You might think that the costs of selling a house at auction are more than selling through an estate agent, but that need not be the case.
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Typical Auction Fees
The auctioneer would typically charge a commission of 2% plus VAT if the house is sold. If the house fails to sell, the commission would obviously not be payable.
Auctioneers typically charge upfront fees of £300 plus VAT, which covers the entry fee for the auction plus the inclusion of the details in the auction catalog. It is sometimes possible to delay paying this fee until the house sells.
To enter the auction the seller’s solicitor must produce a legal pack, which would contain all the searches and title deeds for the house. This would typically cost around £200 plus VAT for a freehold house and around £400 plus VAT for a leasehold house. Without the legal pack, the house could not be auctioned. It is best to get up to date information on selling a house by auction before proceeding.
How to Pass on or Reduce Auction Costs
It is possible to include a clause in the contract of sale whereby the purchaser has to pay the whole auction costs and legal fees of the seller or just part of these costs. This is a normal practice in some auctions, but if the potential purchasers notice this clause, they might not bid as high in the auction. However, some potential purchasers will not be concerned about the clause and will bid normally.
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It may be possible to negotiate the amount of commission payable to the auctioneers, as is the case with estate agent commission. For high-value properties, it may be possible to reduce the percentage of commission, although the auctioneer will have a minimum amount of commission payable for any sale so as to cover costs. Typical minimum selling fees are from £1,500 plus VAT.
Information on Selling a House: Further Costs
Other costs of selling a house by auction depend on personal circumstances. These costs could include capital gains tax for buy-to-let properties, inheritance tax for probate sales, or early redemption penalties if a mortgage or loan were used to buy the house in the first place.
Selling a house by auction could be a cheaper option than selling through an estate agent.