The Truth About Property Auction Guide Prices

Paul Parker
Aution Prices Scale

If you’re looking to buy or sell a property at online auction, you’ve probably noticed a ‘guide price’ in our auction adverts. There can be some confusion over guide prices and reserve prices, particularly if you’re new to online auctions. But what does ‘guide price’ mean, and are they accurate? In this article, we’ll explain the differences between auction prices, and how Pugh Auctions applies guide prices to help both buyers and sellers at online auction. 

What does ‘guide price’ mean?

Every property offered for sale at online auction will have a guide price to help buyers decide whether to pursue a purchase. Guide prices give you an idea of where the bidding will begin. Usually, sellers will agree a reserve price with us before we begin to market their property, but as this is subject to change based on levels of interest received, properties are marketed with a guide price to manage buyers’ expectations.

What is a reserve price?

Reserve prices are different to guide prices. The reserve price is the minimum figure a seller will accept for their property. If the reserve price isn’t met during the online auction, we can’t sell it. Reserve prices remain confidential between us and the seller, but the guide price will give you an indication of a seller’s acceptable price and how much we’d expect it to achieve at auction.

Sometimes, properties are listed for sale at auction without a reserve price, in which case they can be sold regardless of bid amounts received. 

Both reserve and guide prices are subject to change up to and including the day of online auction, based on levels of interest received during the marketing period. If you’re hoping to participate in an upcoming online auction, you can keep up with guide prices in our auction diary.

How accurate are guide prices at property auctions?

A member of our team of surveyors will advise a suitable guide (and reserve) price after inspecting a seller’s property.

Guide prices aren’t the same as auction property valuations. Surveyors will provide a valuation (also known as an appraisal) of a property based on its current value, and the guide price is advised with their final sale price expectations in mind.

The guide price advised also takes into account the price the seller hopes to achieve. Our surveyors ensure guide prices are as accurate as possible, by combining the property’s valuation figure with realistic expectations of how much it could sell for at auction.

Do properties sell for the guide price amount?

While the guide price gives buyers an indication of how much to expect to pay for a property at auction, they aren’t always reflective of the final sale price. The final amount a property sells for is largely dependent on the amount of interest - and number of bids - it receives. The more competing bidders taking part in the auction, the higher the final sale price is likely to be.

Thinking of selling a property at online auction?

At Pugh, we apply guide prices to help buyers determine how much to expect to pay, and to help sellers achieve a sold price they’re happy with.

If you’re considering selling your property, our experts can advise you further about guide prices, reserve prices, and how much you could achieve by selling at online auction.

Call us today on 0345 505 1200 to speak to a member of our team if you'd like some advice on selling or buying property at online auction.  Or book your free no-obligation appraisal to find out the value of your property or land. 

Paul Parker Paul Parker

Associate Director

About the Author

Paul is a Chartered Surveyor with over 15 years’ experience in agency and valuation across a diverse range of property types. 

Paul joined Pugh & Co in February 2018 from Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), where he was an Associate Director in the North West Asset & Debt Advisory team. Prior to that he was Principal Surveyor at Edward Symmons, who were subsequently acquired by LSH, and was also a Senior Surveyor with Gerald Eve in Liverpool.                                                                                   

Paul has dealt with the acquisition and disposal of a variety of properties throughout the North West from retail, offices and industrial to residential development sites and residential portfolios. He has also advised charitable clients including the United Reformed Church (Mersey Province) Trust on the disposal of redundant church premises for compliance with the Charities Act 2011. 

More recently, Paul has provided advice to financial institutions and insolvency practitioners on the management and disposal of distressed property assets. He has also acted on behalf of national PLC’s, Government Agencies and private companies and individuals.