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Commercial Auction Finance Guide UK: Essential Tips for Success

Commercial auction finance is a popular option for property developers and investors in the UK, as it offers a flexible and quick way to secure funding for properties purchased at auction. Typically, commercial auction finance involves short-term bridging loans that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the property and buyer. This financial product is particularly useful in situations where traditional mortgages or loans may not be suitable, for instance, when purchasing a property that requires extensive renovations or when bidding on an unmortgageable asset.

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There are various types of commercial auction finance available, each with its own set of features, benefits, and terms. The most appropriate type of finance will depend on your specific requirements, the type of property, and your overall investment strategy. The auction process can be competitive and fast-paced, making it essential for potential buyers to familiarise themselves with the process, understand the available financing options and work closely with experienced professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • Commercial auction finance offers a flexible and quick way to fund property purchases at auction.
  • Finding the most suitable type of commercial auction finance depends on your individual needs and goals.
  • Familiarity with the auction process and working with experienced professionals can help ensure success.

Understanding Commercial Auction Finance

Commercial auction finance is a financial option tailored specifically for buyers purchasing properties at auctions in the UK. This type of finance can provide you with the funds needed to secure a property in a timely manner, often within the limited timeframes required by the auction house.

There are various types of properties that can be financed through commercial auction finance, including part commercial and part residential properties, such as shops and offices with flats above 1. Businesses can also secure auction finance for commercial properties like warehouses, industrial units, and leisure centres, allowing you to expand your portfolio or find the perfect property for your operations.

When considering auction finance, it’s essential to understand the main features this type of financing offers. Typically, you will need to provide a deposit of 10%-35% of the auction property’s value 2. The deposit amount may vary based on the risk associated with the property and other factors, like your credit history and financial status.

A significant aspect of auction finance is its short-term nature, with loan terms typically ranging from 1-24 months 3. This short-term financing option allows you to secure the property quickly and repay the loan once you have arranged more permanent financing, such as a mortgage from a fee-free mortgage broker and adviser.

When exploring commercial auction finance, it’s crucial to compare different lenders’ rates and terms. Ensure you understand the interest rates, lender arrangement fees, exit fees, and any loan-to-value limits before committing to a specific finance option. This will help you make an informed decision that suits your business needs and financial situation.

Taking the time to thoroughly understand commercial auction finance can provide you with the confidence and knowledge to secure the ideal property for your business in a competitive auction environment. With a clear finance plan and the necessary funds in place, you’ll be in a strong position to close the deal on your desired property.

Why Choose Commercial Auction Finance?

Choosing commercial auction finance can be a strategic decision for acquiring property or land quickly and efficiently. When you opt for this type of financing, you get access to flexible funding options tailored to your specific needs. Let’s explore several benefits of using commercial auction finance for your property ventures.

Firstly, commercial auction finance allows you to capitalise on attractive offers available at auction houses. Properties at auction often come at a lower price compared to the open market. By using auction finance, you can secure a bargain and potentially purchase property below its market value. This strategy is an excellent opportunity for property developers and investors to maximise their returns.

Another advantage of utilising auction finance is its rapid processing time. Traditional commercial mortgages can take weeks or even months to be approved. In contrast, auction finance providers offer bridging loans that can be arranged much faster, usually within several days. This speed is crucial, as auction purchases typically require successful bidders to complete the transaction within a short timeframe, usually 28 days.

Moreover, auction finance provides a high degree of flexibility in terms of lending criteria. Lenders can offer up to 70% loan-to-value (LTV) on commercial properties, accommodating various types of borrowers, including individuals, limited companies, LLPs, and partnerships. This flexibility allows you to select the most suitable financing options based on your unique circumstances and goals.

Finally, using commercial auction finance puts you in a competitive position during the bidding process. By securing finance pre-approval before attending an auction, you gain confidence, as you already know the maximum amount you can bid. This knowledge allows you to act quickly and make well-informed decisions while bidding on your desired property or land.

In summary, opting for commercial auction finance can be a smart choice for property developers and investors looking to acquire assets swiftly and efficiently, capitalise on lower prices at auction houses, and benefit from flexible lending options. By considering this type of financing, you put yourself in a strong position to succeed in the competitive world of property auctions.

Types of Commercial Auction Finance

When looking to finance a commercial property at auction, several options are available to you. Understanding these options will help you make informed decisions when bidding on and purchasing properties.

