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Are Auctions Here To Stay?

I am just back from my annual leave and my colleague, Trevor Blythe, reports that we have had some very good response from our early advertising for our September sale, which is encouraging, and Caroline has now asked for an auction article! So here goes....

At Brown & Co, we see the auction process as a very good method of sale and a means of unlocking value over a given timeframe to produce results for our clients. 

There has always been a case for selling bricks and mortar at auction and very often these events can be very exciting, with a crowded auction room and keen bidding producing outstanding results for vendors. But of course this is not always the case and provision of the right advice is absolutely essential. 

The seller's objectives are always the key when deciding on the most appropriate method of selling a house or plot of land or whatever it is and the private treaty approach certainly remains the most popular route to the market in the UK at present. 

Where vendors are looking for a sale within a relatively short timeframe an auction can work well. Pressure is put on potential buyers and an auction sale offers a fixed timetable of events and often creates the sort of competition that can lead to outstanding results. Typically, auction property will be either a terraced house, tumbledown country cottage in need of renovation, or investment property but the market is opening up and has done a great deal over the last 10 years. Plots of land often change hands at the fall of the auctioneer's gavel. Here in the East of England our auction sales regularly feature fields, paddocks and high quality agricultural land together with city or county rural plots with the benefit of planning permission and again realism is the key and where there is a high demand, which there is at present, we are often able to create the sort of competition that we require to achieve the right result. 

There is a misconception that auction sales can sometimes see a vendor lose out to a buyer with a keen eye for a bargain. The reserve price is there for a good reason - to safeguard the vendor - and this needs to be quite clear. However, with two or more keen bidders, a property can often exceed its reserve price, which is what we as auctioneers are after. 

There was a time when most buyers at auctions were property developers but today many properties and land parcels are sold to private buyers and this is helping push up the price at the fall of the hammer and in turn auctions are becoming more attractive to a wide cross section of buyers and sellers alike. We are thrilled to have some 24 lots in our forthcoming sale and we are already looking beyond this September sale date to our December sale and are looking to a number of properties that are suitable for inclusion.