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Can I get a survey done on an auction property?

15th June 2021

Auctions are a great place to sell property fast but they’re also the perfect place for purchasers to buy and exchange on the same day. Open Online’s auctions have featured some great properties over the years, with many people looking for projects and ‘do-er uppers’ that need some work.

If you’re new to the auction scene, you may be wondering if you can get a survey done on a property in our online catalogue before the auction takes place. Read on to discover the answer and gain more valuable insights into the buying at auction process.

Are property surveys necessary when buying at auction?

While not every property sold at auction is in need of renovation, there is a good chance you’ll be able to bid on some unloved or unmodernised properties. If you’re in the market for something unusual or a project - but want to bid with confidence and avoid nasty surprises - a survey is essential. Purchasers can commission different grades of survey, from a basic level one condition report up to a very detailed level 3 full building survey.

Will a surveyor be able to inspect a property before the auction?

Most auctioneers will grant a surveyor access to a property before the auction but you’ll need to act quickly. Find a surveyor before you start looking at properties, browse auction catalogues as soon as they are published and contact the auctioneer for access when you have a property shortlist. For speed, you may ask the surveyor for an inspection summary that bullet points any worrying flaws via email before the auction, with a detailed hard copy report to follow.

Don’t get confused with a mortgage valuation

Are you buying at auction with a mortgage? Open Online recommends you request a mortgage valuation before the auction takes place. This will confirm how much your mortgage lender thinks the auction property is worth and provide a guide figure to prevent you overbidding and creating a loan shortfall.

Be mindful that a mortgage valuation is not a comprehensive document. Instead, a surveyor will perform a cursory check of the property, taking as little as 20 minutes or even as brief as driving past the residence. The valuation may list significant defects but there will be little detail. If you are a cash buyer at auction, this step can be bypassed but it’s still pertinent to know that your final bid isn’t more than the property is worth.

Who owns what – due diligence before the auction

If you are buying at a property auction, it is essential that you know more about the property and the land it sits on before you make a bid. Deed, boundary, party wall and right-of-way details should be obtained upfront, as should a title search to establish if the person selling the property is, in fact, the legal owner. Buyers can ask a conveyancing solicitor to check the legal pack provided by the seller’s solicitor, or experienced auction purchasers can double check themselves using Land Registry data.

Buy & sell property fast with Open Online

If you’re worried that buying a property at auction is too unfamiliar and would prefer to purchase using a more traditional route, why not browse our online listings of homes for sale? If something catches your eye and you have a property to sell, don’t forget Open Online is also a quick sale agency. We can offer you exchange and completion in a quicker timeframe than High Street estate agents – in as little as seven working days, if required. Get in touch today for more details and advice.

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