Welcome to the
Acuitus Help Centre

 

If you can’t find the answer to what you are looking for, please contact us.

FAQ

    How do I buy a property from Auction?

    If this is your first time of buying property at auction, it is recommended that you read the Buying section of this Help Centre, as well as the Interested in a Property and Bidding Options information sheets.

    Where can I find the auction results?

    The auction results will be displayed immediately after the Auction on the main property listings area of this website. Please ensure the Auction Date filter is set to ‘Last Auction’. If you have registered to receive Acuitus auction news, you will also receive an email from us covering the auction highlights and the results.

    How can I quickly find out what my property is worth?

    If you have a property or portfolio you would like to discuss please email or telephone Richard Auterac, Peter Cunliffe, Charlie Powter or any one of the investment directors on the contacts page. Alternatively please complete the appraisal form on this website to receive an initial indication.

    How do I bid online?

    Acuitus offers live online bidding facilities via Propertyauctions.com.  If you wish to bid via this method, you will need to complete the Registration form and provide both your details and those of the buyer.  The form must be delivered to Acuitus by hand or post and received no less than two Business Days prior to the auction.  Please click here to download the Registration form including our Terms and Conditions for this service.

    What is My Catalogue?

    My Catalogue provides you with an area where you can add available properties from Acuitus Auctions and build your own personal catalogue. This gives you quick access to the ones that interest you and allows you to save them for future reference online or as a pdf.

    I can’t find what I need in the Help Centre. Who should I contact?

    We are sorry that you have been unable to find the information you are looking for. Please either email us on info@acuitus.co.uk or telephone us on +44 (0)20 7034 4850 and one of the team will be able to help you.

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    Buying

    Available Property
    What properties are available to buy?

    We offer properties across all the major commercial investment-grade asset classes of retail, industrial and offices, as well as more specialist properties including distribution, motor trade, leisure, medical and licensed premises.

    What is the difference between Acuitus Private Treaty and Acuitus Auction?

    Many commercial properties are sold by private treaty for which the property is marketed initially for an open-ended period of time.  Negotiations take place between the buyer and the seller via the agent until a satisfactory price is agreed.  A ‘best and final offer’ or ‘best bid’ may be requested from potential buyers as a way of finalising the sale.  Auction is also a method of selling property.  The difference between this method and private treaty is that the property is sold, usually in a public forum, to the highest bidder, provided the final bid offered reaches the reserve price.  Exchange of contracts happens on the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer with completion taking place usually four to six weeks after the date of the auction sale.

    How often do you have an auction?

    Acuitus typically holds six auctions a year.

    How do I use the search filters on the property listing page?

    The search filters enable you to quickly and easily drill down to find properties that match your requirements.  By clicking on the drop down arrows you will be able to select the appropriate filters for your search.

    How can Property Profiles help me?

    By setting up a Property Profile in your online account (which covers all your buying criteria, ie location, type of property, price), we are able to notify you of properties for sale that match your requirements the moment they are entered into the auction or become available for sale.

    What is a guide price?

    The guide price is an indication of the current minimum price at which, or if a guide price range is given, within which, the seller may be prepared to sell.

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    Interested in a particular Property
    Should I register my interest in a property?

    We advise all our clients and those who are interested in a property to register their interest, as they will then receive automatic updates to any changes to the property information, the guide price and / or legal documentation.

    How do I register my interest in a property?

    Once you have logged into your online account, simply click on the ‘register my interest’ against the property you are interested in and your details will be sent directly to us. To fully benefit from our services, we recommend that you set up an online account.

    Is there a specialist at Acuitus who I can contact for more information about a property?

    Yes.  The contacts details of the person who will be able to help you can be found at the bottom of each page giving details on the property.

    What should I do before I decide to buy at your Auctions?

    If you are intending to bid for yourself or another person / entity, please read the Conduct of the Auction section of the Common Auction Conditions carefully before arrival. As the bidder, you are entering into obligations to the seller and the auctioneer. If you need help in understanding them please consult your legal adviser.

    Is it my responsibility to satisfy myself as to what I am buying?

    Absolutely it is your responsibility. The information on each property on this website has been provided and checked by the seller and the seller’s solicitor. Acuitus can only give a short overview of what is being sold and the photographs and plans are for identification only.  You are buying what is set out in the legal documents. These include the legal title, plan and tenancy documents and the special conditions of sale which are provided by the seller’s solicitor and are made available on our website free of charge. We strongly recommend that you inspect the property prior to purchase. You may also need professional advice to survey the condition of the building and the boundaries.

    How do I view the property?

    Should you wish to arrange an inspection please contact us as soon as possible by clicking on the contact details for the person listed below each property, as they will be best placed to help you arrange an inspection. It is not always possible to obtain access to all parts of the property and the occupier(s) may impose restrictions on when the property can be viewed.

    How can I arrange a survey?

    If you would like to arrange a survey of the building and its boundaries please click on the contact details for the person listed below each property, as they will be best placed to help you arrange this.

