This is where great deals can be made. You can save up to 40% on a property by buying it at auction.

Mortgage lenders often put up their repossessed properties for sale, usually at deliberately reduced "reserve" prices to ensure they sell quickly. Local authorities and housing associations use them for similar reasons.

These guys have a lot of flats/houses on their books and don't seem to see the value of them as much as you might. They basically just want to get rid of them and recoup some money as fast as possible .

Other properties put up for auction will be those with development potential or difficult to sell.

Of course there are some downsides to buying property at auctions - though these can be dealt with fairly easily.

One is that you'll need to have got your valuation/survey, conveyancing and mortgage sorted beforehand.

Even though you've paid up to a few hundred pounds for these, there's no guarantee you'll be the successful bidder.

However, if you've got the spare cash the sort of savings possible could make it very worthwhile.

You also have to move fast and there is much greater uncertainty than buying a home the normal way - until the auctioneer's hammer falls on the highest bid.

The timescale from the announcement - basically when the auction catalogue showing all the "lots" for sale is printed - to the date of the auction is often only three or four weeks.

However it's quite possible to arrange everything within that time if you organise yourself properly.

Basically the process is the same as that outlined in Completing the deal ie as if your offer has been accepted and you now have to arrange the actual purchase. (Of particular relevance would be the section on Get ready to hassle - to make sure things move quickly)

Many normal individuals from all types of different backgrounds, with no experience of auctions, have done it succesfully and are very glad they did.

A further benefit of buying at auction is that you can buy your home more quickly because it isn't part of a slow moving and stressful chain.

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