House Auctions – A Free Guide

House Auctions – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Searching through current house auctions lists is without doubt one of the best ways to find cheap houses for sale. Whether you’re looking for investment properties to do up and rent out to tenants, or simply want to buy a new house at below market prices, then researching house auctions is the way to go to find the perfect property for your needs.

With over 35,000 properties coming up for auction every year it sounds like it would be rather easy to find a cheap house, in the right location and at the right price. Just do a Google search, find out what house auctions are coming up in the near future, browse through the properties on offer and find your ideal house, flat or business unit. Well, unfortunately it’s not quite that simple, though we think it definitely should be, hence the following guide on everything you need to know about buying at house auctions.

One of the difficulties is that with many hundreds of property auction websites around on the internet it can be hard to know which sites are reputable, which will deliver accurate information and which are free to use. Numerous auction information websites charge a subscription fee to users just to view the properties coming up for sale. This is a waste of money for those in the know, because information on which houses are available at auction can be found relatively easily and without any costs involved.

Tip 1

Stay well clear of property auction websites that charge fees to view lists of properties available or who promise to give you lists of properties before anyone else – all the information they charge a fee for is obtainable for free and totally gratis if you know where to look.

House Auctions – The Good

  • Save Money – Of course, the best thing about buying property at an auction is that you can purchase houses, flats and commercial units at 20 – 40 % below the current market value, giving you plenty of room to profit even when renovation costs are factored in.
  • Secure – With house auctions there is no risk of being gazumped (another buyer putting in a higher bid after the auction and you losing the property). The exchange and completion dates are both fixed when buying at auction, which means less stress and worry when compared to being in a chain. Housing chains of buyers and sellers can easily collapse and cause innumerable set backs – buying at house auctions completely avoids this aspect of buying property that those who choose the traditional route will, more often than not, have to go through.
  • Cheaper Fees – Many of the auction houses simply charge an administration fee of around £350 (though some do charge a buyers premium, so make sure you check before the auction). With no estate agents fees to worry about, buying at auction is usually quite a bit cheaper than buying through the normal channels. This is because most auction houses get their income through charging  a % of the sale price from the seller and not the buyer.
  • Time Saving – Buying at house auctions can save a great deal of time when compared with buying through estate agents. You won’t be traipsing around looking for the best agent or spending every weekend going from one house to another. Just check out the homes available and pick a few that you’re interested in and go from there.
  • Plenty of Choice – When looking through house auction lists you often find different styles and types of property, with unique or unusual features, such as old churches, unconverted barns or even disused water towers and electricity stations.
  • Convenient – House auctions take place throughout the country and sometimes they can be hard to get to so for convenience you can bid by phone and in some cases via the internet, so no matter where you are you can bid on the properties that you’re interested in.

Tip 2

When you’ve found an auction property that you’re interested in, contact the auction house directly to request any further documents relating to the property including the legal pack. Most auction houses will send you information via email.

Tip 3

Do your research thoroughly. Find out from local estate agents websites what homes in that area are selling for.

Tip 4

If you are unsuccessful in buying the property you wanted and you are open about where you want to buy, ask the auctioneer afterwards about any properties that didn’t sell. You can pick up a real bargain in this way, just make sure you do all the checks you need to do before agreeing anything.

House Auctions – The Bad & The Ugly

  • Stay in Control – Going to house auctions is exciting and our emotions can run away with us, so make sure you stick to the upper limit you’ve set yourself and try not to get caught up in the atmosphere too much. Remember that the auctioneers job is to get the highest price he or she can and they are very skilled at this – stick to your budget no matter what.
  • Problem Properties – This is only a risk if you have not done the research into your property by visiting it previously, getting a survey and making certain that any problems such as subsidence, dry or wet rot can be rectified within your budget. If you fail to do your research you could find that your “cheap house” ends up costing you a lot more than you planned.
  • Rigid Contracts – As soon as that gavel falls you have entered into a contract to buy. If you change your mind after the auction or you cannot secure a mortgage you will lose your deposit. So make sure you already have a mortgage offer in place before the house auction.

  • Lease Lengths – Do check the length of the lease on the house you’re interested in. Properties with short lease lengths are often the cheapest, and while you can get a great deal on these homes, ensure that you’ve checked thoroughly beforehand to guarantee that you can get the lease extended when you want to. If you don’t and find that you can’t get the lease extended then the property will go back to the lease owner at the end of the lease term.

Tip 5

Ensure you have a mortgage offer before you go to auction.

Tip 6

Ensure you visit the properties you’re interested as early as you can. This will give you the opportunity to organise surveys and allow you to view the property, warts and all.

