Cooper Brouard is one of the few Guernsey estate agencies to have a licenced auctioneer.
The company has held property auctions throughout the island since 2000 ranging from fields to commercial buildings and from building plots to renovation projects. There has been a one bedroom pied-a-terre in Town, superb rural farmhouses and most types and styles of property in between. Record auction prices at the time have been achieved on both Open Market and, on two separate occasions, the Local Market when Cooper Brouard broke its own record. Trevor Cooper stepped down as auctioneer in 2012 once Julian Coles gained his auctioneer’s ‘ticket’ - Julian having assisted Trevor in his latter auctions including the sale of ‘Noirmont Villa’ for £1,210,000, believed to be another local market record price. So what is an auction? It is a binding agreement for the sale of property on the fall of the gavel with no subsequent negotiation or amendment of the terms of the contract. This is an essential difference between selling property by auction as opposed to a sale in the more conventional manner by private treaty when conditional offers are made on the asking price. Not all houses are suitable for selling by auction, nevertheless, it is an option prospective vendors should at least consider. An owner’s motivation for selling the property and the importance of time must be taken into consideration. Above all, the property must have a particular quality or individuality and should appeal to a wide market to ensure an auction will work. There is a limited number of people able to bid at an auction as the successful bidder must pay a 10% deposit on the day and complete the purchase four or five weeks later. Some people might like to bid at an auction but would need to sell their house first to have the funds available. Almost certainly an auction will have a reserve price – a figure below which the property will not be sold. This is set by the owners on the auctioneer’s advice and recommendation as being a reasonable and achievable amount the vendors would be happy to accept with every chance of achieving more on the day. Whilst the auctioneer will give prospective bidders a guide price it is rare for the reserve price to be disclosed, even after the auction.