Glossary Of Terms

To help you understand the terms used around auction sales, we've compiled a simple glossary of common terms with an explanation behind each one.


When a property is sold in this way a 10% deposit is paid immediately and contracts are exchanged immediately. Completion normally takes place 28 days later. This is the fastest and most secure method of sale.


Every property is advertised with a starting bid, which is the recommended level at which the bidding should open. It must not be relied upon by potential buyers as a valuation, as in most cases the reserve is above this level. Both the reserve and starting bid are subject to change.


This is the minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a subject property. This is a figure that the property will not be sold below. Reserve prices are not published; this is a private agreement between the seller and the auctioneer. Both the reserve and starting bid can be subject to change.


Potential buyers can arrange to view the property, arrange a survey and have their solicitor check the legal documents as normal. If they are interested in a property, they can put a bid forward, and if accepted they pay a non-refundable contract deposit which gives them exclusive rights to purchase the property.


If a property has been entered to a public auction event at one of our regional auctions the online bidding facility is disabled. If you wish to place a pre-auction offer, you will need to speak with a member of the auction team who will explain the process to you. The seller can consider offers prior to the public auction, but this is at their discretion to do so. The auction terms and conditions will still apply.


Here, the buyer signs the contract for sale and then the same contract is counter signed by the seller. This is the point at which both parties are legally obliged to complete the transaction. The purchase is not complete at this point, but there is a legal obligation for the purchaser to buy and the seller to sell. 


This is when the purchase becomes final: the purchase price is paid in full by the buyer's solicitor and received by the seller's solicitor. Completion can take place at the same time as the exchange of contracts (see above), however, normally within 28 days. The seller must move out of the property on this date and release the keys to the buyer, who is free to move into the property.


We think we’ve explained pretty much everything. However if you're struggling with the concept, have a question or just want to confirm some details, don't hesitate to speak to a member of the Auction team. They are approachable, friendly and able to offer honest and sensible advice. You can contact us by telephone, email or fax.