price. I know nobody here is a fortune teller but nevertheless I ask - How high is this going to go? Is the pandemic going to affect it and keep the goddamn price DOWN? God, I wish I could book a survey and as soon as I get that back could call up whoever owns it and offer them ten grand over their guide price right now. That isn’t a thing, right? The thing is an almighty fixer upper and I have a very skilled and certified husband, a dear friend’s son who is a magnificent builder and contractor who will sort specialist work reasonably, I don’t need a mortgage if I do this right, and I have somewhere perfectly nice to live while the work is going on, which we are going to let out once we finally find somewhere to live with a bit of garden, such as this!

So what might this odd recent history mean in terms of price and of risk? Please advise - this thing is perfect and I WANT it, or at least to disabuse myself of wanting it before I put money on the line, I’ve been Waiting for the right property and have no rush to move until I find it, so let’s give this one a good investigate. I promise not to pout for more than a day or two if it’s a bad idea. Thank you so much !
posted by The Last Sockpuppet to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Call your credit union, get the name of the assessor they recommend. Pay for their assessment. You might be able to re-use the assessment fora mortgage. They will know if there's a way to gain access and get pictures/ video, for which you may be asked to pay extra. see if Redfin, Zillow, etc., have posted a listing because there could be old photos.
posted by theora55 at 9:40 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

I am in the US not the UK. It sounds to me as if the winner of the 1st auction either did not close or ran out of financing to fix it up. Maybe the costs to rehab were higher than their estimate.

What I do when it comes to auctions or bidding or buying a big ticket item that is negotiable like a car, I determine the absolute highest price I am willing to pay. Depending on how the auction is run, I might bid that straight away or I might bid lower and work my way higher. WHen you get to the highest price you are willing to pay, STOP. If you do not get it, walk away. Do not look back. You offered top price. Someone else had different economics and paid too much.

If the auction is next month, there is a chance you may be able to view the property yourself. Even NY which is really hard hit should be opening up by then.

Fwiw, it sounds like between your vision and your husband's skills, and your friend's son who will be reasonable in terms of cost, as well as having a place to live whilst all the work proceeds, this is a good idea. To me, the important part is having someone see it who can make a reasonable assessment and estimate of what work needs to be done.
posted by AugustWest at 10:11 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

I have no idea about viewings... But I bought a house in South Yorkshire last year at auction*, with conveyancing lawyers in Manchester and me in London. As I was buying with cash, I literally just needed them to do the paperwork and chasing. Emails and calls was all it took, in fact I never met my solicitor.

*Actually, I made a pre auction offer which was accepted, so don't be shy on that, there's a legal obligation to present all offers to vendors.
posted by teststrip at 1:12 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

Who do I make a pre auction offer to, the auctioneer?
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 1:37 PM on May 19

Yes, I expressed interest in the house, the auctioneer called me several times, I made an offer - a little bit of to and fro - once the offer was accepted it was removed from sale as it was binding (unlike the usual gazumping opportunity).

Also, I read some advice once which was 'if you're not embarrassed about making the offer, it's too high'. I used this to great success even though my offer was *below* reserve and it nearly killed me to whisper it.
posted by teststrip at 1:41 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]

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