Guide to Buying at Auction


Details of the properties and land to be sold are set out in this catalogue. All lots are sold subject to general conditions of sale (see back of catalogue). It is most important that purchasers satisfy themselves as to the availability, location, boundaries, conditions and state of all lots prior to the Auction. Please review any changes to lot details, price, guide /reserve prices, availability on the day of the auction prior to setting out for the venue.


Viewings can be arranged via the local Bradleys or Webbers office dealing with the lots available. Most viewings will be arranged by group viewing schedules. With regards to certain lots that are located away from roads we strongly recommend that viewers attend suitably dressed with robust footwear as weather can unpredictably turn for the worst over short time periods. We confirm that all children under 16 will not be permitted on any sites.

Legal Documentation

There are special conditions and general conditions that apply to all lots being offered at Auction. A copy of these will be available within the legal pack for each lot, a copy of which, will be normally posted to the website within 10 days of the auction. Copies will also be available to inspect at the Q&A Day that South West Water has organised, information of which can be found on page 10. Other information is available in the guidance notes section of the website.

Instructing a Solicitor

Before bidding at the Auction, it is advisable to consult a solicitor/licensed conveyancer to advise you on the general and special conditions of sale, any searches that may be necessary, the Land Registry Office copy entries and any other information provided.

Guide Prices

An indication of the seller’s current minimum acceptable price at auction. The guide price or range of guide prices is given to assist consumers in deciding whether or not to pursue a purchase. It is usual, but not always the case, a provisional reserve range is agreed between the seller and the auctioneer at the start of marketing. As the reserve is not fixed at this stage and can be adjusted by the seller at any time up to the day of the auction in the light of interest shown during the marketing period, a guide price is issued. For the avoidance of doubt the guide price and reserve price for all lots offered at this auction are the same. However, the guide price and the reserve price can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction. Please ensure that before travelling to the auction you take note of any updates posted on the S W Water auction website.

Reserve Prices

The seller’s minimum acceptable price at auction and the figure below which the auctioneer cannot sell. The reserve price is not disclosed and remains confidential between the seller and the auctioneer. In the instance of this auction both the guide price and reserve price are the same and can be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.

Pre-Auction Offers

Offers must be in writing or by email to the local Bradleys or Webbers office dealing with the lot and will only be considered if the lot has been viewed and the legal documentation inspected. Pre-auction bids are on the basis of an immediate exchange of auction contracts upon acceptance by the seller.

Any offer will be assumed to be your best and final offer and we cannot guarantee that you will be invited to increase your bid in the event of an alternative, satisfactory offer being received prior to exchange.

Finance & Mortgages

It is essential to arrange finance prior to the Auction and for all surveys, valuations and inspection to take place before the bidding.

Unable to Attend

If it is impossible for you to attend the Auction there are two ways in which you can bid. Firstly, you can appoint a representative or a solicitor to bid for you, and it is always advisable to write and inform the Auctioneer. Also give your representative a letter confirming that they are bidding on your behalf. Secondly, you can submit a proxy bid (see below).

Proxy Bids

If you want to bid by proxy on the day of the Auction we are more than happy for you to do so. We must be holding a signed contract, proof of identification, fully completed proxy bid and deposit cheque at least 48 hours before the Auction. Therefore please contact us in plenty of time to avoid disappointment. All successful buyers under this scheme will be required to pay the auction administration fee of £350.00 (inclusive of VAT) on each lot. Please contact Bradleys Auction Department for a proxy bid registration form or use the one shown on or in this brochure.

Registering at Auction and Means of Identification

You must register before the auction starts at the registration desk at the auction venue. You will be given a bidder card number to use during the auction to identify you if you are the successful bidder. The successful bidder is required to provide two forms of identification (see registration form). Please note that it is a requirement that you also provide documentation to confirm your name and residential address.