Cost of Buying at House Auctions

10% Deposit required on the day of the auction

Auction House Admin Fee (usually around £350)

Survey Costs

Mortgage Arrangement Fee (with your bank)

Solicitors Costs – to carry out local and national searches and check the title deeds for any covenants or restrictions on the property.

Stamp Duty

Possibly a Buyers premium of around 1.5% of the sale price

Tip 7

When buying at house auctions you will be required to pay by bankers draft or cheque in most cases. Cash or cards are frequently not accepted.

Tip 8

On the day of the house auction you will need to take several forms of identification including a passport or photo driving licence and your latest utility bills or council tax bill.

House Auction Websites that Provide Free Information

UK Wide House Auctions

Countrywide

Savills

Allsop

Charrison Properties

Drivers & Norris

Network Auctions

Strettons

Essex Auctioneers

Dedman Gray

Hair & Son

So Are House Auctions for You?

The initial foray into buying at house auctions can be a little intimidating. There’s a bit to learn about how the process works, but not certainly not enough to put people off using house auctions to buy their next investment property or dream home. First time buyers may be the least likely to purchase property from house auctions but it is a wonderful way for them to get onto the property ladder and get a cheap house that will only grow in value. Whatever you decide, just make sure you do your research – this makes buying property at house auctions a real piece of cake.

Stop Repossession – But Don’t Use Your Credit Card

If you’re facing an uncertain future and wish to stop a repossession order – don’t use your credit card. As the New Year came and went new figures were published that showed a frightening (though understandable) tendency for home owners using their credit cards as a means of keeping up with mortgage repayments.

The homeless charitable organisation Shelter found the news to be alarming enough to issue a warning that went along the lines of: don’t use alternative forms of credit as a means of supporting yourself through financial difficulty.

In a nutshell, the use of credit cards is doomed from the outset. By using a different type of available credit – you are staving off the inevitable. If you’re already experiencing financial difficulties then using a credit card will only exacerbate the issue somewhere down the line.

Most credit card arrangements require that you pay the money back at a far higher interest rate than your mortgage lenders will be charging – so it’s pure math that several months of paying your mortgage with your MasterCard is going to increase your outgoings at an exponential growth rate.

The facts – mostly related to the financial situation and/or repossessions in Yorkshire and the Yorkshire region in general:

  • More than 287,000 individuals across the region may be using their credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent
  • Of around 2 million people asked (nationwide) during the survey – of those that said ‘yes – they had been using their credit card/s’ – 7% of that figure were from the Yorkshire region
  • In the November of 2009, the same question brought back a 4% figure that were doing the same in Yorkshire
  • Across the nation, the predicted figure for this year is that it’s almost a 50% increase on the previous year (2010)

As you can see – the figures are frightening.

If you’re one of the above and you can’t see no way round keeping up with your mortgage repayments – are you certain that you haven’t explored all other options that may be available to you?

You can turn to Shelter, the Citizens Advice Bureau, your local Government to check if you’re eligible for their Mortgage Rescue program. Then there’s the mortgage lenders themselves. They are prepared to listen because the bottom line is this: they don’t want your home.

No matter how much it may feel like it, the last thing any bank or large mortgage lender needs is an ever increasing portfolio of homes that they need to deal with. Banks are not property developers – they’re banks.

They’re in the business of making money by way of lending, holding and distributing the green stuff. That’s what they do – that’s what they are. If they end up repossessing a home they are then responsible for it – and they don’t want to be.

Why do you think that there are so many bank owned properties appearing at house auction venues across the UK? They don’t have the time to maintain them, attend to all the minutiae that is part and parcel of home ownership.

It really is in your mortgage lenders best interests to keep your home in your possession – and that’s something worth thinking about. Yes – you can and do come up against jobs-worth employees that make you feel as you you’re a voice in a million but – that’s not the majority.

As an example the Yorkshire Bank has a fantastic dedicated debt solutions department that’s so far doing a great job of talking with its customers as a means of finding agreeable solutions to spiralling debt and the potential of a future house repossession.

The HSBC work with customers on a client-by-client basis – and do their best to find a way forward. Barclays also use a tailored approach and the Halifax Bank – the UK’s biggest mortgage lenders – are the same.

The fact is this: if you need help, ask for it. Don’t wait until the carthorse has well and truly bolted. Using your credit card to pay of your mortgage is simply borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. It’s a fool’s errand and will only result in the worst case scenario – unless you’re incredibly lucky.

To stop house repossession in Yorkshire – or any other region across the UK – pick up the ‘phone and make the call now. You have plenty of avenues available to you providing you don’t bury your head in the sand.

