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Buying at auction? It’ll never be the same again insists industry leader

The auction process, for years a favourite with landlords, will never be the same again according to one of the industry’s leading figures. 

The new managing director of auctioneer Auction House - Jeremy Prior - says that the Covid epidemic forced rapid change in the industry, with some of the new ways of working likely to remain in place forever.

“The room-only model of property auctions has been consigned to history. Regardless of the state of the pandemic or the lifting of restrictions in the future, no auctioneer worth their salt will be staging a sale where the only option for buyers will be to turn up in person.


“At the very least, auctions will be hybrid affairs, where room proceedings are also streamed live online. But frankly, it’s an open question as to whether some of our members will decide that because livestream sales have been so successful, there’s simply no benefit being in the room anymore. 

“Even die-hard fans of room auctions are in two minds about whether to go back to the room, because the effectiveness of livestream sales has been so phenomenal!”

His comments came as Auction House reported its 1,000th sale this year – a three-bedroom terraced house in Devon, which was guided at £138,000 but which sold for £155,000 after fierce bidding.

Prior adds: “Despite the restrictions we’ve been under, Auction House has continued to sell more properties than any other UK auctioneer. This figure has been achieved almost exclusively for private sellers because we have been without our usual stock of repossessions from corporate clients, while the courts have been closed during the pandemic.”

Prior says clients as well as the industry itself have changed, because so many buyers use virtual tours now. 

“The whole sector is unrecognisable from what it was like a year and a half ago. And now that those changes have had time to bed-in, I can confidently predict that many of them will be with us forever” concludes Prior.

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    Buying at auction has changed a lot over the years, it used to be that you paid the price you bid, now there are so many charges and fees added on, it will be a shame not to be able to get back into the auction room, far more enjoyable to be there in person.

  • Trevor Cooper

    On-line bidding comes with an extra buyer's premium and it's still better to attend the auction and get a sense of the mood of the room.


    And to see who you are biding against, not those bids off the wall.

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    I used to like Auctions but you need to be a Regular really to get wise to what’s going on.
    The Cartels for a start maybe Asian or Golders Green regular groups that don’t bid against each other (you buy this one and I’ll next one) the used to have it all their own way for years. Of Course there used to be bids off the wall, owners bidding up their own property which is allowed and the bidder runners (the guy that got £20 / £50 to bid it up and if it fell to him disappear) they’d knock you down running down the stairs to get out quickly, that’s all stopped now with pre-registration, you’d better had made sure your finances were in order or it could cost you dear.


    Up to a point I could be a bit guilty here, some yrs ago my Solicitor's legal secretary was selling her dead parents house off at auction, I knew the reserve so I made sure it got there for her , neither her or my solicitor knew anything about that. I also will not bid against a friend at auction that just isn't cricket is it ?


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