Pros and Cons of Selling a House by Auction

May 13, 2023

Selling a property under time pressure can be a daunting task. One popular method is via a property auction. This article will outline the pros and cons of selling a house by auction, providing valuable information to help you decide if this is the right option for you.

Pros of Selling a House by Auction:

1. Speed and Efficiency:

One of the main advantages of selling a house at auction is the speed at which the transaction can be completed. Auctions have set dates and timelines, which means the sale process is much faster than an agent sale, and closes in as little as 6 weeks. This can be particularly beneficial for bereaved families looking to settle the estate quickly.

2. Certainty of Sale:

When the hammer falls, and the auctioneer declares the property sold, the buyer is legally committed to the purchase. This eliminates the risk of the buyer pulling out or renegotiating the price, providing certainty and peace of mind for the seller.

3. Competitive Bidding Environment:

Auctions create a competitive environment where multiple interested parties can bid against each other, potentially driving up the final sale price. This can help maximise the value of the property and ensure you receive the best possible result in a quick time frame.

4. Transparency:

Auctions are open and transparent, with all bids being made publicly. This allows you to see the level of interest in your property and witness the bidding process firsthand.


Cons of Selling a House by Auction:

1. Upfront Costs:

Selling a house at auction can incur upfront costs, such as listing fees, marketing expenses, and auctioneer’s commissions, though the majority of fees are due on successful sale only. Auction costs are usually on par with selling via an agent, but may be higher in some cases. Using a service like Hammered can help ensure you secure favourable rates with auction houses.

2. No Guaranteed Sale:

Although auctions can offer a higher degree of certainty than private treaty sales, there is still no guarantee that your property will sell on the day. If the property does not reach its reserve price it will remain unsold, and you may need to negotiate with potential buyers or consider other selling methods. Here are your options if your property doesn’t sell at auction.

3. Limited Control Over Final Sale Price:

While the competitive nature of auctions can drive up the final sale price, there’s also a risk that the property may sell for less than you hoped. Setting a reserve price can help protect against this, but it’s essential to have realistic expectations and be prepared to accept the outcome of the auction.

-Selling a house by auction has its pros and cons. For estate administrators, the speed, certainty, and potential for a higher sale price can be attractive, but it’s crucial to weigh these against the possible drawbacks.

As the Founder of Settld – an award winning end-of-life admin platform, we help administrators navigate these complex decisions. Use our free death notification service to inform all companies in one go and simplify estate management via one user friendly platform.


Psst! 🤫 We’ve got a cosy little corner on our website where we chat all about selling property at auction in the UK. From the ups and downs to those handy insider tips, it’s all in our Ultimate Guide to Selling a House at Auction. Why not pop over, grab a cuppa, and dive into the world of auctions with us?

Happy learning!

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