Buying a property at Auction – Legal Jargon Explained.


An amendment or addition to the conditions whether contained in a supplement to the catalogue. This may be a written notice in the catalogue, or announced at the auction.

Auction catalogue

The catalogue gives a description of the property, details on how to view each property and the General Conditions of Sale. These are prepared by the auctioneer, stating the basis on which the auction is carried out.


The offer to buy property at a specific price.

Bidding by proxy/telephone

If the buyer is unable to attend the auction personally, arrangements can be made with the auctioneers for the bidding to be made either by proxy or telephone.


On completion of the sale of the lot there is usually a defined time period from the auction to the completion date in which the sale must be finalised. Penalties will be applied if the sale is completed late which can include losing your deposit or legal action.


Gazumping is a practice that sometimes happens with traditional property buying through an estate agent or direct from a seller. It happens when another buyer offers a higher price for the house after you have agreed to buy from the seller.

Guide price

A guide price gives an indication of the price that the property is expected to sell for and what the vendor is hoping to achieve.

Private treaty

The sale of a property at a price agreed by the seller and the buyer or their agents.


A reserve price is the lowest price the vendor will accept. This is agreed between the vendor and the Auctioneer. Most properties entered into the auction have a reserve price. This is confidential and not disclosed to any interested parties


Failure to reach the reserve price or insufficient bidding. The auctioneer will withdraw the property from the auction.



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