Under The Hammer column with Harrogate property and auction specialists FSS Property

This six bedroom home in Mayfield Grove sold at auction for double the original guide price.

Auctions are ideal for those who want a quick sale and certainty from their buyer.

Contracts exchange when the hammer falls and, when it comes to completing quickly and achieving a good price, Harrogate property and auction specialists FSS Property have an excellent track record.

A competitive room can drive up the selling price of land and property.

Auctioneer Richard Smailes said: “Last year 85% of our auction properties which were offered were sold and completed within four weeks

“We also saw a large number of lots achieving far more than their guide price – some selling for more than 50% over and above their published guide price – thanks to the competitive atmosphere of the sale room.”

There is a misconception that auctions are for hard to sell or rundown properties but there are plenty of homes, commercial buildings and plots of land that go to auction because the seller recognises the benefits of this route to market.

One of the stars of last year’s Harrogate property auctions was a traditional family house in the popular Saints area of Harrogate.

Bidding opened at �250,000 for this family home in the popular Saints area of Harrogate and the hammer fell at �405,000.

Richard recalls the moment when the hammer fell at £405,000, just minutes after he had opened the bidding at £250,000. He said: “There had been a huge amount of interest in this lovely detached house ahead of auction day and with our local knowledge and experience we knew it was going to be popular.

“Even at the last minute, when we thought it was over, a new bidder came onto the scene and reignited the room, pushing the price up even more.

“It was very exciting.”

Another high performer was a six bedroom property in Mayfield Grove, within easy walking distance of Harrogate town centre.

The final selling price of £300,000 was double the original guide price.

People choose to sell at auction for a variety of reasons. The key benefits, says Richard, are:

l Contracts exchange when the hammer falls, avoiding the uncertainty that often comes with selling a property.

l The seller can have the money in their bank within weeks.

l A competitive room and skilled auctioneer can drive up the selling price – in some cases by a very considerable amount.

Richard added: “We have been running local property auctions for many, many years and we really do have a deep understanding of the market.

“The secret to success is setting a realistic guide price that is attractive to buyers whilst also being acceptable to the seller.

“If the price is right, there should be plenty of interest and some lively bidding.

“Selling at auction isn’t for everyone, of course, but as the auctioneer and also the valuer for residential property I can advise on both methods of sale, being auction and private treaty or ‘normal’ estate agency.

“I can then tell you which I feel will be the most sensible approach to sell your property for the best possible price.”

The next FSS property auction is at Pavilions of Harrogate on Thursday 8 March at 3pm.

To discuss listing a property contact Richard Smailes on 01423 501211.

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