The problem with head burying is this … when you lift your head back up again your world will have tilted too far the wrong way. Don’t lose your home – act now.

Property Auctions – Where To Find Repossessed Homes

Locating repossessed homes on the internet can be a little difficult. For that reason we have done the hard work for you – i.e. sourced the top five free property auctions websites currently available.

All you have to do is visit the property auction sites as a means of establishing which one may possess the listing that’s most appropriate to your requirements. Not all houses for sale will be direct house repossessions – but that doesn’t mean you can’t bag yourself a great bargain.

Many private vendors appear on these sites. There are plenty of home owners that have houses for sale for reasons other than they need to sell up fast. Some inherit a home, and have no need or wish to hold onto the property.

Others may be landlords, wishing to move away from letting their some or all of their houses. Then there’s the property investors – that buy and sell houses as a means of generating income. House repossessions are part and parcel of auction listings but – bank owned properties are but a part rather than the whole.

The biggest problem potential home buyers’ face is pinpointing the sites that actually sell auction property – and beyond that is the need to pay up front for the lists that they possess. Many of them charge an annual fee of around £100 or more – just to share information that is freely available.

This is another niche found within a much bigger niche – that being the housing market itself. If you’re prepared to spend time exploring property auction websites, then you’ll find what you’re looking for, without having to put your hand in your pocket.

For that reason yorkshire.bankproperties.com has compiled a list of some of the best house auction websites in the UK. Most of them will deliver countrywide results; some are localized to the Yorkshire region.

Property Auction Websites

DDM Auctions This property auction website allows you to bid for property online. This is becoming the new method of buying at auction and it’s slowly growing in popularity – you get to bid from the comfort of your home or office, thus removing the need to travel. You need to sign up (free) in order to bid in keeping with required legalities (name, address etc etc) and beyond the sign up – the site is easy to navigate and well worth checking out.

Country Wide Property Auctions A country wide auction property site, again register as a means of receiving the catalogue or view online. You can narrow down your search easily enough, by way of clicking on a property auction venue in an area that interests you. The auction lots are clearly set out and provide basic information – however you can contact the agent direct as a means of arranging a viewing/ requesting more information.

Manning Stainton Property Auctions An easy to navigate property auction site – you can view and/or download their current catalogue online or simply view what’s on offer on the website itself. Lots of info is available – legal pack, floor plans, photos, particulars of the properties and so on. Definitely gets our thumbs up as one of the best UK auction property sites on the internet.

Must Be Sold Don’t let the location in the URL put you off – this site sells a good selection of auction property across the UK. Easy to find your way around, lots of information available, listings clearly set out – plus you can bid and buy on properties online. Plenty of scope for buying at auction and you can search onsite for the property you’re hoping to locate and purchase.

Whitehot Property UK Though this site is – in our opinion – cluttered and not the easiest to navigate around, there are some bargains to be had once you find your way around. You can search for property by type – must-be-sold, house repossessions, chain free and part-exchange, or simply work through the current property auction catalogue. You can request viewings via an easy to use form, more information or make an offer online. Require you to register (free) before you express an interest or request further information.

The above are the best property auctions for both Yorkshire and countrywide locations and to the best of our knowledge – they’re all free.

Remember to make sure that you’re aware of the legal implications of buying property at auction prior to jumping in feet first. You can read our guideline about buying at auction here: Repossessed Houses For Sale

The Yorkshire Bank Steps In To Reduce House Repossession Numbers.

If you’re a member of the Yorkshire Bank and you’re facing potential house repossession – you’re in luck. In late December 2010, a report was published in relation to the banks stance regarding reducing the numbers of repossessions across its portfolio of borrowers.

Unlike other banks and lenders, Yorkshire Bank chooses to keep its arrears department in-house, thus avoiding the possibility of more of its borrowers falling through the net. The thinking is that by providing a dedicated section – called the Financial Solutions Unit – the bank can keep on top of those that need financial help and advice the most.

The unit was created back in 2009 and judging by the figures – the system works. As a rule, mortgage lenders tend to spread their debt services around different branches or even subcontract the work – which only works if a high standard of effective communication is in place between the lender, service and users.

In 2009, Yorkshire Bank repossessed 78 homes. In 2010 the figure had climbed to 96 – so does that illustrate that the format works? IN a word – yes. The bank has managed to work with and help in excess of 4,700 customers since the unit’s inception.

Coupled with that is the fact the bank possesses an extensive portfolio of borrowers on its books – plus there’s also the fact that two years into the recession, more and more people were feeling the pinch.

An increase of 23% is still an increase but in light of the facts – the system is working. The FSU not only tackles mortgage arrears, it’s widened its net to accommodate credit card debt, overdrafts and personal loans.

