While the process of buying and selling at auction is relatively simple, the in-house dynamics are often not. 

Sam Kinloch

It could therefore be easy for some to forget that the knowledge you hold of auctions is not always shared by the people you are speaking to. Terms such as ‘common auction conditions’, ‘reserve price’ or even ‘tenure’ will not always be understood and may need explanation. You also risk embarrassing or alienating someone who otherwise might be a buyer, if given the chance.

That’s why, through regular training, we empower all staff to share their knowledge in a way that makes all prospective bidders, whether experienced or first-time buyers, feel at ease.

Since opening our doors 30 years ago, we have never deviated from our main goal of providing a specialist land and property auction facility to private individuals, investors, developers, corporate bodies and statutory authorities, as well as anyone else wishing to use this professional, transparent method of sale.

For a first-time buyer, perhaps the most important thing to do is to come and see an auction in person. It is an instructive experience that would help them understand the dynamics of the whole process. It is also fun. The room, on the day of an auction, is buzzing with activity.


Source: Shutterstock/ Chodyra Mike

Viewings are also essential for any prospective purchaser. We always suggest physically viewing a property instead of ‘blind-buying’ it.

Obtaining the legal pack is also strongly recommended. This is provided by the seller’s solicitor and contains important information including the contract. It is advisable to take independent legal advice on the legal pack prior to bidding.

Ultimately, under anti-money laundering regulations, all bidders need to register on the day of the auction, so we recommend arriving at the venue early.

Hopefully, those bidding for the first time will be successful and thus join the exclusive club of experienced auction buyers.

Sam Kinloch is director and senior auction valuer at Clive Emson Auctioneers