Property Auctions: Understanding the Legal Pack
When it comes to property auctions, one thing you must pay close attention to is the legal pack. If you don't know what you are signing up for then you might be in for a nasty surprise which could come in the form of additional costs, a shorter completion period, or a whole host of other things.
What Is A Legal Pack?
Amy: Can you talk a bit about the legal side of things at auction? I know you've mentioned legal packs before. What does a legal pack contain?
Andy: So a legal pack basically contains all the same as all the legal information you'd have if you were buying with a regular estate agent.
But because the time restraints are there - you've only got 28 days to buy the property - the seller packages all that legal information into a legal pack.
So there could be searches in there, some special conditions, office copies, literally anything legal to do with the property will be in that pack.
And I can't stress this enough, it's absolutely crucial you read it.
Amy: Really crucial, I see that.
Why You Should Consult Your Solicitor
Andy: Just like with property - we sell a different range of properties - every legal pack will be different.
Now without wanting to do a disservice to the buyers, it is a legally prepared document and a lot of it is legal jargon.
And because it's so important, my advice is, that you don't need to read it yourself.
I would just send it straight to a solicitor because that's their job. They can translate it and advise.
So, for example, I bought my first house at a London auction. And I'm doing this job all day, every day.
But I knew that if I got one paragraph wrong it might cost me a few thousand pounds. So, like I took a builder out to see the building I was hoping to buy, I used the legal equivalent, my solicitor to look through the pack.
So, I emailed the solicitor and said: "I'm thinking about bidding for this property on Tuesday, can you check the pack and get back to me?" Two days later he came back and said It's fine, fill your boots.
Now he might have come back and said, "be aware that there's a shorter completion period," or, "be aware that there are extra costs," or, "be aware that it's a short lease," or whatever it might be, you know?
They're all different and, as I say, I'm a big believer in paying the experts to do what they do.
Amy: Absolutely, I totally agree. Thank you.