How long does it take to sell a property at auction?


Written by: Will Thompson on 8th September 2023

Sell at auction

Achieving a quick sale at a good price is often one of the main motivating factors for sellers when they put a property up for auction. The team here at Pugh often fields exactly that question of ‘How long does it take to sell a property at auction?’ and whilst there are some well-established timelines in the auction process there are a few further factors to keep in mind.

Selling quickly at auction is not difficult once your property is listed on a site such as ours, though for all sellers they also want to ensure they get the best possible price for their property sale, so rushing to auction is not always wise.

At Pugh we hold online auctions every month so if the seller is not under time pressure they may wish to list their property for sale at an auction a few weeks down the line for specific reasons.

This can give them more time to prepare the property for auction, if tidying, renovations or specific legal processes need to be carried out to enhance the value of the property in advance. With time on your side as a seller you can increase your realistic potential Guide Price and Reserve Price, also giving your Surveyor and solicitor time to do their work diligently and therefore ensuring a smoother approach to the auction and likelihood of getting a good sale.

Once the preparations for auction have been taken care of – we recommend reviewing our Guide to selling at auction when you are at the preparation stage – you can create your listing and select the most suitable online auction date.

When choosing a date you may wish to allow some time for the market (potential buyers) to become aware of your property listing and carry out their due diligence. This allows buyers and their representatives to research thoroughly, review the property’s legal pack and set a firm budget in their mind, so that they come to the auction with greater motivation to buy.

Once the day of the online auction arrives things begin to speed up. Just as the terms of the auction state, when the hammer falls and the property is sold to the highest bidder they become party to a legally binding agreement with the seller of the property.

The winning bidder then signs a memorandum of sale and is legally obliged to immediately provide the deposit on the purchase. The deposit amount is usually approximately 10% of the agreed sale price.

Next the memorandum of sale is sent to the buyer’s solicitor and they are then legally bound to complete the transaction to purchase the property within a defined timeframe - typically a standard 28 day completion period.

Prior to the keys being given to the new property owner the purchase must be legally concluded, with all the relevant legal and financial processes being undertaken. The remaining balance on the sale price is due within those aforementioned 28 days as standard and this usually occurs on time as failure to adhere to that financial obligation can result in the buyer losing the deposit and facing potential legal action.

It is helpful to seek advice from those with expertise in property auctions in order to fully know your rights and understand the typical timings as a seller at auction. Our experienced team are available to assist with your enquiries and can be reached via your nearest Pugh & Co office.

Will Will Thompson

Associate Director

About the Author

Will is an auction surveyor at Pugh & Co, representing a wide range of vendors, including local authorities, charities, and corporate and private clients, on the disposal of all types of property and land. Will can provide advice on the value and disposal strategies of residential, commercial, and industrial properties/portfolios, as well as sites with development potential. He holds an MSc in Real Estate and is a member of the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers.