Martin Roberts issues warning to anyone considering an auction property ‘For God’s sake!’

Homes Under the Hammer: Martin explores 'strange' bungalow

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When Martin Roberts is not presenting Homes Under the Hammer he is developing his own properties and helping others take the first step into the industry. When the property expert spoke to about fronting the BBC One daytime show for 18 years, he also discussed the dos and don’ts of buying a property from an auction. 

Martin began: “Auctions are still a relatively unused way of buying property. 

“The last count was six percent of property sales were via auctions so it’s still relatively unknown and yet I think there are some great opportunities out. 

“There are bargains at auctions, but not all auction properties are bargains,” he advised. 

“So it’s really important that you do your research. And don’t assume you’ll get a bargain. 

“There’s lots of information out there that would enable you to do your research on similar properties, what they might be worth, what you should be paying for the property at auction. 

“But you’ve got to make sure that you don’t get carried away. 

“You’ve got to know what state the property is in, and how much it’s going to cost you to get up to a reasonable standard and then how much it might be worth.

“Unless it’s just a purely personal purchase for your dream and you’re willing to pay a premium, you have to be really driven by the numbers, because otherwise, you could end up losing a considerable amount of money,” Martin continued. “And if you get carried away it can be quite costly. 

“You need to do your research beforehand, you need to have all your finances sorted out so that You can afford to pay for that property because it doesn’t go to the same way of ‘who knows how long it can take’ fiasco that is the traditional way of buying property, where your solicitor speaks to their solicitor and three months down the line and he goes on holiday so there’s another month delay. 


“And then possibly, eight weeks later, maybe three months later, possibly somebody gets round to signing something and at any point up until the end, it can all not happen. 

“When an auction happens, all that works with them beforehand, so what you’ve got there is a contract to purchase. 

“And when the hammer goes down, you are committed to buying that property,” he added. 

“You can’t then say ‘I don’t like it, I don’t like the neighbours’ it’s a contract, there’s finance on it. It’s too late, you are in a contract and if you don’t go ahead and you break the contract there are financial penalties. 

“So you need to have your finances sorted out, you’ve got a maximum of 28 days from when the hammer goes down to paying the balance of the amount that you bought the property for, and that’s a maximum of 28 days after the auction day. 

“If you’ve agreed to pay £150,000, you would pay £15,000 on average plus costs on the day, and then you’ve got to come up with the remaining £135,000 within 28 days, so you need to know that you’ve got your finances before you go to the auction. 

“You need to have done your due diligence as I said, and that includes visiting the property, for God’s sake!” Martin remarked. 

“Even in these difficult times with slight restrictions on what you can and can’t do, you need to see the property, you need to go more than one time of the day as well.

“So you get a flavour of  noise or if there’s a noisy industrial complex nearby kicking out noise at three o’clock in the morning, you do need to go at various times of the day. 

“And you need to, without a doubt, read the legal pack to make sure and make sure that’s looked at by somebody who knows and is professionally qualified. 

“And likewise, if you’re not up to scratch, you need to go around with somebody who knows what they’re doing, who can say what it is going to cost to put them right,” Martin said. 

Homes Under the Hammer airs weekdays at 10am on BBC One. 

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