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How to Sell Your House at Auction: Pros and Cons

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They may have been made famous by the BBC television programme Homes Under the Hammer, but property auctions are not a new element to the UK property market. Auctions offer sellers a relatively hands-off way of selling their property. Over recent years selling your property at auction has become increasingly popular as people look for alternatives to traditional estate agents.

To keep up with modern times, many property auctions have moved online. Running with a similar format and success of sites such as Gum Tree and eBay, online property auctions allow a broader range of people to engage with this alternative way of selling and buying property

How do online property auctions work?

In a similar format to a traditional auction, properties are displayed on an online platform with an ‘auction’ timer. Often run by individual estate agents or an online estate agent, an interested buyer will register with the relevant estate agent and place a bid. For those wishing to bid on a property, they will usually incur a ‘participation fee’; usually un-refundable.

For those wishing to buy a property, online property auctions are usually accessible 24/7; this maximises exposure of the property, whilst encouraging the natural competition between buyers. Once the property has reached the end of the auction period, the highest bidder is required to reserve the property with an immediate reservation payment. While a buyer isn’t legally obliged to proceed with the sale, the reservation fee is implemented to promote completion of a sale.

It is important to highlight that while online property auctions are becoming more popular across the property market, they are not for everyone.

What are the benefits of selling your house through an online auction?


Transparency is the most common benefit listed by those who have sold their house through an online property auction. There is no way estate agents can hide offers made by potential buyers. The seller can keep a clear track of the progress of bidding throughout the auction.

Fixed timeframe

An online property auction is beneficial for those with time constraints attached to the sale of their property or looking for a quick house sale. As there is a definitive time limit on the auction, once the auction has finished and an offer has been received, the formalities can follow on quickly. This makes auctions a great option for those who may have to relocate quickly.

Furthermore, it is an attractive option for sellers who are concerned that their property will sit on the open market for a considerable amount of time.

Administrative costs

The administrative costs are predominantly covered by the buyer and not the person selling.

What are the downsides to selling your home at auction?

Sale Price

Although competition between bidders is promoted, the final price at auction can be less than the amount a property could have achieved on the open market However, there is the possibility for a property to achieve a greater price if there is a considerable amount of competition.

Savvy buyers

Seasoned investors or home buyers may try and incorporate the reservation cost into their final bid, decreasing the amount you receive for your property.

Should I sell my property at auction?

Although similar at the core, the format of a property auction and the formalities may differ from agent to agent. Here at SOLD.CO.UK, we can sell your home through our online property auction offering. If you’d like to find out more get in contact with us today via 0800 566 8490 or

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