How to Buy Property Through Public Auction In Kenya

Public Auction

If you got an eye for details and a curious mind, you must have seen civilians driving vehicles with government number plates and wondered how and where did they get that from. That is just one of the many government properties publicly auctioned. Government property consists of land, assets, organizations or agencies owned by federal, state, or local government organizations. A property may be government-owned through normal purchase, or through confiscations, various government bodies and agencies among other ways. These government-owned properties are typically exempted from taxes.

Among the reasons why the government would sell off the property by way of a public auction is to expedite liquidation orders by a court if confiscated. In so doing, auctioneers are contacted to sell these properties on their behalf. A good example is; the government may seize capital equipment from a manufacturer who declared bankruptcy and had failed to pay a substantial amount of taxes. The government may auction this off to other manufacturers, who are likely to pay less for the used equipment than they would if they purchased brand-new equipment.

Buying property through public auction is different from other property purchases. To participate in public action,

1.Understand standard auction conditions

Among the common conditions in most public auctions include;

  • As-Is, Where-Is: Items are referred to as “as-is, where-is” to indicate that they are being accepted by the buyer in their present state and location. Items are sold based on the assumption that the buyer has inspected them to ensure that they meet their standards. Buyers are responsible for removing the item from its location per the terms of the sale.
  • Opening Bid: Also referred to as a starting Bid, is a required price that must be met or exceeded for the first bid to be accepted as a qualifying bid.
  • Catalog:  Is the listing of items for sale at a specific event. It is published on the government website and distributed in hard copy at live auctions, meant to be used as a guide.
  • Lot: is a single offering of an item for sale. It can be a single item or a collection of items offered. Often offered as a Lot for one money or by the piece times the money.
  • Reserve Price: A minimum selling price for which a lot can be sold set by the seller which may or may not be published or announced and may not reflect market value.
  • Watch List: Allows one to save items of interest and track them easily from their account, from which one can link directly to the item to see the activity or place a bid

2. Register with the vendor’s agent/ government’s agent

The contacted auctioneers are tasked with overseeing the bidding process. They take bids from potential buyers and keep track of the current bid price. A bid price is the highest price that a buyer is willing to pay for a commodity or a service. If you are bidding for another person or a company, and you need to show the agent a letter of authority from them, authorizing you to bid on their behalf.

Proofs of identity could include, ID, Driving License, passport, debit/credit card.

3. Making an offer

Once you have made up your mind about what you want to buy,  make an offer before the set auction date. Be sure to make an offer according to the terms and conditions of that particular auction, normally availed to interested buyers. You will be required to pay a deposit immediately following the auction. All deposits and payments must be made in cash, credit cards or certified funds

4. Arrive at the auction on time

It is recommended that you arrive at the auction early to inspect the items offered for auction. Many auctioneers will have a previewing time before it starts. Everything is sold “as is, where is.” Whatever you buy, you will buy it as it is. If you think something is new, then it turns out to be old and you were the highest bidder, you will have to go home with it as it is.

5. Have your finances ready

Before the auction, you will need to have your financial arrangements in order, because if you happen to be successful at the auction you will be required to, sign a binding contract to purchase the property, pay the deposit and pay the balance on the closing date as set out in the contract. Note that properties at auction are not sold subject to finance or subject to sure, because the property is sold ‘as is’. If you are the successful bidder, you are legally obliged to complete the sale.

6. Bid in confidence

If you are bidding for the first time, you might want to sit back watch and learn until you get the flow of the whole process before committing to it. Listen keenly to what the auctioneers are saying. Above all have fun.