Gary Murphy, an auctioneer at Allsop, explains why property auctions are no last resort.
“PROPERTY AUCTIONS are not just for distressed properties,” says Gary Murphy (pictured), an auctioneer at Allsop. “That’s a bit of a myth actually.”
At a typical Allsop property auction, you are likely to meet a wide variety of buyers and sellers. Allsop acts on behalf of banks, building societies, lenders, housing associations, local authorities, London boroughs and councils, trustees and charities. Among the potential buyers, there are landlords looking to expand their portfolios; investors who plan to flip and profit off a cheap residential home; and first time buyers seeking a bargain fixer-upper.
One thing they all have in common is that they are keen to get a binding contract within a relatively short timescale at the best possible price.
“Property auctions are open to everyone – they are very transparent, and everybody knows that they’ve had a chance to bid,” adds Murphy. “Public companies are accountable to their shareholders and all of this fiduciary duty is fulfilled by going to the public marketplace that the auction provides and being able to say, yes – I’ve done everything I possibly can to get the best possible price.”
Allsop has been the UK’s top property auction house for most of its 110-year history. Over the past few decades, it has expanded its services to include advice to clients on private treaty transactions, portfolio sales, valuation, and rent reviews. When Murphy joined the firm 33 years ago, his job was to build up the brand-new residential auction department, which has gone from strength to strength ever since.
“Auctioneering is a very immediate way of transacting property,” he says. “But the thing that makes it so efficient is that it’s not dependent on a subject-tocontract stage in the transaction. So once you have completed a period of three weeks of marketing, each lot is sold unconditionally and immediately. The fall of the hammer is the point at which the contract is binding.”
In Murphy’s experience, the speed and simplicity of the auction house attracts a certain type of buyer who is either in a cash position or is not subject to any form of property chain when committing to buy. “It therefore attracts a lot of cash buyers or dealers, traders who have an existing facility for borrowing, amateur investors and first-time buyers,” Murphy explains. “And of course we always advise that every potential buyer has their finance in order before they put their hand up in the auction house.”
Allsop advises each potential seller ahead of every sale, and the firm is not afraid to tell sellers to choose another method of sale, if the auction house does not represent the best option for them.
“We are on the side of the seller,” says Murphy. “Our job is to get the best possible price for the seller. That’s what the auction’s about and any auctioneer who ignores any particular section of the market or only focuses on one particular buyer isn’t doing his job.”
By prioritising quality over quantity, Allsop is ensuring that its property auctions are no last resort, but an efficient and transparent way to complete property transactions, no matter who the seller may be.
If you’d like to find out more about selling at auction, please contact Zoe Baxter on +44 (0)20 7344 2629 or firstname.lastname@example.org.