Shoring up the whole debt/financial issue is a great way to help a borrower avoid house repossessions – and the reality of it is that it benefits both the lender and the home owner. Banks don’t want/need houses – they want your money.

It works like this – if you continue to pay your mortgage over the natural course of the pre-agreed time span, the banks make more money in the long term. That’s what investing is all about. Whilst they can and do sell repossessed houses via auction property agents – that’s not the ideal situation and not what they (or you) signed up for.

If that were the case banks would stop being banks and switch to being direct property investors instead. In view of all that, what the Yorkshire Bank is offering is a very sound package of support for those that need it.

Knowing that you can halt the potential of a future repossession is far better than knowing you can’t do a thing about it. The additional stats made public by the Yorkshire Bank speak for themselves:

  • Sept 2010 – total assets that went 90 days overdue were £265 million
  • The previous year the figures were standing at £284 million – which shows that there was a 7% drop

The SFU works by way of referrals from branches around the country. If a borrower falls behind or requests a switch to an interest-only mortgage, the system flags the query or shortfall. You are then approached and offered the opportunity to discuss your finances.

If the Yorkshire cannot come up with an amenable solution, they don’t simply drop you off the deep end – they will instead refer you to an external agency that specialises in debt counselling (C.A.B. for example) and all being well a solution can be reached.

In short – what Yorkshire Bank is offering their customers is a well designed, well-rounded package of customer care. If you’re worried about your finances in any way, or can see the potential of house repossession down the line – talk to them.

It would appear that the Yorkshire Bank is the new listening bank.

Yorkshire Bank – SFU – (opens in new window) this takes you directly to the Yorkshire Bank’s SFU.

Banks Take A Bonus – While House Repossessions Continue To Rise

An interesting article appeared in yesterday’s news – banks are delivering a healthy bonus to their (already) highest paid employees … whilst house repossessions continue to rise. And who’s predominantly responsible for the recession? The banks. Let’s face it (before anyone thinks to disagree) – the economy is in the mess it’s in due to the global banking crash.

That’s all In a nutshell of course but – that’s the top and bottom of it. Tax-payers money has gone a long way to bailing out the banks as a means of trying to avoid a further deepening of the financial crisis. Too much borrowing, shady lending, the list goes on – and those that can afford it the least are left to drown.

There’s something very very wrong here. Whilst I recognise that banking bosses work at high pressure levels, that their jobs entail massive responsibility – not just for the bank they work for but also the economy – to pay themselves massive annual bonuses is morally wrong.

As an example, the Royal Bank of Scotland has just been hit with a whopping £2.8m fine in relation to their appalling customer service record. Nothing to be proud of. And neither is the fact that on the same day the fine was decided upon – the RBS boss Stephen Hester is reported as being in line for an astonishing £3m bonus.

This is over and above his exceedingly high salary. Then there’s the chap reported as being the highest earner in the banking sector – Bob Diamond – who’s in line for an even more astonishing figure … £8 million. Unbelievable.

In fact – what’s more unbelievable is the quote that appeared alongside the news report, relating to some of Bob Diamond’s uttering’s before the Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday of this week, which went along the lines of:

he [Bob Diamond] felt no remorse about paying himself the incredible bonus, and that the time for apologising is over

The thing is – what is it that they’ve done that deserves such a payout? The RBS is in a mess. Of that there’s no doubt. A massive fine, share prices down, tax-payer bail-outs – the £20 billion that the RBS received as a means of keeping it buoyant when the bank crisis peaked … this warrants rewarding?

On top of that, there’s no point in those of feeling the worst effect of the financial mess hoping that our government is going to step in anytime soon:

“If they decide to pay themselves big bonuses when they should be rebuilding balance sheets, they should know we will step in, using the tax system. That is a very clear warning.” – David Cameron, October 2009

Hmmmm. The above quote doesn’t stand alone – a number of other politicians generated the same spin, not least: George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable.

The general feeling is that those paying themselves big bonuses when the bank is a shareholder institution and still struggling to regain its equilibrium should not be allowed to do so.

There’s no justifying the sharing of vast bonus pots in comparison to the housing market, the house repossessions, the debt and financial strain that ordinary folk are experiencing.

An interesting side note is the fact that on the Tory website there’s a short report on David Cameron’s opinion of bank bonuses, which was published on the 15th of February 2009. You can read that here (opens in new window).

The horrible truth is this: the UK government really doesn’t care about the status of those that are being hit the hardest. So … your family is experiencing debt, is under immense pressure to stay afloat, may well be facing or has already experienced a house repossession procedure … and?

