What IS the Legal Pack?
This is a common question we are asked, not only from prospective bidders but also some sellers. And, as they say, wisdom is only knowledge once its shared. The auction team at Clive Emson have provided an overview below that should help shed light on some of those grey areas surrounding the legal pack.
All lots are sold subject to the Common Auction Conditions, essentially a set of standard terms and conditions relating to all land and property being offered. These are enhanced by the Special Conditions of Sale which are unique to each lot being offered and may contain additional non-optional costs/fees which you, if you are the successful buyer, will be required to pay on or before completion in addition to the bid price.
There will usually be the HM Land Registry Title documents comprising a Registered Title and Title Plan (or an Epitome of Title (a chronological index of deeds and documents to show ownership) if its unregistered at the Land Registry). Often a Local Authority Search (which refers to specific information about the particular property and the surrounding area) will also be provided.
The remainder of the legal pack will depend on what type of property is being sold and can include a variety of documents including Leases, Tenancy Agreements, Energy Performance Certificates, Gas Certificates, Electrical Reports, Asbestos Reports, Environmental & Water Searches, Planning Information, Coal Surveys, Sellers Questionnaires, Leasehold Information and Replies to Enquiries, Transfer documents and any other material information.
Although this list sounds almost like a Shakespeare drama, and may be quite daunting at first glance, its only the information that, as a buyer, your solicitor (if buying through an estate agent/private treaty) would obtain and advise you on before exchanging contracts. You do not need to worry though, with sales by auction, it’s the sellers solicitor who will provide the legal pack in advance of the auction, saving you valuable time, effort and money, especially if you’re interested in more than one lot. It also has the added advantage of removing any unwanted surprises that may arise during a private treaty conveyancing process.
The sellers solicitor will provide us with the legal pack and as hosts, we then upload it to our website to make it as easy as possible for you and your solicitor to download it. Simply click ‘legal documentation’ on the relevant auction lot particulars, and download. We do ask you to register, so we can advise you if we receive further information or amendments.
Having knowledge of the contents of the legal pack will enable you to know what you’re buying before you do, then its up to you to bid or not to bid.
Don’t forget to download the Addendum, which is a list of amendments/alteration to the auction particulars, which is made available before bidding goes live and will form part of the contract.
We have not covered deposits and Auctioneers administration fees, but you will need to have these arranged prior to bidding, as well as registering to bid.
If you need finance to make your purchase we strongly advise you to seek professional advice regarding this. Remember once the reserve (or more) has been met then at the fall of the Auctioneers gavel (electronic gavel – when the online clock reaches zero) a legally binding contract has been entered into, so it is vital you make all your pre-contract enquiries before making a bid.
For further information on how to buy at auction read through Clive Emson's guide which is full of useful advice.