One common type of finance used in commercial property auctions is a mortgage. Mortgages provide long-term financing for property purchases and typically have lower interest rates than other forms of finance. Commercial mortgages are tailored to meet the unique needs of business owners, investors, and property developers.

In addition to mortgages, you may consider taking out a loan for the purchase of a commercial property. There are various types of loans available, including secured loans and unsecured loans. Secured loans require collateral, such as the property itself, while unsecured loans rely on your creditworthiness.

Bridging finance, also known as a bridging loan, is a short-term loan designed to cover the gap between the property’s purchase and the receipt of long-term financing, such as a mortgage. Bridging loans are particularly useful in the auction process, as they enable you to complete the purchase quickly, often within 28 days. These loans can be more expensive than other forms of finance due to their short-term nature and higher interest rates.

In some cases, you may also consider commercial bridging loans. These are similar to regular bridging loans but are specifically designed for purchasing commercial properties. They frequently offer higher loan amounts and longer loan terms compared to residential bridging loans. Commercial bridging loans can be used to fund various types of commercial properties, including offices, restaurants, warehouses, and industrial units.

By understanding the different types of commercial auction finance available, you can ensure you have the appropriate funding in place to secure your desired property at auction.

The Auction Process

When you decide to participate in a property auction, understanding the auction process is essential to ensure a smooth and successful experience. In this guide, we’ll outline the key aspects of the auction process in the UK and provide helpful tips for a confident and knowledgeable approach.

Before the auction day, it’s crucial to do your research and be well-prepared. This involves searching for potential properties, attending property viewings, and gathering legal documentation. You should also set a budget based on your financial capabilities, being mindful of additional fees such as stamp duty and legal costs.

On auction day, arrive early to familiarise yourself with the auction house setup and environment. Pay close attention to both the auctioneer and your fellow bidders during the auction. Listen to the opening prices and observe your competition, as this will help you understand the bidding patterns and gauge the appropriate time to make a move.

To place your bid, make sure your gesture is clear and visible to the auctioneer. Displaying confidence and maintaining eye contact can help you assert your presence and show that you’re a serious buyer. By taking the initiative to set the pace of your bids, you can potentially control the bidding process to your advantage.

As the auction progresses, monitor your budget and stay disciplined on your maximum limit. It’s easy to get caught up in the competitive atmosphere, but it’s important to remain grounded and not overstretch your finances. Should you place the winning bid, be prepared for a swift completion process. The auction house will require a deposit of typically 10% on the day and completion of the sale usually occurs within 28 days.

In understanding the key aspects of the auction process and following a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear approach, you’ll be in a good position to bid successfully, secure your desired property and complete the transaction in a timely manner.

Key Players in Commercial Auction Finance

In the world of commercial auction finance in the UK, there are several important entities working together to ensure successful transactions. This guide will introduce you to some of the key players involved in this process.

Finance Providers: The first and most important key player in commercial auction finance is the finance provider. These lenders offer specialist auction finance services to businesses looking to secure properties at auction. They provide short-term bridging loans to enable quick completion of transactions, enabling you to capitalise on lucrative opportunities. Before committing, make sure you familiarise yourself with the auction finance rates offered by these providers.

Investors: As the party looking to purchase a commercial property at auction, you play a crucial role. Ensure you have a clear understanding of your financial capacity and requirements, as well as those of your lender. This will help you make informed decisions during the auction process and secure the best possible financing options.

Auction House: Auction houses serve as the marketplace where buyers and sellers of commercial properties convene. It’s important to understand the auction process and how it affects the financing of a property purchase. Familiarise yourself with the different types of auctions, the legal requirements for buying at auction, and how to conduct due diligence on a property.

Solicitor: An experienced solicitor is essential to navigate the legal complexities of buying a commercial property at auction. Commercial property solicitors handle both the purchase and the finance aspects of the transaction, ensuring a smooth process and preventing any unexpected legal issues from arising.

Specialist Auction Finance Broker: If you’re uncertain about the financing options available or require guidance on choosing the best solution for your needs, our specialist auction finance broker can offer valuable assistance. Our brokers have extensive knowledge of both the auction market and the various finance providers, enabling us to recommend the most suitable solutions based on your individual circumstances.

By understanding the roles played by these key entities in commercial auction finance, you can navigate the process with greater confidence and clarity, ultimately leading to more successful transactions. Remember to maintain a forward-thinking approach, and always keep your ultimate goals in mind when engaging with these key players.