    What is the legal pack and is it important that I look at it?

    It is imperative that you look at it and understand it. Ensure your solicitor has seen it and has explained it to you. The legal pack usually includes:

    • Special conditions of sale
    • Official copy of the Land Register
    • Title documents including copy leases (if applicable)
    • General pre-contract enquiries
    • Local authority search
    Who provides the legal pack?

    The legal pack is provided by the seller and their solicitor.

    How do I access the legal pack?

    After setting up or logging into your online account on this website, the legal pack is available to download free of charge as soon as the seller’s solicitor has uploaded it. We request all solicitors to have the legal documentation ready for the commencement of marketing. It is accessed by clicking on the link within the individual property page.  Each property will have its own legal pack including the Special Conditions of Sale, which are supplied by the seller’s solicitor.  If you receive copies they should be checked against the originals before the auction to make sure they have been scanned correctly.  Sellers’ solicitors usually hold title deeds, leases and other documents relevant to the sale.  Please contact us if you have any queries.

    How do I check on the legal title of the property?

    Legal title information will form part of the legal pack which is accessed via the link on the individual property page.

    Is there a buyer’s premium or other charges that I have to pay?

    Acuitus does not charge a buyer’s premium.  Some sellers charge a buyer’s premium for themselves which may be in respect of the fees they incur and if this applies it will be stated in the seller’s Special Conditions of Sale. There may be other seller’s charges such as a reimbursement of the local search fees. Again, this will be stated in the seller’s special conditions of sale.

    Do I pay a deposit at the auction?

    Yes, you need to pay a deposit. It is usually for 10% of the purchase price drawn on a cheque of a UK Approved Financial Institution (please see the Common Auction Conditions) and payable to Acuitus.  No cash will be accepted. Sometimes the seller’s solicitor requires the deposit to be paid in a different manner such as by bank transfer from the buyer’s solicitor’s clients’ account. This may be for Money Laundering Regulation purposes. The Special Conditions of Sale will state whether there are any special deposit payment requirements.  

    Should I appoint my own legal adviser?

    Acuitus strongly recommends that you take legal advice prior to the purchase of a property. You will need a licenced conveyancer such as a solicitor to act for you to complete the purchase.

    What is the Buyer’s Legal Report service?

    When planning to acquire a property investment it is usual for a prospective purchaser to seek advice from their solicitor on the legal title to the property and the terms of any occupational leases.  Dentons offer an independent legal report that will summarise and give advice on the contents of the legal pack provided by the seller.  Dentons is one of the largest law firms in the world with over 79 locations in 52 countries and more than 2,500 lawyers and professionals. For more information on their services please visit www.dentons.com. Please note that Dentons is acting completely independently of Acuitus, the seller and the seller’s solicitor and all questions relating to this service must be addressed to Dentons.

    a) How much will a legal report cost?

    A report for a single let freehold property is offered at a significantly reduced fee.  To receive a sample report and a quote for a fixed fee please contact Greg Rigby at Dentons on +44 (0)20 7302 3968 or email greg.rigby@dentons.com

    Please note that Acuitus does not share in any part of the charge made by Dentons.

    b) Are legal reports available for all properties?

    Each report is prepared especially for the sale so it cannot be guaranteed that reports will be available for every property.  It will also depend on the availability of the legal documentation from the seller’s solicitor, timing and cost.

    How can I find out if VAT or other taxes are payable?

    VAT may be charged on the purchase price. This is determined by the seller.  Please read the Special Conditions of Sale relevant to the lot you are bidding on prior to the auction.  It will be stated on the individual catalogue page as to whether VAT is applicable. Further information will be available in the Legal Pack. Acuitus strongly recommends you obtain specialist advice if the sale is subject to VAT.

    Where can I find the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

    The EPC information is contained within the Legal Pack which you can download once you have signed into your online account.

    How do I arrange finance?

    We know that the availability of finance is of the utmost importance to many of our clients, which is why Acuitus Finance provides in-depth knowledge of the property finance marketplace, and a service, which addresses the needs of our clients, the availability of funding and the desire to develop lasting financing relationships.

    Acuitus Finance can arrange finance on a property ready for completion or unlock equity after completion if you have paid from your own funds.  For more information please go to the Finance section on this website or contact Stuart Buchanan on email stuart.buchanan@acuitus.co.uk.

    When do I need to insure the property?

    It is essential for all property owners to have appropriate insurance cover in place.  In the auction room, that means owners should be making property insurance provisions as soon as the hammer comes down.  Please click here for details of Aquilla Insurance Brokers who will provide you with more information.

    How do I know if there are subsequent changes made to the property particulars and legal documentation after they are first published?

    Once you have registered your interest in the property you will receive email updates when changes are made or additional information becomes available, including any changes to the guide price or status of the property.

    An addendum is published for the whole auction and will be viewable from the Properties Listing area of this website. A printed version will also be available in the auction room.

