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SDL property Auction – Property Auctioneers

SDL property auction

SDL Property Auctions House

SDL was established following the SDL Group’s acquisition of the CP Bigwood businesses in 2016 and they provide a range of services.

SDL hold 40+ auctions at various venues:

  • Villa Park in Birmingham
  • Pride Park Stadium in Derby
  • Chester Racecourse
  • Nottingham Racecourse
  • King Power Stadium in Leicester
  • AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester
  • bet365 Stadium in Stoke.

SDL brings sales auction events into the mainstream and in doing so they regularly feature on BBC1’s Homes Under the Hammer. They are a national property auctions house.

They are publicised both regionally and nationally so they can achieve the best price for each client.

SDL sells a variety of residential and commercial properties which offers an excellent opportunity for investors to buy property at auction.


  • SDL deals with:
  • Residential properties
  • Retail and industrial properties
  • Investment properties
  • Land and development opportunities
  • Vacant or tenanted properties
  • Freehold ground rents
  • Mixed-use buildings Licensed premises.
  • Agricultural property

SDL staff will be delighted to talk you through the auction process and offer their expert advice should you need it.

A guide to buying at SDL Auction

Details of the SDL property Auctions and land to be sold are all in the SDL property Auctions catalogue which is available online. You can request SDL to post an SDL property catalogue. All lots are sold subject to general conditions of sale.

Purchasers must satisfy themselves as to the availability, location, boundaries, conditions, and state of all lots before the bidding.

You must view any property you are interested in as soon as possible, so you can make the necessary arrangements for finance and instruct a lawyer. Viewing arrangements for each lot are contained in the SDL auction catalogue.

SDL Lot Legal Documentation

The special conditions and general conditions apply to all lots being offered at the Auction.

A copy of these should be available within the legal pack for each lot. A copy of this will be posted to the SDL Auction website.

Instructing a solicitor before bidding is advisable this will allow you to seek advice on the legal pack.

It is important to calculate before bidding the costs that the auctioneers charge which will have to be paid in addition to the purchase price.

If you are unsure about anything contact SDL customer service who are very friendly and may be able to help you.

SDL Auction Guide Prices

The guide price is quoted in the SDL catalogue available from the SDL Auction website. A guide price may change at any time. Lots may be sold above or below the guide price, and SDL cannot accept responsibility for their accuracy.

SDL Property Reserve Prices

All lots, unless stated in the Auction catalogue, are subject to a Reserve price. This is the minimum price at which the seller has authorised the SDL auctioneer to sell. The bidding must reach or exceed the reserve price for the SDL auctioneer to be able to sell.

The reserve price is confidential. It is set by the seller in consultation with the Auctioneer before the Auction and may be subject to change right up to the start of the Auction. SDL auctioneer reserves the right to accept bids from the vendor up to and including the reserve value.

Pre-Auction Offers

Offers must be in writing and will only be considered if the lot has been viewed and the legal documentation inspected. Pre-auction bids are based on an immediate exchange of auction contracts upon acceptance by the seller.

Any offer will be assumed as a final offer and the auction house cannot guarantee that you will be invited to increase your bid in the event of an alternative, the satisfactory offer is received prior to exchange.

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

Unable to Attend

If you cannot attend there are two ways in which you can bid (each auction house has its own rules & methods). 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.

Proxy Bids If you want to bid by proxy on the day of the Auction the Auctioneer may be happy for you to do so, check in advance with the relevant auction house. The Auctioneer usually holds a signed contract and deposit cheque at least 48 hours before the Auction.

Therefore, please contact the auctioneer in plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

Please contact the Auctioneer for a proxy bid registration form or use the one shown on the website (link is below) or the one in the auction brochure.

Registering & Means of Identification

You must register in good time before the online Auction date which you can do on the SDL website. The successful bidder is required to provide two forms of identification (see registration form).

Please note that it is a legal requirement that you also provide documentation to confirm your name and residential address.


Due to COVID-19, most auctioneers are conducting online auctions by remote bidding, familiarise yourself with the online bidding process.

Sell your property at the Auction

If you need to sell the property quickly, then selling at an SDL could be the perfect choice for you.

It is common for the buyer to be required to pay a fee to secure a property. Because of this, they have an option for sellers where they would pay 0% commission.

What sort of price can I expect at an auction?

Like most properties, the price a buyer is willing to pay does depend upon the property. If there are a few buyers interested in a property at an SDL auction, the price a property is sold for could be considerably higher than the guide price, but there is no guarantee.