Commercial Property Types at Auction

When you are considering buying a commercial property at auction in the UK, it’s crucial to be aware of the range of property types on offer. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions and understand the potential opportunities for investment. Here, we outline some of the common commercial property types that frequently appear at auctions.

One of the most prevalent property types is semi-commercial or mixed-use properties. These often comprise ground-level retail spaces or restaurants, with residential areas like flats above the commercial units. Investing in such properties can provide diversified income streams as you receive rent from both commercial and residential tenants.

Restaurants are another popular commercial property type available at auctions. Acquiring a restaurant property can be lucrative if you possess or plan to lease the space to a well-established and successful business. However, you should conduct thorough research on the location, competing eateries, and the demand for restaurant services within the area.

Offices are a staple of commercial property auctions and can range from small serviced offices to large corporate buildings. When purchasing office properties, evaluate the location, local market demand, and the quality of the premises. Look for properties that require minimal refurbishment and have good transportation links for workers.

Industrial units often come up for auction, offering opportunities to buy warehouses, factories, or workshops. When assessing industrial properties, consider factors such as the size, location (ease of access to transport links, such as motorways), and the condition of the building. Additionally, look into the future development possibilities of the area, which might impact the value of your investment.

In conclusion, familiarising yourself with the variety of commercial property types at auction will ensure your confidence when bidding and potentially lead to successful investments. Carry out extensive research, understand the local market, and be aware of the potential risks and rewards associated with each property type to make well-informed decisions.

How to Secure Funding

When looking to purchase a commercial property at auction, it is essential to secure funding before the event takes place. To ensure you have a successful experience, follow these steps to obtain the necessary financial backing.

Firstly, create a realistic budget that considers all aspects of the auction process, such as deposit, fees, and renovation costs. Calculate a maximum bid amount to ensure you don’t overcommit financially.

Next, research available funding options, such as auction finance or bridging loans. Compare interest rates, terms, and lending criteria to find the best fit for your needs. Bear in mind that lenders may require a form of security, typically in the form of property, when providing funds.

Prepare the necessary documents to support your loan application, including bank statements, proof of identity, and a detailed business plan if you are purchasing the commercial property for investment purposes.

Plan to have a sizable deposit ready, typically around 10% of the property’s value, as you will need to pay it on the day of the auction if you are the winning bidder. Ensure you have enough money in the bank to cover the deposit and any additional costs that may arise during the auction process.

Lastly, approach potential lenders to discuss your borrowing needs and submit your application well in advance of the auction date. This will give you ample time to receive a decision and negotiate terms if necessary.

By carefully planning, researching, and following these steps, you can secure the necessary funding to successfully bid at a commercial property auction. Good luck on your property hunting journey!

Legal Aspects of Commercial Auction Finance

Before participating in a commercial property auction in the UK, it is crucial to be aware of the legal aspects surrounding the process. This section will provide an overview of some vital elements, including legal packs, non-refundable deposits, and paperwork.

A legal pack is a collection of documents associated with the property in question. It typically includes the contract of sale, relevant searches, title deeds, and property information. Reviewing the legal pack before bidding is essential, as it contains crucial details about the property, such as planning permissions, building regulations, and potential restrictions. Ignorance of any content in the legal pack does not exempt you from the implications, so thorough examination is advisable.

When buying a commercial property at auction, be prepared to pay a non-refundable deposit. Usually, this is around 10% of the purchase price and is due as soon as the hammer falls. Failure to pay this deposit may result in you losing the property and facing penalties. Moreover, deposits are non-refundable, meaning that if you withdraw from the purchase or fail to complete it, you will not get your funds back.

Dealing with paperwork is another crucial aspect of commercial auction finance. Ensure that you have all necessary documents in place, and that you understand the requirements and obligations associated with the property. A local solicitor or commercial conveyancer can help with paperwork and legal formalities, like registering the property in your name or your company’s name and managing Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Remember, adhering to the legal aspects of commercial auction finance is essential for a smooth and successful transaction. Ensure you have thoroughly reviewed the legal pack, prepared to pay a non-refundable deposit, and are ready to navigate the paperwork with professional assistance.

Risks and Considerations

When considering commercial auction finance in the UK, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and considerations. As you navigate this process, keep the following factors in mind to ensure the best possible outcome.