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    Setting up your Account
    What are the benefits of an Account?

    By creating an online account with us, you will have access to a range of updates concerning forthcoming and past auctions, information on individual properties, market reports etc.  In addition you will be able to set up your own ‘Property Profile’ which enables you to receive information on properties that match your specific buying criteria you have set up in your Profile.

    How do I set up my account?

    Setting up an online account is easy and you will benefit from a whole range of services Acuitus offers.  Simply click here to complete the registration process.

    How do I create a Property Profile?

    Creating a Property Profile is straightforward and quick.  There are two ways you are able to do this:

    1. Via your Online Account: Login to your online account and go to the Property Profile tab.  Click New and then enter your criteria for Location, Price Range, Sector, Yield and Investment Risk.  It is advisable to enter a Profile Name so you can easily recognise it later.  Please then decide if you would like us to inform you when properties that match your criteria come onto the market.  You will be able to create a maximum of six Property Profiles.
    2. Via the Main Property Listings page: you can also set up your Property Profiles via the main Property Listings page.  In a similar way to the process in a) above, you select your criteria via the filters, then click the Save Search Profile where you will be asked to give your Profile a name and whether you would like us to inform you when matching properties come onto the market.  Once done, click Save and your Property Profile will appear in your online account for future reference.
    How do I create My e-Catalogue?

    My e-Catalogue is a useful tool which allows you to select only those properties which are of interest to you, and which you can then easily follow.  If you register your interest in a property, it will automatically appear in your ‘My Catalogue’.  By registering your interest in a property, you are letting us know that you are potentially interested in purchasing the property. As part of our service you will receive updates from us, including changes to guide prices, legal documents and addendum. If at any time you are no longer interested in a property, please simply remove this from your list.

    In addition, you are also able to save properties to this area to act as a reminder for you of properties you may be interested in.  However unless you tell us, you will not receive updates for these properties.

    How do I delete my Account?

    Please login to your account, and click the HERE button in the last paragraph on your Personal Details page.  Deleting your account will mean that you will no longer be able to login to your website account and you will no longer be sent marketing emails. Should you wish to open a new account on the site in the future, this will be possible by registering again on the website (you will be able to reuse the same email address). You will no longer receive updates on properties you expressed an interest in.

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    Interested in bidding for a Property at Auction
    Do I need to register to bid before the Auction?

    There is no need to register to attend or bid at the auction. However we recommend that you register online for an account as this will enable you to access further information on the lots offered, including the legal pack.

    Can a property be sold or withdrawn prior to auction?

    Yes, a seller can decide to sell or withdraw the property before the auction.  If you are interested in making a bid before the auction please contact the person listed below each property.

    If information or the documents change how do I get updates on a Property?

    Once you have registered your interest in the property you will receive email updates when changes are made or additional information becomes available. You must still contact us on the day of the auction in case the seller or the seller’s solicitors make last minute changes when it is too late for us to email you.

    Are there any legal documents or information I need to know about?

    The legal pack will be available online once we have been provided with the information from the seller’s solicitors. We would recommend that this is reviewed by your legal advisors or that you procure a Buyer’s Legal Pack.  Each property will have its own legal pack including the Special Conditions of Sale which are supplied by the seller's solicitor. If you receive copies they should be checked against the originals before the auction to make sure they have been scanned correctly. Seller's solicitors usually hold title deeds, leases and other documents relevant to the sale and we have them in the auction room before the sale commences.

    We would recommend reviewing the Common Auction Conditions of sale (CAC) which have been published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and regulate the conduct of the bidders at the auction and also the duties and obligations of the seller and buyer after the auctioneer’s hammer falls. You should consult with your legal adviser before bidding and also your accountant regarding the impact of VAT, if applicable, on the sale price.

    If you plan on bidding please read the Conduct of the Auction section of the CAC carefully before arrival.  Should you need help understanding them please contact us, or consult your legal adviser.

    The CAC is an important document and along with the Special Conditions of Sale, any addendum and the Memorandum of Sale, it is your contract of purchase.

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    Bidding at Auction
    Do I need to check if there have been any last minute changes?

    It is always advisable to check if there have been any changes to the property information. When you arrive in the auction room obtain a copy of the auction day addendum and note any changes relating to your lot(s). Additionally the auctioneer will announce any last minutes changes from the rostrum, so it is important to arrive at the outset of the auction.

    How do I bid?

    You are not required to register beforehand, simply ensure that you are in the auction room and that you bid by raising your hand in time and clearly.  If you are the highest accepted bidder when the auctioneer’s hammer falls you are under a binding contract to purchase the property.  An Acuitus team member will meet you and obtain your details and the contact details of the buyer (if it is not you) and the buyer’s solicitor.

    Can I make a bid before the Auction date?

    Yes.  We are required to put all written offers to our clients. Please get in touch with the person listed at the bottom of the property page.

    Can I bid over the telephone?

