First of all, let’s have a quick look at 2021 results, writes Auction House Cumbria's Colin West.

We had seven auctions (all live streamed) selling 208 lots from 217 offered – an impressive success rate of 95% - raising £23,379,750 in the process.

This is a spectacular result for us – helped in no small part by our regional network of introducing agents and property professionals across the county, and our policy of relying on traditional, ‘unconditional’ auctions, where sellers and buyers have the certainty of knowing that once the hammer comes down, the deal is done.

Other national auctions rely on ‘conditional’ sales, which involve an awkward limbo period of up to 56 days after the auction itself - during which time anything can happen to the sale - plus an eye-watering fee of up to 5% or 6%, which is typically shouldered by the buyer.

Vendors often pay ‘no fees’ at all in conditional sales which does make you wonder who the agent/auctioneer is actually working for – seller or buyer – and where the agent’s real interests lie.

We have always worked hard to achieve the best possible price for their sellers, rather than trying to get a deal done at any price.

Certain practitioners of conditional auctions need to ask themselves who their clients are. Can they honestly say they are working to secure the best price for their vendor clients when their income relies entirely on the buyer paying their fees?

“What’s more, many practitioners seem to ignore the fact that today’s buyers become tomorrow’s sellers - and these buyers have long memories. Not surprisingly, they neither expect nor appreciate having to pay through the teeth when they are already spending thousands of pounds of their hard-earned cash on the price of the property itself.

So, it seems to me that ‘uncertain’ conditional auction sales, coupled with the buyer paying ridiculously high fees is both short-sighted and flies in the face of traditional auctioneering.

By contrast, unconditional auction sales are open, transparent, and are the way both buyers and sellers expect business to be done. They are what Auction House are good at and why we’ve become the leading specialists in the unconditional method of sale. I believe our latest reported sales figures of over £23 MILLION pounds worth of property sold in the County of Cumbria in 2021 is testament to that fact.

Next time we will advise on what to look out for in a legal pack.

Colin West, auctioneer

If you would like a FREE auction appraisal, please contact the team. Suitable auction lots include residential or commercial properties (tenanted or vacant), development opportunities or land.

Tel: 01228 510552
Web: Auction House Cumbria