The worst irony in the entire bank bonus debacle is the fact that Steven Hester’s bonus is performance related. Clearly the RBS is massively under-performing and he’s the boss so … what’s up with that?

One could assume that beneath all the shine that appears to emanate from becoming the boss of a high street bank is the fact that these guys are also experiencing financial uncertainty. Maybe their rather large and no doubt exclusive residences are under threat of property repossession?

Looking at what these guys are paying themselves who knows? If that’s the case – and in light of the fact that Gov Inc are A) not stepping up to the plate re their pre-2011 banking bonus opining and B) showing no sign of sticking to any of the promises they made then perhaps we – the guys on the shop floor – can dig a little deeper.

Why not? Many of us are under threat of losing our homes, of seeing our houses repossessed – what more could possibly go wrong just because our pockets are emptied that little bit more?

Repossessed Houses For Sale – Buying House Repossession Properties

There are plenty of repossessed house for sale web sites that offer house repossession properties on the housing market but – how do you go about buying one?

The following guide explains how to go about locating repossessed homes for sale – without having to first pay up front to get your hands on a list of potential properties. We also provide information relating to the pros and cons of buying such properties – as well as how to buy them.

Repossessed Houses – Why They’re So Cheap

In a nutshell – repossessed houses are generally sold off at anything from 10 to 30% less than their market value. The reason for this is related as much to the banks or mortgage lenders need to off-load the property as it is to anything else.

Banks don’t need the houses that they repossess – and they’re not in the rental accommodation market either so the most effective way of recouping as much as they can is to knock down the price and go for a quick sale.

Buying Repossessed Houses – What Are The Benefits?

If you’re considering buying a previously repossessed house, you need to take into account what the benefits are. Beyond the obvious – they’re often sold at less than their market value – what else is in it for the prospective buyer?

For one they’re a great investment opportunity. If you manage to buy one at a knockdown price, refurbish it at cost or for as little as possible – you can either turn it back around for a quick sale (bearing in mind the current market) – or simply rent it out.

The rental market is on the rise – the costs relating to house repossessions is heavy on those losing their homes. On top of that there’s:

  • a steady stream of eager students looking to rent
  • young adults that aren’t ready to hit the property ladder (or can’t)
  • the fact that social housing can’t house everyone that registers with them (due to a lack of available properties)
  • a steady influx of migrants entering the country

All of above add up to a healthy array of potential tenants – virtually guaranteeing private landlords a steady future income.

Alternatively you could just be looking to buy a home that you want to live in. Buying at auction is a great way to realise a dream that may have previously been out of reach.

The Disadvantages Of Buying Repossessed Houses

Of course there are always disadvantages to anything and buying repossessed houses is no different. Many of the repossessed homes listed as auction properties will need refurbishing – many to a heavy degree.

Some home owners are known to completely strip their homes bare prior to handing over the keys to bailiffs – and we’re talking everything. Light fittings, kitchen fixtures, wooden floors – pretty much anything that is or isn’t nailed down.

That can leave the new owner with a whole lot more than just a bit of new decorating.

Beyond that – due to legal wrangling, a home may have also lapsed into a poor state of repair. Houses that have been left for long periods of time can become incredibly neglected and need a lot more than just a little TLC to put right all the wrongs.

On the up-side – if you’re open to some hard work, then the above needn’t put you off. Arm yourself with all the information available about a prospective property. Contact a local builder, obtain some realistic quotes. Make sure you’re aware of not just what you can see – but also what you can’t see.

One big problem with buying auction property is this: often times buyers don’t go in with their eyes wide open. It’s still not unknown for an individual to just buy a property straight of the back of the auction document – which is never a good idea.

Once you’ve bought a repossessed house – it’s yours. You inherit all its potential, as well as all its problems. Remember – work smart, especially if you’re considering parting with a considerable sum of money.

How To Buy Repossessed Houses For Sale

Once you’ve located a potential auction property – how do you buy repossessed houses? Assuming that you’re a first time auction buyer – its worth (at this point) to recommend a couple of info rich books that will detail all you need to know – from needle to thread.

The books are best sellers and clearly define the do’s and don’ts of buying at auction.

Buying Bargains at Property Auctions

The first is written by Howard Goodie – Buying Bargains at Property Auctions. The book is written from the perspective of a buyer that has no previous knowledge of how the auction property market works.

It’s packed full of relevant information, clearly set out and the author is a long standing member of the auction house community. Worth investing in purely because the knowledge you’ll gain will stand you in good stead – and it’s the only book you’ll need related to buying at auction.


