The Bamboo Blog

How to buy at auction - a step-by-step guide

26 Jun 2018 By WengYee Loke

Buying property at auction isn’t a skill they teach you at school. So we thought it would help you if we put together a step-by-step guide to buying property on our site.

If you are unfamiliar with buying property at online auctions, here is a step-by-step guide to how it all works with us. Of course should you need more help, please feel free to contact us at 0330 088 9659 or


You must first create an account with us. If you haven’t done so, click here to go to the registration page (this will open in a new window).

Registering with Bamboo Auctions gives you access to a wide range of auction properties. This is because we partner with auction houses and estate agents across the UK. Their local expert knowledge combined with our technology makes a killer combination. Giving you a fast, certain and transparent experience of buying property at an online auction.

Once registered, you will have access to the legal documents related to the auction property.

With auctions, it is important for you to understand exactly what you are buying before you bid. There is no scope for negotiation once the timer reaches zero, so go over every last detail. Check out our blog post on what documents you can expect in the legal pack.

Arrange viewing

Most buyers will want to view the property before making a bid. Our platform allows you to select from pre-arranged viewing times or contact the auctioneer/agent to arrange a viewing.

Identity check

Before placing a bid, we need to carry out an identity check*. This is a legal requirement so don’t shoot the messenger! It is a quick process as we carry out the checks online with immediate results. Please have your passport or driving licence to hand.

*This check will leave a soft footprint on your credit report (but it should not affect your credit rating).

If you are unable to pass our online checks, contact us and we can help you with a manual check. So it is advisable to do your ID check as early as possible. You don’t want to miss out on your ideal property just because ‘computer says no’, do you?

Details of your solicitor/conveyancer

Provide details of your solicitor/conveyancer and we will contact them if you are the successful bidder. You should let your solicitor/conveyancer know before actually bidding that you are bidding on an auction property. You’ll only need to complete this section if you are bidding on traditional online auction properties (i.e. one’s where exchange occurs online, immediately at the end of the timer). Where the property is being sold by conditional auction, you won’t be asked for solicitor details.

In any case, your solicitor will be able to look over the legal pack and make sure that everything is in place for a swift completion.

Payment details

You will need to provide payment card details. If you are the successful bidder, we will charge a buyer fee or reservation fee at the end of the auction period. Please check the legal pack for buyer fee information.

We use Stripe as our third party payments processor. They have a PCI Level 1 Service Provider certification. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

Place your bid

Now all that you have to do is place your bid! On the property details page, click the button on the top right hand and enter the amount you wish to bid.

You will be able to see the cost breakdown which will include the bid amount, additional fees, fee breakdown, buyer’s fee, all fees excluding VAT at 20% and total cost.

Accept the terms and conditions and click ‘Place bid’.

If you’re the highest bidder, you’ll see a message on the page saying so. If you’ve been outbid, you’ll get a notification and you’ll also see a message on the screen indicating just that.

You’ve won the property, now what?

Firstly, congratulations! Secondly, the process is different depending on the auction method.

Traditional Online Auction

We will charge you £5,000 using the payment details provided when the timer reaches zero. This is split between a buyer fee and part payment of the purchase price. You should check the “Buyer Information - Fees” document contained as part of the legal documents for each property. We will also contact your solicitor with details of the property and a link to the legal pack.

You then have 5 business days to: - Pay the rest of 10% of the sale price; and - Submit all signed sale documentation.

If you do not carry out these steps within the 5 business days, you may lose the entire amount of the £5,000 holding deposit.

Conditional Online Auction

At the end of the auction period, we will automatically charge you a fee of £6,000 (incl. VAT) using the payment details provided. Where applicable, you may need to pay any outstanding amounts of the reservation fee. You will need to settle this immediately at the end of the timed period with the relevant agent responsible for the property. Check the Reservation Contract document contained as part of the legal documents for each property. Don’t forget to contact your solicitor immediately after winning the bid.

We generate a reservation agreement at the end of the auction. This is to evidence that an exclusivity agreement is in place between both parties. The authorised agent will sign this on behalf of both the successful buyer and the seller. You then have 20 working days to exchange on the property.

If you do not exchange on or before the expiry of the 20 day period, you may lose the entirety of the £6,000 and will still be liable for the full amount of the reservation fee. If due to the actions of the seller, exchange does not occur on or before the expiry of the 20 working day period, then your £6,000 fee is refundable.

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