Buying and Selling FAQs

1. What is a guide price?

A guide price may be a single figure amount or it may be a guide range, eg. £250,000 – £280,000. The guide price is not the reserve price nor is it necessarily the ultimate sale price achieved, although it may sometimes turn out to be.

2. What is the reserve price?

The reserve price is the minimum price  for which the seller has authorised the auctioneer to sell the property. The reserve price is not disclosed to potential buyers.

If the bidding during the auction does not reach the agreed reserve price, the lot will be withdrawn and the property will be unsold during the auction. Potential buyers can and usually do make a lower post-auction  bid which sellers can accept if they are minded to do so.

3. How do I view the property I am interested in?

Viewing times can be found in the property details in our online catalogue and there is no need to register. Simply visit the property at the allotted time slot. If there are no viewings slots currently available online, please contact the team to make further enquiries.

4. What is a legal pack and how do I view a legal pack?

Every property offered in our auction will have a legal pack which contains the documents produced by the seller’s solicitors related to the sale offering including any special conditions of sale, title documents etc. The legal packs are available to download from our website and will be available in the weeks leading up to the auction.   

If the legal pack is not available, you can register your interest in the property and will then be notified as soon as it is available for download.

5. Do I need to register to be able to take part in the auction?

Yes. In order to participate in the auction you will need to be pre-registered prior to the auction day. Registration is available on our website and our bidding platform is “Auction Passport”. You will need to open a free account with them to allow you to register for the auction. Full instructions on registration procedure along with how to place bids can be found by following the link to ‘register to bid’.

6. When I am registered will I need to leave a deposit to take part?

As part of the registration process you will need to input your card details and we will place a hold on your card for £7,100, this comprises £5,000 towards your deposit and £2,100 inc of VAT for your Buyers Administration Fee. This is done via the payment system Stripe.

If you are successful in your bid, this your deposit will then be taken and will contribute towards your 10% deposit. If you’re not successful, then the hold will be lifted immediately.

7. If I am successful, what happens after the auction?

If you are the successful bidder, a member of our team will be in contact on the day of the auction to go through the next steps of the purchase.

With each bid, a buyer is making an acceptable offer to buy the property. On the fall of the hammer, contracts are immediately exchanged between the final/winning bidder and the seller. A 10% deposit is then immediately payable by the buyer and the completion period then begins.

8. How long do I have to complete and what happens if I can’t?

The standard completion period for properties sold at Probate.Auction is 30 working days. However please check the Legal Pack, as many properties may have varied periods or extended completion periods of more than 6 weeks or be sold on a conditional basis (for example, sold subject to a grant of probate being obtained).

If you cannot complete on the agreed completion date, Notice to Complete will be served on you by the seller’s solicitor (assuming required in the sale contract). Failure to complete is likely to result in a forfeiture of your 10% deposit and the seller  will have the right to pursue you for failing to meet your contractual obligations.

9. Are there any fees involved with purchasing a property?

The auctioneers administration fees are £1,750 plus VAT, please also refer to the special conditions of sale provided in the legal pack. In some instances fees may be displayed on the actual property detail in the marketing material.

A buyer will of course also be liable for its legal and stamp duty (SDLT) costs when purchasing a property. You should rely on your own legal advice in this regard.

10. Can I get stamp duty relief when buying a probate property?

In some instances it is possible to get probate traders relief:  See SDLTM21040 – Reliefs: Certain acquisitions of residential property

Acquisition by property trader from personal representatives FA03/SCH6A/PARA3

Where a property trader purchases a dwelling from the personal representatives of a deceased individual, the purchase will be exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the purchase is in the course of a business that consists of purchasing dwellings from the personal representatives of deceased individuals
  • the deceased individual occupied the dwelling as his main or only residence at some time in the two years ending with the date of his death and
  • the area of land acquired does not exceed the permitted area.

Where the land acquired is more than the permitted area, as long as the first two conditions above are fulfilled partial relief may be claimed.

Where partial relief is claimed, part of the consideration for the acquisition becomes chargeable.

The amount of chargeable consideration is the difference between the market value of the permitted area, that is the old dwelling and grounds allowed, and the total market value of the old dwelling including all the land.

Relief under this section will be withdrawn if the property trader:

  • spends more than the permitted amount on refurbishment of the dwelling or
  • grants a lease or license of the dwelling or
  • permits any of its principals or employees, or any person connected with any of its principals or employees, to occupy the dwelling.

Buyers are advised to obtain and rely on their own legal advice about their liability for SDLT before bidding for a property.

11. Can you help with solicitor’s referral or Finance / Bridging Finance?

We will be adding links to various firms who Probate.Auction will be partnering with who can help in many aspects of your purchase or property needs.

Regarding finance, please click on the individual property for a link to ‘Together Finance’ who will gladly assist with Bridging Finance.

12. If the house has been empty for 2 or more years can we benefit from a reduced rate of VAT from 20% to 5%

The short answer is yes, but please seek professional advice, the condition will rely on the house having been empty for 2 or more years.

In practice, it means that the contractor/supplier can only charge the reduced rate of VAT if you can prove that nobody has lived in the property for at least 2 years, otherwise you will have to pay VAT at 20%.

This link may also be useful:

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    Who we work with:

    Executors, Administrators, Solicitors and the Family and Beneficiaries of the Deceased.