    Yes. We provide a telephone bidding service, which is subject to the availability of a member of the Acuitus team on the auction day. If you wish to bid via this method please complete a registration form, together with the terms and conditions, can be found by clicking here.  You will need to ensure that the form, together with your cheque, is received by Acuitus no less than two business days prior to the auction. Please be aware that telephone connections can be interrupted and audibility can be impaired.  For some bidders a solicitor's undertaking to transfer the deposit in the event that their telephone bid is successful is a preferred alternative to sending a cheque. This must be by prior arrangement through us. Please give yourself plenty of time before the auction day to make the arrangements with us.

    Can I bid online?

    Yes. Acuitus offers live online bidding facilities via Propertyauctions.com. If you wish to bid via this method, you will need to complete a registration form which, together with the terms and conditions, can be found by clicking here.  You will need to ensure that the form, together your cheque, is received by Acuitus no less than two business days prior to the auction. For some bidders a solicitor's undertaking to transfer the deposit in the event that their telephone bid is successful is a preferred alternative to sending a cheque. This must be by prior arrangement through us. Please give yourself plenty of time before the auction day to make the arrangements with us. As the service is administered by Propertyauctions.com you will also be required to complete a further registration form which can be found by clicking here.

    If I am away on the auction day can I leave an absentee bid with you?

    Yes. Acuitus offers a live online bidding facility via Realbid.co.uk.  If you wish to bid via this method, you will need to complete a registration form which, together with the terms and conditions, can be found by clicking here.   Please ensure that the form, together with your cheque for the deposit, is received by Acuitus no less than two business days prior to the auction. An alternative to a cheque is to transfer funds via bank transfer to the Acuitus Client’s Account but this must be by prior arrangement through us. For some bidders a solicitor's undertaking to transfer the deposit to Acuitus in the event that their bid is successful is a preferred option. A completed terms and conditions registration form and cheque is required for each property.  As the online bidding facility is administered by Realbid.co.uk you will also need to read the Realbid.co.uk terms and conditions for using their bidding platform which can be found by clicking here. Please give yourself plenty of time before the auction day to make the arrangements with us.

    Please note: we would usually recommend that bidders attend the auction in person or appoint someone to attend and bid in their place. This allows bidders to be aware of last minute changes to the auction day addendum or of any announcements from the rostrum. Whilst we try to ensure there are no changes at this stage sellers or their solicitors do occasionally notify us of changes at the last moment or there may be a change to the guide price on the auction day or the property could be sold prior.

    Can I get an agent to bid on my behalf?

    Yes.  You may nominate someone to bid on your behalf.  If they are successful we will require a colour copy Photo ID and a copy proof of address e.g. bank statement or utility bill dated within the last three months.  They will also need to present a colour copy Photo ID of the buyer and a copy proof of address. As the bidder they will be bound by the terms of the contract and you should ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities to us and the seller.

    Can I watch the auction live?

    If you would like to follow the auction live online on the day of the auction you can do so on our website once the auction starts.  Details can be found on the Home Page on the day of the auction.

    When does exchange of contracts take place and can I change my mind?

    A binding exchange of contracts occurs on the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer and you are bound to the purchase. You will have seen all the contractual documentation before you bid and signing the memorandum of sale and other relevant documents is only a formality. The contract you enter into when the hammer falls usually comprises: the Common Auction Conditions, the Memorandum of Sale, the Special Conditions of Sale and any Addendum. Please do take your own legal advice beforehand.

    What happens if I am the successful bidder?

    If you are the highest accepted bidder when the hammer falls you are under a binding contract to purchase the property. An Acuitus team member will meet you and obtain the following details:

    • Your name and contact details, as the bidder
    • The name and contact details of the buyer if the buyer is different from you.
    • The name and address of the solicitor who is acting for the buyer. 

    This information is used to complete the memorandum of sale in the auction room which you will then be required to sign and any other relevant documents such as the Addendum and Special Conditions of Sale.  We will give you copies of the signed documents which you should give to your solicitor.

    A deposit cheque for 10% of the purchase price (subject to a minimum of £1,000) will immediately be required, drawn on an approved financial institution (please see the Common Auction Conditions) and payable to Acuitus.  We do not accept cash. Sometimes the seller’s solicitor may require a different form of payment such as a bank transfer. You should check the Special Conditions of Sale.

    You will also be required to provide two original forms of identification (a colour copy photo ID and a copy proof of address e.g. bank statement or utility bill dated within the last three months) to meet the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

    If the buyer is not the same as the bidder such as company or trust then further checks may be required.

    Where do I sign the Memorandum of Sale?

    You will need to sign the Memorandum of Sale in the Auction Room.  If you make a telephone, internet or absentee bid, you will have already authorised Acuitus to complete this for you.

    Do I need to pay a deposit?