Property Magic 2010: How to Buy Property Using Other People’s Time, Money and Experience
The second is written by Simon Zutshi – Property Magic 2010: How to Buy Property Using Other People’s Time, Money and Experience. Again the book’s author is an expert in the field of property investing. It’s written in language that will appeal to the layman – there’s a distinct lack of useless verbiage and space-filling narration.

Tight, info rich and useful to first time investors.

Beyond reading up on how to buy repossessed houses at auction – here’s a breakdown of the more pertinent information. This is written based on the assumption that you’ve located a potential property.

Position yourself financially. Before you go into the buying process make sure that you have the cash flow to back you up. On the day you’ll be expected to pay a 10% deposit. The remaining 90% must be paid within 28 days.

Read up on the legalities. As a rule, auction houses provide what’s known as a legal pack with every property. They provide this for a reason – it’s designed to fully lay out all the covenants, anything that’s related to the legalities of conveyance that prospective buyers have a right to know.

Read it – and if you’re unsure take it to your appointed legal representative as a means of double checking. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find your potential new neighbour has a right to light over your property or can restrict your future development plans.

Compare the market. What are other comparable properties selling for in the local area? What are the rental prices, what’s the rental market like (in case your intention is to rent the property) in general?

Auction houses often set lower guide prices as a means of tempting prospective bidders/buyers. Make sure you’re aware of the true market value to save yourself making an expensive mistake all round.

Get ready for the auction date. Arrive early – property auctions can be busy environments and it’s unlikely you’re the only one interested in buying repossessed houses for sale. Turning up in a timely manner will allow you the time to register (which requires that you bring personal identification) and to hopefully find a seat.

Make sure you have enough money with you – often the biggest blunder of the day.

How to bid on repossessed houses. You bid in the same manner as you would on any auction property – make sure that the auctioneer can see you, that you can see him (or her). Be clear that you’re bidding – raise your hand or property papers. When you’re out – clearly indicate with a firm shake of your head.

Set yourself a target – and be strict. It’s too easy to go over what you’re prepared to pay so set yourself an upper limit – and stick to it. If the property you wanted doesn’t meet its reserve – approach the auctioneer after the auction is over.

They’re permitted to act as a representative and can mediate between you and the vendor. It’s not unknown for a vendor to agree to a sale despite their reserve not being met – you may well find yourself surprised at the vendors positive reaction to your offer.

How To Find Repossessed House Auctions

If you want to find repossessed house auctions – you may be surprised to know that the information is freely available. Plus not all auction properties are up for sale due to a house repossession.

Some vendors have simply chosen the auction route as a means of selling their home – they may need to relocate, or move abroad and selling at auction (if successful) is known to be a faster route to selling your home.

That said – whether or not the inof is freely available doesn’t mean it’s all that easy to track down. A good number of property auction houses only release their sales list of housing professionals.

Generally these are the guys that expect you to pay them for the privilege of sharing what they know. In the event that you don’t want to pay – a little extra leg work will help you locate what’s on offer – and when.

A good way if identifying repossessed houses in your local or desired area if to do a sweep around the locale. Anytime you see a for sale sign on a property you’d be interested in, check on the for sale board to see if the property is up at auction – you’ll find the auction house details.

Repossessed Houses For Sale – Property Auction Links

The following websites are all property auction related – whether they’re auction houses or connected to the industry. All you have to do is have a look at each one and sift through to pinpoint the information that you require.

Wheres My Property – a great source of current info and one of the UK’s best property search engines

Up My Street – lots of information relating to house prices, local area info, local amenities and trends.

Country Wide Property Auctions – as the name suggests free repossessed houses for sale and general auction property website. To ensure up-to-date listings you just need to join their mailing list or request catalogs.

Property Earth – similar to the above – join the mailing list to receive current listings.

Whitehot Property – again a property auction and general houses for sale website.

UK Auction Guides – a wealth of information relation to upcoming auctions and auction houses

Allsops – property auction website, full of info regarding houses for sale and post-sale info.

Must Be Sold – same as the above. Lots to go at with this one.

Right Move – a broad spectrum houses for sale website but definitely worth a look. It’s not difficult to pinpoint auction property.

The above are all worth the time it will take you to trawl through. There is a lot on information across the different sites and it’s all relevant to the purchase of repossessed house and auction property in general.

The last piece of advice offered is this:

Caveat Emptor – let the buyer beware.

Do your home work, inform yourself of what it is you’re buying/getting into. Buying up previously repossessed homes can be very lucrative – providing you fully understand the ins and outs, the guidelines and legalities.

House Repossession: Becoming Homeless – Sale And Rent Back Schemes

Make sure you avoid the private sale and rent back sharks.

If you’re facing house repossession and/or looking at becoming homeless, are private sale and rent back schemes all that they seem?