Are the properties available to view before the Auction?

Following the Governments easing of some of the restrictions due to COVID-19, the auctioneer can resume viewing appointments. SDL includes as many properties as possible on their viewing schedule with the times and dates.

These are listed in the catalogue, on the SDL website, Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

You do not need to make an appointment to attend these viewings. You can turn up at the advertised time and day. SDL staff are at each property for a maximum of 30 minutes before moving on to the next appointment.

Please note there will be a queuing system outside the property, viewing parties will be limited to only two people from the same household (sorry no children will be permitted) and will be required to keep a 1-metre distance from other viewing parties both inside and outside the property.

We request that PPE is worn by all viewers and if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Covid-19, then please do not attend.

If a property particulars state by appointment, please contact SDL at (0121) 312 1212 to confirm the date and time to attend.

However, please note that not all properties are available to view, particularly investment properties or properties in serious/dangerous states of disrepair, video tours will also not be available for these lots which you purchase at your own risk.

How will my property be advertised for an auction sale?

Most auctioneers will also ask if it is okay for a “for sale” sign to be put up outside the property. Signs help generate interest in the immediate area, but some sellers of vacant properties worry about security and the wrong type of attention a sign might generate. If you would rather not have a sign, just let the SDL know.

Property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla are also used to market the various type of properties to obtain maximum sale prices for sellers. Potential buyers come from property portals or from seeing the sale board.

What is an auction reserve price?

The reserve price is the minimum amount a seller will accept for their property. If a property sells for the reserve price or more, the seller is obligated to sell. You can find more information about the reserve price and how it is calculated.

Buying a rental property from an auction

When considering buying a rental property from an auction you should ensure you give your solicitor specific instructions to make sure you don’t get your fingers burnt in the process of buying rental property from an auction.

Before bidding you must have from the seller the following documents:

1. copies of all the tenancies

2. written confirmation from the seller’s solicitors (if unclear) when the first tenancy commenced?

3. All inventories

4. Deposit certificates & prescribed information

5. Clarify what is going to happen with the deposit the tenant has paid (if any)?

6. If the real estate agent is being used for letting, clarify what will happen to the letting contract with the agent?

7. Copy of the contract with the letting agent (if applicable)

8. Confirmation if the council has served on notices on the landlord, improvement, disrepair notices or letters?

9. Copy of the first written tenancy agreement and copy of the section 20 notice if the tenancy commenced before the 28th of February 1996.

10. EICR certificate

11. Valid current Gas safety certificate (if applicable).

Sometimes cheap houses with tenants in situ sold at auction may not be the bargain they initially may seem.

If the tenancy commenced before the 28th of February 1996 and the seller is not proving the written tenancy agreement and the section 20 notice.

The property will be worth 33% on average less than the market value if the previous landlord is unable to provide the 1st tenancy agreement and section 20 notice (only applicable if the tenancy commenced before the 28th of February 1996.

Make sure you can verify the rental income other than the tenancy agreement if at all possible.

Can a property be sold prior to the Auction?

Occasionally lots are sold or withdrawn prior to the sale. Check with us on a working day before the sale to make sure your lot is still going to be offered.

Can I view the properties before the Auction?

Yes, you can, the viewing arrangements will be detailed within the property description, if not contact the Auction staff.

If the buyer pays a fee, will I get the full price for my property?

The buyer pays a buyer fee, and the seller pays a seller’s fee, each auction house operates slightly different, so please check their staff.

Do I have to accept the highest bid for my property?

Most property lots have a reserve price. When you instruct  SDL you can stipulate the reserve price. If the property does not reach your reserve price, the auction house will not sell the property.

Frequently interested parties after the bid will try to negotiate a purchase which means someone might raise their offer, which could be higher than the reserve.

Do I have to wait until the auction to bid?

No, you can make an offer before the auction date; however, most auction houses are not keen to pull a lot out unless the offer is attractive. You have nothing to lose, so why not make an offer prior to the auction date.

How to sell a property through an auction?

First, you need to choose the auctioneers who cover your area. Most national auctions will be able to help you. Visit their website, speak to them, and they will be able to advise you on the best way forward.

Check their commission rates including any entry fee. It is essential for selecting the most appropriate auctioneer for your property and area.

Make sure you also check your local auction house too; they have good local knowledge.

Go back to the Main Auction list

How to buy a house at auction – The property auction guide

How safe is it to buy from a property auction?

SDL website

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4th of April 2022

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