    Yes.  If you are successful we ask for a deposit cheque for 10% of the purchase price (subject to a minimum of £1,000) drawn on an approved financial institution (please see the Common Auction Conditions) and payable to Acuitus Limited.  Subject to the checks under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, the cheque will be specially cleared as soon as possible so please ensure you have adequate funds in your account.  We do not accept cash. Sometimes the seller’s solicitor may require a different form of payment such as a bank transfer. You should check the special conditions of sale.

    Do I need to insure the property on the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer?

    In most cases, the answer is yes. Although the Common Auction Conditions state that the seller will keep their insurance until completion, unless otherwise stated in the Special Conditions of Sale, you will still have to complete the purchase even if the building is destroyed between exchange and the day of completion.

    Can you offer me advice on Insurance?

    No, because we are not regulated by the FCA to do so. We do work with and can recommend Aquilla Insurance Brokers who are authorised and regulated by the FCA and you can contact them by clicking here.

    When do I complete on the purchase?

    Completion of the purchase will normally take place four to six weeks after the date of the auction.  Please ensure you check the Special Conditions of Sale for each lot.

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    Auction Day
    Where is the Auction held?

    Please click here for details on the venue for our current auction.

    Do I need to attend the Auction?

    We would usually recommend that bidders attend the auction in person or appoint someone to attend and bid in their place. This allows bidders to be aware of last minute changes to the auction day addendum or of any announcements from the rostrum. Whilst we try to ensure there are no changes at this stage sellers or their solicitors do occasionally notify us of changes at the last moment or there may be a change to the guide price on the auction day or the property could be sold prior.

    When should I arrive?

    It is recommended you arrive at least half an hour before your lot comes up to familiarise yourself with the Auction room, and to give yourself enough time to review any changes to the property information.  If in any doubt about the time please contact the person listed below each property, as they will be best placed to give you advice.

    Who do I contact to make special access arrangements at the venue?

    If you have any special needs regarding access, seating or disabilities where you require our assistance please let us know.  We will do our utmost to be of service.

    If I need help when I arrive who should I contact?

    Please go to our information / reception desk which we have at all our auctions. You will find it close to the entrance to the auction room.

    If I need to contact you urgently whilst the auction is taking place who should I telephone?

    Please visit the contacts page on this website and ring the mobile number of the person listed below the property you are interested in.

    What documents / identification do I need to bring to the Auction?

    If you are planning on bidding and are the highest bidder you will require a cheque book in your name and two forms of identification. A colour copy Photo ID and a copy proof of address e.g. bank statement or utility bill dated within the last three months. If you are the successful bidder but you are buying for someone else or for your company or trust you will need to bring identification for them as well. Please click here for a summary of documents that are listed in the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

    Can anyone go to the Auction?

    Yes it is a public auction, and anyone is able to attend, subject to the rights of the venue to refuse entry.

    Can I watch the Auction live through the internet?

    Yes, we stream our auctions live via our website.  On the auction day please click this link to view the auction online.

    Where can I find the Auction results?

    The auction results will be displayed immediately after the Auction on the main property listings area of this website. Please ensure the Auction Date filter is set to ‘Last Auction’. If you have registered to receive Acuitus auction news, you will also receive an email from us covering the auction highlights and results.

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    Buying a property by Private Treaty
    What should I be aware of when buying a property by private treaty?

    Please see the section ‘Interested in a particular property’.

    How do I tell you about what I would like to buy?

    Please contact Charlie Powter who will be able to help you on +44 (0)20 7034 4853 or email charlie.powter@acuitus.co.uk

    How do I get alerts on property I might be interested in?

    We recommend that you register for an online account and set up a Property Profile (which covers all your buying criteria, ie location, type of property, price and risk profile).  We are then able to send you properties for sale that match your requirements the moment they become available for sale.

    How do I buy the property?

    Once a price has been agreed with the seller, the main details of the transaction (often called “the heads of terms” or “HOTS”) are confirmed between you and the seller. You will be required to instruct your solicitor to deal with the exchange of contracts with the seller’s solicitor. The date for the completion of your purchase is stated in the contract but it usually takes place 28 days after the exchange of contracts.

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    Selling

    Property for Sale?
    I have a property to sell but I’m not sure it’s suitable for auction or private sale?

    We sell all types of commercial property throughout the UK by both auction and private treaty.  The best way to decide whether your property is suitable for auction or private treaty is to contact us and we will let you know. 

    Who should I seek advice from at Acuitus if I have a property to sell?

    If you have a property or portfolio of properties you would like to discuss in confidence please contact:

    Richard Auterac on +44 (0)20 7034 4851 or email richard.auterac@acuitus.co.uk

    Peter Cunliffe on +44 (0)20 7034 4852 or email peter.cunliffe@acuitus.co.uk

    Charlie Powter on +44 (0)20 7034 4853 or email charlie.powter@acuitus.co.uk

    or any one of the investment directors on the contacts page.  If it is more convenient, you can complete an appraisal form to receive an initial indication.

    What type of properties do you specialise in?

    We advise on properties across all the major commercial investment-grade asset classes of retail, industrial and offices, as well as more specialist properties including distribution, motor trade, leisure, medical and licensed premises.