Over the last few years, as more and more home repossessions in the UK have occurred, private sale and rent back companies have appeared on the housing market.

For those in a poor financial position – faced with the prospect of losing their homes – it seems like the best possible option, the best answer to preventing the loss of their homes.

But is it?

If you can say ‘well … we have no other choice, we absolutely have explored every other option first’ … then maybe so. But if you have yet to reach the Possession Order stage, think twice before you approach such a company. The fact is that there are far more cons than there are pros. The ball is far more in the court of the companies operating these schemes than it is in the home owner’s.

First off – you are likely to find that they will buy your home at less than its market value – possibly a lot less. Plus you may then discover that your rental agreement will suit them better than it suits you.The easiest way to understand what’s in it for them is for you to read and digest the following list:

  • The equity will be reduced. They buy for as little as possible as a means of achieving the best potential re profits
  • Rental agreements are often short hold – this gives you only a short to medium term security
  • If the company experiences financial difficulties – they will then default on their lenders … and the house repossession monster will reappear
  • Your rent may well be higher than you expected, in some cases as high as the mortgage repayment – that you were struggling to keep up with
  • Increases to the rent could be hefty – again this reduces your future financial security, which outweighs the point of you turning to them in the first place
  • You may well find that you’re not in a position to claim Housing Benefit – which for those in financial difficulty can be a short to medium term God send

So what are the pros? – :

  • There may be enough of the equity left to allow you to at least make headway with personal debt
  • You will avoid the trauma of house repossession
  • Albeit as a tenant, you will get to stay in your home

As you can see – the ball really is in their court … and not yours.

Private Sale And Rent Back Schemes – The Good News

Fortunately – there is some good news regarding private sale and rent back schemes. As of June 30th 2010, the FSA (Financial Services Authority) is now able to regulate all such companies. Every company has to follow a strict set of guidelines in order to be allowed to operate.

To read up on the various rulings, a link for the charitable organisation Shelter is at the foot of the page. If you choose to discover what the current legislation encompasses, Shelter is also another great free advisory service that you can access as a means of avoiding house repossession.

  • In case you don’t want to trawl through the more important aspects, the short list below details the key guidelines:
  • The tenancy must be for a minimum fixed term period of five years
  • The company have to ensure that the scheme suits you – in terms of finances, and make sure that all the risks are clearly set out
  • They’re prevented from using spurious advertising, such as mortgage rescue (it’s not), ‘cash quickly’ (not always likely) and ‘fast sale’ (they don’t have the ability to speed up conveyance any more than anyone else)
  • If you fall behind with rental payments, from the moment you agree on a repayment plan, they cannot charge you interest on the arrears

There are other rulings, but the above cover the main criterion.

Things to Consider Before Opting To Use Rent Back Schemes

There are a range of things you should consider before making the choice to use one of the dozens of companies now in operation.

The first piece of advice is this: ensure you’ve exhausted every other avenue first. And this includes:

  • Availing yourself of the correct help and advice (see links below)
  • Communicating with your mortgage lender
  • Trying to secure some sort of effective mortgage rescue plan of action

If and when you feel you’ve no other option than to go with a buy and rent back group, then the following are all recommended guidelines:

  • Have an independent property evaluation done. Inform yourself of the real current value of your home. Don’t go into a deal ill-informed
  • Check the companies background – how long have they been operating, do they have a fixed address, confirm with the FSA that they’re approved and allowed to operate
  • Approach similar companies – don’t just go with the first you stumble upon
  • Ask for real evidence that they’re everything the claim they are – request to be put in contact with a previous customer/tenant of the company
  • Take advantage of the free help and advice available before you sign your name to anything

The above are all common sense pieces of advice. All they will cost you is time. The result will be that your knowledge base has increased and you will know exactly where you stand – what your rights are, how it all works, whether it’s the best available option and so on.

Include in the links at the foot of the page is a downloadable and printable PDF document that gives a detailed breakdown of everything you should consider and/or ask for – if you do decide to go ahead. This is to be used once you’ve chosen a private sale and rent back company.

Whatever you do – don’t jump in blind. There are always alternatives to stop house repossession – providing you arm yourself with all the information that’s freely available to you.

Good luck.

Housing Repossession Help And Advice Links

Shelter – a great website, packed full of useful information

Private Sale And Rent Back PDF Checklist – free, easy to download and print out

FSA – the Finacial Services Authority. Well worth checking out and a mine of information freely available

Stop Repossession – What Can I Do To Prevent A Repossession Order?

Do you want to stop repossession? Are you in a position to be able to do so? Before you start to panic about the ‘what ifs’, the best initial advice we can offer is this: stop, think – and inform yourself.