Bidding at Auction

If you have not bid at an Auction before, it is advisable to be present when the Auction starts, listen to the Auctioneer’s opening remarks and follow the bidding in the early lots. The Auctioneer will indicate from whom the bid has been taken but it is helpful to the Auctioneer for you to raise your hand or bidding card number clearly when you bid. If the Auctioneer is in doubt whether the movement of a head or hand was in fact a bid, he will usually enquire “Was that a bid Sir/Madam?” If you are the successful bidder, a binding contract is entered into between the seller and the bidder on the fall of the Auctioneer’s gavel. You will then be approached by a member of the auction staff who will escort you to the sales desk. At this point a deposit payment is required, the sum of 10% of the sale price or the minimum deposit of £500 is handed to the seller’s solicitor. The seller’s solicitor will then prepare the contracts. THESE MUST BE SIGNED by the purchaser BEFORE LEAVING THE AUCTION ROOM. Except where the special conditions of sale state otherwise all cheques/drafts should be made payable to South West Water Limited.


Purchasers are reminded that at the fall of the Auctioneer’s gavel a deposit of 10% (minimum £500) per property shall be payable, by way of BANKERS DRAFT, BUILDING SOCIETY CHEQUE or PERSONAL CHEQUE. All Drafts/Cheques should be made payable to South West Water. CASH AND CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. We suggest you obtain a draft for 10% (or £500) of your maximum bid price (minimum £500) and bring it with you to the auction. If you purchase for less, the difference will be deducted from your ‘balance’ figure on completion. Any shortfall (subject to the Auctioneer’s discretion) can be paid by Personal/Company Cheque.


The successful bidder is responsible for the property and for its insurance at the fall of the gavel when contracts are entered into.

Completion Day

Completion normally takes place 28 days after the date that contracts are exchanged, unless other arrangements are specified in the Special Conditions of Sale or Standard Conditions of Sale. It is advisable to check this prior to the auction day.

Unsold Lots

Properties can be sold before, during and AFTER the Auction. After the Auction you can submit an offer to the Auctioneers for an unsold lot and the seller’s decision will be requested. If the offer is accepted the sale then proceeds according to normal Auction practice, even if the sale is agreed after the Auction day.


On or just before the auction day check with the auction department or auction website that the lot(s) you are interested in are still available and confirm any changes in details of your preferred lot(s), and any changes to the reserve / guide price structure.

And finally...

Any queries regarding the technical legal nature of your preferred lot(s) can be answered by attending the South West Water Q&A Day prior to the auction, details of which are located on the legal page.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - to be read by all purchasers.

1. The seller has the right to sell before auction or withdraw the lot and neither the auctioneer nor seller is responsible for any abortive costs, losses or damages in respect of prospective sales. Information as to the pre-sale or withdrawal of a lot can be obtained from enquiry with the auctioneers at any time prior to the auction but is valid only up until the time of enquiry.

2. Prospective purchasers are strongly advised to check these particulars as to measurements, areas and all other matters to which the properties are expressed, to be subject, or have the benefit of, in respect of any contents, fixtures or fittings to be included in any sale, an inspection of the property and all the necessary enquiries with the seller’s solicitors and/ or other appropriate authorities. All measurements and areas referred to in these particulars are approximate only.

3. All location plans and ordnance survey plans published in the particulars of sale are to enable prospective purchasers to locate the property only. Plans are photographically reproduced and are therefore not to scale, but for identification purposes only. The boundary lines and numbers on the photographs are only to enable prospective purchasers to locate the property. Purchasers are advised to view the special conditions in respect of the precise interest to be conveyed with each lot.

4. As and when guide prices, estimates or values are provided the prospective purchaser should not rely solely on any such statement or guide price, estimate or value, and should seek professional advice on any such statement.

5. Prospective purchasers should always check any addenda sheets to see if there are any alterations or amendments to the particulars of the property or properties that they are interested in bidding for. These will be available in the auction room or at the registration desk.

6. Some photographs of lots show views from the lot site and as such are not of the lot itself.

Contact us to find out more...

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