    Do you sell properties throughout the UK?

    Yes we sell all types of commercial property throughout the UK on behalf of both national and international clients.

    What information do you require from me for the initial appraisal?

    If you wish to sell a property, we recommend you consult the Investment Property Forum (IPF) Readiness for Sale guidelines which can be downloaded from the IPF website. They suggest best practice procedure for ensuring that assets are ready to bring to market in a way which will avoid delay. In order to receive an initial appraisal we will require the following:

    • Full postal address
    • Whether the property is freehold or leasehold
    • Tenancy details
    • A summary of floor areas

    We also recommend providing us with an image of the property and a site / boundary plan.

    How will my property be marketed? Auction or private treaty?

    At Acuitus we offer you impartial authentic advice and guidance, and we will guide you through the various options before deciding what is the right course of action for your property or portfolio.

    If your property is to be sold by auction, a marketing plan is agreed with you and will include:

    • General and targeted email campaigns to our premium database of around 25,000 international, national and local property companies, institutions, investment funds and private investors to ensure maximum exposure to the property market.
    • Targeted marketing campaigns contacting local and national investment agents, adjoining owners and other specially motivated potential buyers and parties who have shown interest in similar properties or locations previously.
    • High visibility of the auction in national and regional press.
    • All property information will be on this website, and over 5,000 auction catalogues are mailed out to key investors
    • Advertising in the Estates Gazette and Property Week, the main commercial real estate publications in the UK.
    • Signage boards on all properties

    If your property is to be sold by private treaty, a marketing plan is agreed with you which can include:

    • Targeted campaigns to known interested investors
    • High quality bespoke brochure outlining the key information of the property
    • Advertising in the Estates Gazette and Property Week, the main commercial real estate publications in the UK.
    What makes Acuitus special?

    An innovative and hugely successful approach to auctions and our bespoke private treaty work has set a new benchmark in the sector.  For more information on Acuitus please see the About us section of this website.

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    Price / Costs
    How do you appraise my property and set a price for sale?

    Once we have received all the necessary information for your property, we will carefully evaluate, comparable properties, review the local market, demographics, take into account any recent sales and rental evidence, assess supply and demand of investors and occupiers, consider the location of the property as well as the property’s current income and the potential future income stream.  Based on our extensive knowledge of investors and of the commercial property market throughout the UK, we will then advise on saleability and pricing. If appropriate we can comment on asset management and marketing initiatives that could enhance the sale price.

    How is the reserve price set if it is an auction sale?

    Acuitus will advise you of the recommended reserve price, but the final decision as to the minimum price acceptable to you will be agreed with you.

    How much does it cost to sell a property with Acuitus?

    Please contact us directly to discuss the current charges for selling your property by auction or by private treaty. There is usually a charge for the marketing costs we incur on your behalf.

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    Once the property has sold
    If selling by Auction when is my property sold?

    The property is sold on the fall of the hammer.  At this point the bidder enters into a legally binding contract to purchase the property.

    When do I get my sale proceeds?

    Typically you will receive the sale proceeds four to six weeks after the auction date upon completion of the sale. This is determined by you in consultation with your solicitor prior to marketing.

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    My Account

      Who knows my password to my online account?

      Only you know your password which you set up when you open your account.

      How do I set my preferences for email updates and alerts?

      Please go to your account and underneath your personal details you will find a section on Password and Preferences.  Please tick the alerts you would like to receive from us in future and then click ‘Save Preferences’

      Do I need to update My Catalogue?

      This will be a personal preference as to whether you would like to have a record of all those properties that you have historically been interested in.

      If my buying criteria changes, can I set up new Property Profiles?

      Yes you can either amend existing Property Profiles or add new ones up to a maximum of six.

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      Glossary

      A-E
      Absentee Bidder

      A bidder who is unable to attend the auction and requests the auctioneer to bid on their behalf up to a maximum price set by the absentee bidder. Details of how to register as an absentee bidder are here.

      Actual completion date

      This is the date when the purchaser takes legal possession of the property.

      Addendum

      An addendum is an addition or an amendment to previously published information concerning a particular auction lot. If you have registered your interest in a property being sold by Acuitus you will receive automatic updates from us if the property has an addendum. In addition, at the auction the Auctioneer will announce if the lot is subject to an addendum.

      Associate Auctioneer

      Also called joint auctioneer.  Another firm or individual who is acting for the seller jointly with the auctioneer.

      Auction

      Auction is a method of selling property.  The difference between this method and private treaty is that the property is sold, usually in a public forum, to the highest bidder, provided the bid offered reaches the reserve price.  Exchange of contracts happens on the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer with completion taking place usually four to six weeks after the date of the auction sale.

      Auctioneer

      The Auctioneer is the person who conducts the auction. He / she introduces each lot offered for sale, informs those present of any changes to the property information, takes bids, and announces whether the lot has sold and at what price.

