The Pitfalls of Buying at Auction

Whilst the property seen in an auction catalogue may seem a bargain, there is highly likely to be a reason for this.

In auction sales, the properties are generally in need of substantial repair and/or modernisation. If you do not possess any experience in auction purchase, it can prove risky.

It is therefore recommended that before making a bid at auction, you ensure that your financing have been put into place in readiness at short notice. This is because the timescale imposed is extremely tight, namely if your bid is accepted at auction, then you sign the contract there and then and you pay a 10% deposit. You will then have approximately 28 days in which to complete the transaction. If you fail to meet these deadlines then you will incur financial penalties.

When considering auction purchases, it is advisable to obtain a copy of the auctioneers’ catalogue. If you find a property that takes your interest, it is advisable to obtain the legal pack which is generally available from the auctioneers’ website. You can then instruct a solicitor to inspect the title documentation to check whether the title contains any awkward covenants or restrictions. The solicitor will also check the auctioneers contract to ascertain whether the conditions of sale prior to any bidding. The solicitor is likely to make a charge for this service although should be successful at auction, the same solicitors can deal with completion of the matter on your behalf and the fee charged for investigating the title documents is likely to be deducted from the cost of the conveyancing bill. Prior to making a bid it is strongly recommended that you arrange a survey to be carried out.

Whilst you will incur the costs of the above and your bid may not prove successful, such advice and survey is likely to save you money in the long term as you may end up with the property which has restrictions that are not suitable for your purposes and the property may have many structural defects.

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James Atkins

Associate Solicitor

James is a private client solicitor specialising in wills, trusts, powers of attorney and estate administration. He graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English Literature in 2013 and went on to complete his law conversion course at BPP University. 

James trained at Baron Grey and after a sabbatical in Russia has recently re-joined the firm. James has a very friendly and approachable manner and is an asset to Baron Grey.

Lara Symons

Solicitor

Lara Symons qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has specialised in all aspects of Immigration Law since then. Lara was formally the head of the Immigration Appeals Team at White Ryland Solicitors in Shepherds Bush, before moving to Spain for four years with her family.

Lara joined Baron Grey in 2013 and now works for the firm dealing with a wide range of immigration and probate matters.

Minnie Waite

Conveyancer

Minnie Waite joined Baron Grey in 2017 as a conveyancer having worked in the City for many years.

She has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with all aspects of conveyancing transactions and has studied the License Conveyancing course. Minnie specialises in freehold/leasehold, enfranchisement, has some commercial experience and advises on mortgages.

She is extremely approachable and friendly and a great addition to the Baron Grey team.

Ben Hall

Solicitor Advocate

Ben Hall is an experienced solicitor who re-joined Baron Grey solicitors in early 2018, having originally trained under Vincent in 2006.

Ben specialises in criminal defence work and regularly represents clients from the investigatory stage all the way through to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal, where he has had notable success.

Ben has expanded his practice into civil litigation with a particular emphasis on commercial and probate disputes.

Emma Faulkner

Solicitor

After being awarded a 2:1 degree in Law from the University of Reading, Emma joined Baron Grey in 2012. Since then, she has successfully completed the Legal Practice Course part-time obtaining a Distinction, and qualifying as a solicitor in February 2016.

Emma assists the litigation team and specialises in Family Law, including divorce and financial proceedings. Emma also deals with the niche area of Private Client Law concerning Lasting Powers of Attorney. She follows the footsteps of her grandfather who worked for Baron Grey as a senior legal assistant.

Vincent Hambleton-Grey

Principal

After graduating in Law in London, Vincent joined the firm in 1990 as a newly qualified solicitor. He specialises in litigation and company commercial work as well as employment and matrimonial matters. 

He is passionate about representing those who do not always have a fair voice in the community and his clients vary from local people to many small businesses in the area. Whenever possible, Vincent’s aim is always to meet and discuss matters with all new clients personally first. 

Born in Swansea, South Wales, he moved to London as an undergraduate and has lived in Twickenham since 1994. He is married with two daughters.