What is the Modern Method of Auction?

More people than ever in the UK are choosing the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA) as their preferred way to buy and sell property. Jamie Cooke from IAMPROPERTY explains

More people than ever in the UK are choosing the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA) as their preferred way to buy and sell property, while the more ‘traditional’ way, known as Private Treaty, has slowed down so much that it now takes an average of 150* days to complete.

Buying or selling property at auction isn’t just for cash buyers or experienced investors looking for their next renovation project. The most important thing is that it’s right for the individual circumstances of the seller. Auction can be suitable for any type of property, whether a detached family home, a city centre apartment, or a bungalow.

Increasingly, people are looking for speed, security and a better experience. Is MMoA the answer? We spoke to Jamie Cooke, Co-Founder of iamproperty, which is behind the UK’s largest residential auction service iamsold.

What’s the story behind the Modern Method of Auction?

We pioneered the Modern Method of Auction to give consumers more choice in how they buy and sell property, aligned to their moving circumstances. MMoA offers vendors a faster and more secure way to sell, and offers benefits to buyers too. We work with Estate Agents all over the UK, allowing them to offer the choice of auction to their clients.

Auction gives people the option to choose a method of sale that matches their individual circumstances. Its speed – taking just 56** days to complete – makes it an attractive option for people looking for a quick move, plus the added security of a committed buyer means much less chance of fall through.

Over the last few years, MMoA has seen record growth, as the property market continues to fly headfirst into a new era of consumers demanding a better experience. In 2022, we helped to sell 40 per cent more properties via MMoA than in 2021. Any type of property can be sold via auction, and competitive bidding helps vendors maximise the value. So far this year, auction properties have included everything from small flats to million-pound homes. Over the last few years we’ve especially seen an influx in higher value properties coming to the market via auction.

What are the advantages of selling a property at auction?

In a nutshell, speed, security and peace of mind. Private Treaty is the most common way to buy and sell in the UK, but completions are taking longer than ever, leaving people frustrated and exposing transactions to a higher risk of fall throughs, which can mean starting the whole process again. MMoA’s fixed 56-day completion timescale** significantly reduces the risk of sales falling through. The transaction is more secure too, as buyers pay a Reservation Fee to secure the property. This gives the seller peace of mind that their buyer is committed to the purchase. The transparency of auction means buyers can easily see each other’s bids, encouraging people to bid more competitively to win the property, helping to maximise the sale price achieved. Overall, it offers an improved experience for buyers and sellers – plus the whole process can be done online, saving time on the back and forth that often comes with a traditional sale.

What is the process of selling via the Modern Method of Auction?

Selling via MMoA is simple, quick and hassle-free. If you’ve decided you’re ready to put your property on the market, during your initial appointment with your Estate Agent, they will ask questions to understand your circumstances and determine which method of selling will be best suited to you. If a quick and secure sale is needed, they’ll likely recommend auction. If you have already decided to sell via auction, you can contact an Estate Agent offering this method to arrange an appointment.

Once you’ve agreed that this is the right option for you, you’ll need a solicitor to help prepare your property and produce an Auction Pack. The Estate Agent or auctioneer will have recommendations, or you might have a solicitor in mind already.

You’ll agree an undisclosed Reserve Price with your Estate Agent, which means the property won’t sell for less, as well as a starting bid price.

Preparation then gets underway and your Estate Agent will arrange photography and marketing of your property in the usual way. Legal checks and preparation of the property’s Auction Pack will be carried out by your solicitor.

The property will start being advertised to generate as much interest and exposure as possible before the auction goes live, whilst the Auction Pack is being prepared.

The auction goes live with an agreed start and end date, and the bidding can begin. Competitive bidding can help to drive up the price with properties often achieving over their Reserve Price.

Once the highest bidder wins, they pay a non-refundable Reservation Fee and sign the Reservation Agreement which commits them to the sale and the completion process can then begin.

What should I know about using a specialist auction conveyancing company?

Medway Law is the residential conveyancing arm of iamproperty, which manages the majority of iamsold transactions. As the only specialist auction conveyancer in the UK, Medway Law offers specialist support for sales and legal services for auction property transactions.

Medway Law has a track record of success, offering first-class Auction Pack and conveyancing services that get people moving quickly, with a 95 per cent customer satisfaction rate and the fastest completions timelines in the industry.

How quickly after an auction should conveyancing be completed?

MMoA moves much faster than Private Treaty sales – this is one of the biggest advantages of buying and selling at auction. With fixed 56-day completion timescales*, MMoA provides a real benefit in terms of speed and security, protecting transactions from dreaded fall throughs and the 150-day** Private Treaty completion timeframes.

Where can I find out more about MMoA?

Our website is full of information about auction, so is a good starting point. For selling via auction, check which Estate Agents in your area offer auction and speak to them. For buying via auction, you can view all of our auction properties on our website, or on Rightmove and Zoopla.

*data from Rightmove
**based on iamsold average completion times for Grade 1 standard properties.

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