Guide to buying at auction

Purchasing a property at auction can seem daunting on first thoughts.
Our team are here to make the process as simple as possible for you

Purchasing a property by Public Auction

Purchasing a property is arguably one of the biggest purchases a person will ever make in their lifetime. Whether you are a first-time buyer, downsizing, investor or trading up, it’s important to be prepared & know what to expect.
O’Donnellan & Joyce host 7 Nationwide Property Auctions each year. The catalogue for each varies greatly.

The first step in purchasing a property is to know how much you have to spend. Under current regulations, borrowers can lend you 3.5 times your income. You must be able to provide a deposit of 10% for first-time-buyers or 20% is for the purchase 2nd and subsequent properties. If you are purchasing at auction, it is important to note that you must have the finances in place prior to auction day. If you are the highest bidder and the hammer falls, you are deemed the purchaser and must pay 10% of the AMV price within 48 hours of the auction concluding.

It’s recommended to appoint a solicitor prior to auction day. The property legal documents and contract for sale are available from the auction team and it is advisable that you have them reviewed by a legal professional. If you are the successful purchaser at the auction, you will be required to sign the contacts on the day of the auction. If the auction takes place remotely or via live stream, the contracts will be executed on your behalf.

Mortgage approval

Once ‘approval in principle’ is obtained from your lender, you are now in position to go house hunting. It’s important to be realistic in what you can afford and take external costs into account such as legal fees, surveyor fees etc.

It’s recommended to research what properties are available in your price bracket & determine if they are suitable for your requirements.

Making a list of requirements/desires is very helpful. Criteria to consider include:

No property will be perfect but making these lists certainly help pinpointing the important factors.

Viewing an Auction Property

Take a look at the auction catalogue and if you are interested in a particular property, contact the auction team to obtain more information and to arrange a viewing. Many auction properties offer open viewings twice a week. It is advisable to check with the office to ensure that these viewings are going ahead.
Feel free to arrange an engineer to accompany you to the viewing. Auction sales are legally binding and contracts are not subject to survey. Therefore, you need to be sure that the property is of good structural condition. Take note of any defects while attending the property and ask the engineer or surveyors to survey you with a report. This will cost in the region of €500 depending who you use.
If you have any outstanding questions about the property, raise these with the auction team as early as possible to ensure you can be satisfied with any additional information required.

Bidding at the Auction

You must register in advance to bid at any O’Donnellan & Joyce Auction. Register to bid.

You may bid by telephone bidding, internet bidding or proxy bidding. Visit our FAQ page for more information about how to bid. Visit FAQ.

The auction will commence at the advertised time – normally 12 noon. Our auctioneer will welcome the audience to the auction room and he will outline the house rules. Note that auction sales are not subject to survey and not subject to mortgage approval – you need to have both of these in place prior to bidding.

The auction will start at lot #1 and the auctioneer will take bids from all registered bidders. Once the final bid is received, the gavel will fall and the highest bidder is deemed the purchaser. If the reserve price is not met, the property will be withdrawn from the auction room. The highest bidder only will be awarded one hour of exclusivity to negotiate with the vendor. If a deal is done, the sale will proceed under auction terms and contracts will be signed.

Once a sale is agreed and contracts are signed, 10% of the AMV price must be paid. A closing date will be stated on the contract and the final sale price must be paid by this date. Once the sale closes, the keys will be made available to the purchaser from the auction house and you may begin works or move in.


O’Donnellan & Joyce have over 38 years of proven auction results.

We are Ireland’s Largest Independent Auction House and we are here to guide you through the auction process. We guarantee the best possible results for your property

Thinking of selling?

O’Donnellan & Joyce are proud to offer FREE “thinking of selling” property valuations. If you have a property that you are thinking of selling, contact us today for a no-obligation sales appraisal.

A member of our sales team will visit your property and conduct a valuation. They will inform as to the value of your property and advise you on which method of sale may best suit the property.

If you have any questions about the sales process, they will help you to better understand the steps involved.

If you instruct O’Donnellan & Joyce to sell your property, you can rest assured that your property is in the best hands. We will use our expertise and professional approach to ensure that you get the best possible price for your property. We will guide you through the sales process and promise to make it a quick and easy process.

Complete this “Request a Valuation” form and a member of our sales team will be in touch with you soon.

Request a valuation

    Buyers guides

    Whether buying your first home, trading up or downsizing we have all the resources and insight you need when it comes to buying your new home

    Sellers guides

    Selling a house is rarely an easy decision. No matter what the reason, we have the experience needed to guide you through what can be a complex process.

    Auction guides

    We pride ourselves in being your property auction experts. Whether you are buying or selling via auction, we have the answer to all of your questions.

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