      Auctioneer’s announcements

      Our auctioneer starts the auction promptly with preliminary announcements which may affect the property you wish to buy. We advise that you should arrive promptly even though the lot you may be interested in may be towards the end of the auction.

      Auction Catalogue

      The auction catalogue contains a brief summary of the information on all the properties which are being offered for sale in the forthcoming auction, which can also be found on this website in the Properties section. The catalogue also contains important information such as the Information for bidders, Common Auction Conditions, and a Memorandum of Sale template. As with all property sales particulars, the details of the property in the auction catalogue do not form part of the contract of sale.

      Auction Marketing

      Auction marketing is an important part of selling property.  Auction properties sold by Acuitus will receive extensive marketing through email campaigns to our wide ranging database of national and international buyers, advertising through trade and local papers, for sale boards and press coverage.

      Bid

      A bid is the offer made by the buyer to purchase the property at a said price. It is usually indicated by raising an arm.

      Buyer’s Legal Report

      This is an independent report prepared by Dentons (one of the largest law firms in the world) that will summarise and give advice on the contents of the legal pack provided by the seller.  Subject to timing and the availability of the seller’s legal documents, these reports can be provided at a significantly discounted fee. Please note that Dentons is acting independently of Acuitus, the seller and the seller’s solicitor and all questions relating to this service must be addressed to Dentons.

      Conditions of Sale

      Conditions of Sale contain the terms upon which the seller of property by auction proposes to sell it.

      Common Auction Conditions of Sale

      The Common Auction Conditions of Sale (CAC) are published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and regulate the conduct of the bidders at the auction and also the duties and obligations of the seller and buyer after the auctioneer’s hammer falls. The CAC is an important document and can be found in the catalogue and on this website.  Along with the Special Conditions of Sale, the Memorandum of Sale and any addendum, the CAC is your contract of purchase.

      Deposit

      A deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price, is the sum paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts to secure the property. There is a minimum deposit of £1,000.

      Due Diligence

      Due diligence is an extremely important process to undertake when purchasing property, as it is an investigation of all aspects of your purchase prior to signing the contract. It includes a survey of the property and the legal pack provided by the seller’s solicitor.

      Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

      EPCs are required by law for buildings when they are built, sold or let. An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs, as well as recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.  An EPC certificate provides a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

      Exchanging contracts

      Exchanging contracts whether by auction or private treaty is the point at which there is a legal obligation for the purchaser to buy the property and for the vendor to sell the property.  At auction exchange of contracts happens on the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer and the relevant information (buyer, price, address etc) is then entered into the Memorandum of Sale which the successful bidder will be asked to sign as a formality.  If you have bought a property at auction, completion of the purchase will normally take place four to six weeks after the date of the auction.

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      F-J
      Freehold

      Owning a freehold property means that you own the building and the land it stands on outright.  The name of the owner (a company, organisation, charity or individual) will be in the land registry as ‘freeholder’, ie owning the title absolutely.

      Guide Price

      The guide price is an indication of the current minimum price at which, or if a guide price range is given, within which, the seller may be prepared to sell.  This may be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction. The guide price does not include either VAT which may apply to the sale or other amounts the seller may charge . The seller’s Special Conditions of Sale and addendum if any, will state whether there are other seller’s charges and whether the seller has elected to charge VAT on the sale price.

      Important Information for Bidders

      This is a document which briefly summarises important information you should familiarise yourself with if you are interested in a property and intend to make a bid for it.

      In the room bid

      ‘In the room bid’ is a term used by the auctioneer to describe a bid that is made from a person physically at the Auction as opposed to a bid made online, by telephone or when the auctioneer is bidding on behalf of an absentee bidder.

      Joint Auctioneer

      Another name for Associate Auctioneer.

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      K-O
      Leasehold

      Leasehold means that you will have a legal contract, called a lease, which will be from a superior landlord, often the freeholder to occupy the property for a fixed number of years. The lease contains the responsibilities and obligations of the landlord and tenant.

      Legal Pack

      The legal pack by the seller’s solicitor and contains all the legal documents that you and your advisors are likely to need to make an informed decision about the property.  It typically contains the following information:

      1. Title Deeds
      2. Leases
      3. Special conditions of sale
      4. Searches and replies to pre-contract enquiries
      5. Office copy entries (certified copies of the land or charge certificate, obtained from the Land Registry, confirming ownership of the property
      Legal Title

      Legal title is a clear and enforceable title representing legal ownership of a property.

      Listed Buildings

      A listed building or listed structure, in the United Kingdom, is one that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. The statutory bodies maintaining the list are Historic England in England; Cadw in Wales; Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland; and NIEA in Northern Ireland.

      Lot

      A lot is a property that has been entered into the Auction for sale.

      Memorandum of Sale

      This forms part of the sale documentation. It confirms the sale price, the date of the contract and the details of the seller, buyer, the buyer’s conveyancing solicitor and the bidder. The Memorandum of Sale template in completed in the auction room.

