Different people prioritise different things when it comes to selling their house. Some will want to achieve the best possible price, no matter how long that might take. Others value their time, convenience and want a faster than usual sale.
If you’re in the second group, auction could be a good selling method to consider.
So, how long does it actually take to sell a house at auction?
On average, it takes between 10-14 weeks to sell a house at auction from instruction to completion. However, the time it takes to sell your house will depend on the auction method you choose. Traditional auctions tend to be faster than modern auctions. But there is no guarantee your home will sell in the first auction.
In this article, we reveal how long it really takes to sell a house at auction for both the traditional and modern methods. We also give you our top tips to speed up your auction sale and improve your odds of selling first time round.
If you want to quickly find out if auction is the right selling method for you, you can take our free online quiz. If auction sounds like a good fit, we’ll put you in touch with the #1 Leading Auction House in your area.
1. How quickly can you sell a house at auction?
One of the big advantages of selling at auction is the relative speed it offers compared to your standard estate agent sale. (Which, according to Zoopla, takes nearly 6 months!)
On average, traditional auctions take 10-12 weeks from instruction to completion. Modern auctions take slightly longer on average at 12-16 weeks. If you set an aggressive price and agree a pre-auction sale, it’s possible to instruct, exchange and complete on an auction sale in as little as 4 weeks.
So why do modern auctions take longer than traditional auctions on average? Let’s take a look at each process in more detail below…
1.1 Traditional auctions
Traditional auctions are less flexible and work to shorter timeframes than modern auctions.
With traditional auctions, the sale immediately exchanges upon the fall of the hammer and the buyer pays a 10% deposit. They then have 28 days to complete the sale.
There is a high level of commitment from the outset. Less than 1% of sales agreed via traditional auction fall through as a result.
Here’s a quick overview of the process and timeframes:
1.2 Modern auctions
Modern auctions work slightly differently. They give the buyer more time and flexibility than traditional auctions.
With modern auctions, contracts don’t exchange at the end of the auction. Instead, the winning bidder pays a non-refundable reservation fee.
Buyers then have 56 days on average to complete the purchase. In theory, this opens the property up to a wider audience, as buyers have enough time to secure a mortgage.
Buyers are not legally committed in the same way as they are with traditional auctions. This means the fall through rate is slightly higher at 5% on average.
Here’s a breakdown of each stage of the process:
2. How to improve your chances of selling at auction?
One thing to keep in mind is an auction sale isn’t guaranteed.
According to data from EIG, the average “success rate” over the last 12 months has been 69.7%. This means about 30% of properties fail to sell at auction.
As well as delaying your sale, failing to sell first time round can have several negative knock-on effects.
Although there is an element of luck when it comes to auction sales, there are things you can do to stack the odds in your favour.
Here are our 5 top tips on how to improve your chances of selling your home on auction day:
- Give yourself plenty of marketing time. The time between instruction and auction day is crucial. This is when your property will be advertised on the property portals and sent to the auction house’s buyer database. Buyers also carry out their due diligence during this period and have the chance to view your property. Auction teams can accept later entries, but you’ll limit your home’s exposure and chance to drum up interest.
- Set an attractive guide price. Your auctioneer will be able to advise you on how to price your property competitively to generate the most interest and maximise your auction sale price.
- Be flexible with viewing arrangements. Get interested buyers in ASAP to view your property to maintain momentum.
- Present the property appropriately for your target market. If you’re selling to families and first-time buyers, you should present your home in the best light possible. If your target market is a developer, tidy and declutter but leave as-is.
- Prepare your legal pack. Ideally, you want your full legal pack ready for when advertising starts.
We’ve written an entire guide on how to auction a house: “How To Auction A House: Your 15-Step Guide To Success ”.
3. Pre-auction offers vs waiting for auction day – which is better?
Some properties might attract “pre-auction offers” before auction day. This is usually a sign that the property is well-priced and likely to sell when the auction comes.
If you chose auction because you wanted to sell your house fast, then a pre-auction offer can seem really appealing.
The auction house will let you know as soon as they’ve received a pre-auction offer and will tell you the pros and cons of accepting it.
Ultimately, it’s a decision only you can make. If the pre-auction offer meets your goals and you value a guaranteed sale over the gamble of auction day, it might be wise to accept.
On the other hand, if interest is high and you can afford to wait, holding out for auction day could pay off with a higher sale price.
Things like the number of viewings and downloads of the legal pack will give a good indication of the level of interest before auction day. Your auctioneer will be able to give you a good steer on this and help you with the decision.
4. Is there an even faster way to sell a house?
Auction gives you a faster sale than an estate agent.
If you need to sell your home even faster, a house buying company might be a good option. This is the fastest way to sell your home.
You can sell your home in as little as 7 days to a well-funded, reputable cash house-buying company. However, there are downsides (such as price) which mean this selling method is not for everyone.
To find out which selling method is better suited to your property and priorities, you can take our free online quiz.
We’ll let you know the best way to sell your house and put you in touch with the best, most trustworthy companies in your area.
5. How to find the best auction house for you…
Auctions can be a great option if you value speed and certainty over getting the best price, but you don’t need a super quick sale. It gives you a higher price than a home buying service, and a faster sale than an estate agent.
When it comes to finding the “best” auction house, it can be a daunting challenge. With so many to choose from, it’s difficult to know which one to pick.
Here at Home Selling Expert, we want to help you choose the best way to sell your property and find the best companies to sell with.
If you want to save a lot of the homework, headaches and guesswork, we can help…
Hit the button below to get a direct referral to our #1 Leading Auction House in your area. You can get a free, no-obligation auction appraisal and consultation to help you make an informed decision.
By Matthew Cooper, Co-Founder of Home Selling Expert