Risks: Buying a commercial property at auction can entail various risks. For instance, you might not have sufficient time to conduct thorough due diligence on the property before bidding. Additionally, there is always the possibility of encountering unexpected issues regarding property ownership, tenancy, or structural problems after the purchase. It would be wise to seek legal advice from a commercial property solicitor before proceeding with an auction purchase.

Credit Check: Lenders will typically conduct a credit check to assess your ability to repay the loan. This check may influence factors such as your interest rate, loan-to-value ratio, and overall terms of the commercial auction finance. Having a strong credit score and a clean credit history will put you in better stead for obtaining favourable terms.

Exit Fees: Be mindful of any exit fees that may apply to your commercial auction finance. Exit fees are charges you incur when repaying the loan early, either due to early sale or refinancing. To avoid any surprises, ensure that you understand the fees and penalties involved in your loan agreement.

It’s crucial to remain diligent throughout the process, taking note of factors such as risks, credit checks, and exit fees. By staying informed and aware of the challenges, you can make better decisions and successfully navigate commercial auction finance in the UK.


In this Commercial Auction Finance Guide, you have discovered the essential aspects of auction finance for property developers and businesses in the UK. By understanding the auction finance process, you can make informed decisions when purchasing properties at auction.

Remember that auction finance is a type of short-term or bridging finance, designed to support the purchase of residential, commercial, and land at property auctions. With this type of financing, you can take advantage of discounted rates often found at auctions.

Keep in mind that auction finance is fast and flexible, catering to the specific needs of buying auction properties. Unlike standard bridging loans or mortgages, auction finance ensures you have access to the required funds within the tight timescales of an auction purchase.

As you venture into the world of commercial auction properties, it’s vital to be well-prepared and have a clear understanding of the financing options available. Knowing how auction finance works, its benefits, and potential challenges can empower you to make the right decisions, ensuring success in your property investment journey.

By following this guide, you can feel confident about navigating the complexities of commercial auction finance, secure in the knowledge that your approach is well-informed and strategically aligned with the unique demands of the UK property auction market. Carry this newfound understanding forward as you explore new opportunities in commercial property investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is auction finance different from traditional mortgages?

Auction finance is a form of short-term finance, typically lasting between 1-24 months, designed specifically for purchasing properties at auctions. In contrast, traditional mortgages are long-term loans used for financing property purchases over a period of up to 40 years. Auction finance often requires a deposit of 20%-35% of the property value, whereas mortgages may have lower deposit requirements. Furthermore, auction finance offers quicker access to funds and enables you to complete the purchase within the short time frame required by auction houses, usually 14 or 28 days.

What is the process to obtain finance for an auction property?

When you have identified a property you would like to bid on, the first step to obtaining auction finance is researching potential lenders or contacting a broker who can help secure the most suitable financial product. Once you have found a suitable lender, they will assess the property and your financial situation, typically requiring a deposit, proof of income, and credit history to determine your eligibility. If you are successful in your application, a loan agreement will be set up, outlining the terms and repayment options for your auction finance.

Are there any eligibility criteria for securing auction finance?

Although criteria may vary between lenders, some common requirements include having a deposit of at least 20%-35% of the property value, being able to demonstrate a reliable source of income, and possessing a good credit history. Lenders may also consider the property’s potential resale value, your experience in property investments or developments, and your exit strategy for repaying the loan.

What are the repayment options for auction finance?

Repayment options for auction finance typically depend on the loan agreement and the individual circumstances of each borrower. Common repayment methods include interest-only payments, full repayment at the end of the loan term, or refinancing the loan with a longer-term mortgage after completing the required work on the property. Be sure to discuss your options with your lender to find the most suitable repayment plan for your financial situation.

Can one apply for auction finance in advance?

Yes, you can apply for auction finance in advance to increase your chances of successfully securing the funds needed to purchase a property at an auction. This is known as pre-approval and gives you the confidence to bid at an auction, knowing that the necessary funds will be available if you are successful. It also enables you to act more swiftly in fulfilling the auction house’s requirements for completing the purchase within the specified time frame.

What factors can influence the interest rates on auction finance?

Several factors can influence the interest rates on auction finance, including the lender, the amount borrowed, your financial background, and your credit history. Additionally, the perceived risk associated with the property may also impact the interest rate; for example, high-risk properties may require higher deposits and attract higher interest rates. Shopping around between different lenders and working with a broker can help you find the best finance product with competitive interest rates for your specific needs.



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  2. Commercial Property Bridging Loans

  3. Auction Finance

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