      Money Laundering Regulations

      Money laundering is how criminals change money and other assets into clean money or assets that have no obvious link to their criminal origins.

      The main UK legislation covering anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism is:

      • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
      • Terrorism Act 2000
      • Money Laundering Regulations 2007

      We comply fully with the law and whether you are a seller or a buyer we will require you to provide the relevant Identification and other forms of documentation. If you are selling or buying in a name other than your own such as a company, trust or SIPP we will need to undertake further checks. 

      My Catalogue

      My Catalogue provides you with an area where you can add available properties from Acuitus Auctions and build your own personal catalogue. This gives you quick access to the ones that interest you and allows you to save them for future reference online or as a pdf.

      Online Bid

      If you wish to bid via this method, you will need to complete the Registration form and provide both your details and those of the bidder.  The form must be delivered to Acuitus by hand or post and received no less than two Business Days prior to the auction.  Please click here to download the Registration form including our Terms and Conditions for this service.

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      P-T
      Private Treaty

      Private Treaty is a method of selling property.  The difference between this method and auction is that the property is sold at a price agreed by the seller and the buyer by negotiation usually through agents. Once the key terms, such as price, have been agreed the seller’s and buyer’s solicitors are instructed to negotiate the contract of sale including gathering information on the property being sold.

      Property Profiles

      Property Profiles are a summary of your requirements, such as property type, property location, price etc, which can be created in order that Acuitus is able to send you properties that match your Profiles. Property Profiles can be created by you on the Acuitus website by logging into your online account.

      Proxy Bid

      Another name for “absentee bidder”. 

      Registered Interest

      By registering your interest in a property, you are letting us know that you are potentially interested in purchasing the property. As part of our service you will receive updates from us, including changes to guide prices, legal documents and addendum. If at any time you are no longer interested in a property, please simply remove this from your list.

      Reserve price

      The reserve price is the minimum price acceptable to the seller and the price below which the auctioneer cannot sell. This is may be subject to change up to and including the day of the auction.

      Risk profile

      All investments carry a risk that returns may go up or down. Investing in a property which is let for a long time to a financially strong tenant usually has a lower risk than a development.

      In Understanding UK Commercial Property Investments –A Guide For Financial Adviser 2015, the Investment Property Form provides the following explanation on the levels of risks:

      Core (Low Risk)

      Tend to:

      • Be unleveraged
      • Comprise higher quality (and relatively liquid ) assets with reasonable income duration and security
      • Offer limited asset management opportunities.

      Core plus (Low to medium risk) (also known as value-add)

      Tend to:

      • Employ some leverage
      • Focus on properties with more risk but with greater opportunity to add value.

      Opportunistic

      Tend to:

      • Be leveraged
      • Focus on less liquid assets with a higher risk/return reward profile, for example, largely or completely empty buildings, development sites, buildings with only a short time remaining on the leases and ‘over-rented’ buildings
      Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

      The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the world's leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property, infrastructure and construction.  Further information on the RICS can be found on their website: www.rics.org.  Acuitus is a member of RICS.

      Seller

      A seller is a company, organisation, fund charity, public body or private individual who has legal ownership of a property and has decided to sell it either by private treaty or by auction.

      Site Plan

      A site plan shows the extent of ownership and is included in the Land Register. The site plan in the sales particulars is for identification only.

      Special Conditions of Sale

      Each property will have its own Special Conditions of Sale which can be found in the legal pack for that property. They are specifically written for that property and contain very important information concerning what is being sold and other matters that will affect you. These form part of your contract of purchase and have been prepared by the seller and the seller’s solicitor.

      Stakeholder

      Stakeholder means that the deposit is held by the auctioneer or seller’s solicitor and is not released to the seller until completion has taken place

      Telephone Bid

      A telephone bid can be used when a bidder is unable to attend the auction.  A member of the Acuitus team will telephone the bidder from the salesroom and act as a relay between the bidder and the auctioneer. Click here for the terms of use and the application form.

      Tenure

      Tenure is the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined, among people, as individuals or companies / organisations, with respect to land. The principal forms of tenure are freehold or leasehold

      TOGC

      Transfer of a Going Concern (TOGC) relates to VAT on a property and is specifically referred to in the Common Auction Conditions. If a property is subject to VAT it is important that you consult your tax advisers before the auction.

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      U-Z
      VAT

      Value Added Tax (VAT) is levied on the sale of goods or services by UK businesses.  The current standard rate for VAT is 20%.  Each property for sale by Acuitus will clearly indicate if VAT is applicable.

      Withdrawal

      A property can be withdrawn by the seller from the auction prior to the auction.

      Yield

      A yield is the return you can expect on an investment.  A gross initial yield (GIY) is the current net rent divided by the purchase price expressed as a percentage. A net initial yield (NIY) is the current net rent divided by the purchase price plus the buyer’s costs of purchase such as Stamp Duty Land Tax and legal fees.

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