There are various options available to the home owner that has fallen behind with their mortgage repayments – and consequently find themselves in danger of an impending house repossession order. The first thing you need to do is to meet the problem head on.

There is absolutely nothing to be gained from ignoring the problem – and everything to lose. There is no shame in finding your financial situation lacking the good health it may have previously enjoyed – there are thousands and thousands of others experiencing the exact same problem at any one time.

The mortgage lenders are used to it, the banks are used to it, the advice and guidance counsellors are used to it – and there are ways and means available to you that may help prevent the loss of your home.

As a basic insight into what may be – available according to your circumstances, there are some Government schemes and financial aid available:

The above three are all based on specific criteria and the best forward is to fully explore what each one is – and who can access it. Are you eligible? Is the help available in your area? If you’re entitled to access the help – is it appropriate for your needs?

These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before you find yourself bogged down with reams of useless information or, worse – missing out on the right advice, the right facts and ultimately missing out on a key source of assistance.

The links are listed below and all the advice you’ll find detailed on each website is clearly set out and free of confusing jargon. If you do find that no matter how simple it all sounds, you’re still confused, you’re next best option is to enlist the help of a professional counsellor.

Every town has a Citizens Advice Bureau, others have region based charitable organisations available – in short there are ways and means of sourcing free advice from those that work closely with others in the same situation, and those that are connected both with and behind house repossessions.

What Are Your Rights About Being Repossessed?

Despite finding yourself in a poor financial situation – do you know what your rights are about being repossessed? If the answer is no – then the following information will prove useful to know.

Step One: Your mortgage lender will contact you in writing as a means of addressing the shortfall in your mortgage payments. This is the best time to act in order to secure an effective mortgage rescue remedy.

Step Two: Notice of Intended Prosecution. This is a letter that informs you of your lender’s intention to seek legal redress. This will only be sent if you A) fail to respond to their initial contact or B) don’t come to a satisfactory agreement. Again, this is another chance for you to negotiate in order to bring your account back to rights.

Step Three: Possession Order. You won’t jump from Step Two to this right away – what you will get is a notice from the local court that informs you of your lenders intentions and the date set for the hearing. This is your third chance to address you mortgage issue.

The paperwork will include a form for you to complete that relates to your current position – finances and so on. This is also a good time to inform the courts if you’re about to complete on the sale of your home.

Closer to the date of the hearing, you will also receive an Affidavit – which relates to what you owe, the interest rates, the lenders full details, the specifics of your repayment plan.

Step Four: At this stage – you’re at the hearing. It will involve (usually) the Judge, yourselves (and any legal representative you may be using), your lender and their legal representative. Again this is a stage whereby you can propose an agreeable mortgage rescue plan and stop repossession.

Step Five: As a rule, the court will adjourn, usually for a four week period. This gives you a four week delay on the actual decision. Use the time to try and sell your home. Sounds impossible but there are ways and means of selling your home asap. Or – if you’re in the process of selling, the adjournment may be enough of a time span for you to close the deal/sale.

Step Six: If you have proposed an satisfactory mortgage rescue plan of action, you may now find that the courts suspends repossession, pending your bringing the arrears up to date. Providing you comply fully, you’re home will not go on to become repossessed.

However, if you default on the payments the court will set a date for the Possession Order to be carried out. Once this stage has been reached, you will receive a date to vacate your home. If you refuse, the lenders then have the right to apply for a bailiff’s warrant. You will (again) be informed of the date they will arrive to evict you from their home. Unfortunately – you cannot negotiate with the bailiff.

So – the above steps detail when you have the occasion to stop repossession but – it’s up to you to take every chance possible in order to keep possession of your home.

In the event that you’re finances are in such a state that you never have the chance it’s wise to look beyond the eviction (which will eventually happen) and plan ahead. Visit the Citizens Advice Bureaux, check what help and advice is available to you in your area – and make sure that you can secure at least a rental property that you can afford.

If you’re about to become homeless you can apply to your local housing authority as a means of renting a home from them. This simply involves the need for you to fill out the appropriate forms – which will then allow you to become eligible to rent form them.

Whatever you do – do not bury your head in the sand. You will eventually end with no home and no other form of housing. Acting at the earliest opportunity will effect a more realistic outcome.

House Repossession Help And Advice Links

Citizens Advice Bureau – find out what your rights are, what’s available.

HMCS – Court Services – fully inform yourself of how the court process works.

Money Saving Expert – a great website detailing a myriad of ways to save money – plus lots of help and advice.

Mortgage Rescue Scheme – government funded scheme – check to see if you’re eligible.