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Buying a property at an online auction

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Whether you are buying a property for the first time, upgrading to a larger property or investing in a buy-to-let, an auction can be a great option to acquire a house, apartment or office. The opportunities and benefits associated with an online auction are significant, however, the finer legal detail can be complex. Remember, the most important element of buying online is completing research to make sure you understand your option before committing to an auction. Here is a list of solicitors using the Offr platform that can complete the conveyancing of the property.


Why is buying a property by online auction beneficial

Auctions offer property buyers an excellent opportunity to purchase a property at a low price. The process is generally an easy, speedy, secure and stress-free way to buy a residential or commercial property. Auctions usually attract unique properties, that takes a particular eye to notice the potential. If no one else sees the potential in the property, you could land an absolute bargain. Properties that sell at auction can be up to 30% cheaper than those that sell by private treaty/ normal sale. At an online auction, bidders are vetted before the event and all the bids are shown in real-time with a bid extension of 1-2 minutes. These elements are in place to ensure transparency and to allow a bidder to swiftly react to a counter bid. If you are the successful bidder at the end of the auction you bought the property, it is as simple as that. Auction avoid delays and fall through that can happen between parties due to a breakdown in communication during the negotiation stage as the sale price will be determined during bidding.


Is there a time restriction for an online auction? 

There is no time restriction on an online auction. The auction end date is selected by the agent before the auction commences but potential bidders can place a bid throughout the day and night 24/7. A countdown clock will display the hours, minutes and seconds until the auction comes to a close. This means the agent and buyer can sell or buy their property in any time zone.  


What are the financial costs involved in an online auction?

A bidder will pay a registration deposit at the start of the auction, however, if you are not successful the deposit will be released to you. Other costs include; 

  • Solicitor fees will apply to complete any legal work that needs to be carried out. 
  • It's advised you consult your estate agent or solicitor for direction on the stamp duty costs.
  • Property insurance, once you've completed the signing of the contracts the property is your responsibility.  
  • Valued added tax (VAT) 


What do I need to register at an online auction? 

  1. If you intend on bidding in an auction, you will have to pay a registration deposit (Between, €4,000 - €6,000), the agent will set the payment method. If you are successful you will need the total deposit which is normally 10% of the sale price. 
  2. A form of identification, such as a passport or drivers licence. 
  3. Your solicitor's details. 


Can I hire a chartered surveyor to complete a survey for the auction property?

Yes, a chartered surveyor can undertake surveys of the property once the estate agent permits it before the auction. A building survey will help you determine the property condition. Make sure you know exactly what you're buying by reviewing the legal documents or viewing the property.


What does an online property auction process look like? 

The auction period can be as long or as short as is desired, ensuring full market exposure to an agreed timeline. 

  1. Contact the estate agent that is holding the auction for more information on the sale. A brochure may be available if they are selling multiple lots. All information will be available and downloadable via the Offr panel on the agent's site. 
  2. Reviewing your spend and budget can help give you a better understanding of what you can afford. You should consider the extra fees and running costs when you move into the property. 
  3. Once you have found a property that is within your budget, organise an appointment to view the property. 
  4. if it's an option, contact as a charted surveyor to value the property.
  5. Notify your solicitor of your interest in the property and instruct them to complete the conveyancing for the property. To find a list of solicitors using Offr, click here. 
  6. Make sure you are in front of a computer or mobile device at the auction start time, pay your booking deposit and make a bid. 
  7. If you are the successful bidder, you will need to pay the total deposit on the day or seven days after (The agent will set the parameters) an interest rate can be applied if the deposit isn't paid by an agreed date.


Where will I find an online auction in Ireland?

With online auctions there are no location barriers, you can be anywhere at any time to participate in an auction. If you would like to stay up to date on up and coming auctions that are happening in Ireland, subscribe to our mailing list. An alternative method to find a property that is going to auction in the newspaper, as well as local estate agents. Here are some of the progressive agents using Offr to carry out auctions online in a flexible, secure and seamless way: 


Before each auction, a list of the properties 'up for sale' will be displayed on the estate agents website. It is custom for the agent to have the property published and legal documentation added to the Offr legal vault two to four weeks before the auction commences. We recommend you study the legal documentation the seller's solicitor has provided, all documentation will be available and downloadable from the Offr panel. If it's an option, you should book an appointment to the view the property and take the time to survey the property, enlist the help of builder or architect if possible. For instructions to download legal documentation, click here.