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In a sealed bid auction, each potential buyer submits their highest offer for the property. The one with the highest offer is chosen as the winner. This type of auction is often used when there is significant interest in a property from competing buyers and is seen as a way for sellers to receive multiple offers before settling on a final price.

Sealed bidding is a fair and transparent way to award contracts, and it ensures that all bidders have an equal chance of winning the contract.

However, one downside to this method is that it can be challenging to know what other buyers are offering, making it hard to gauge how much you should bid. Additionally, if your bid isn't high enough, you could end up paying more for the property than you would have if you had simply made an initial offer. As such, it's essential to do your research and work with an experienced real estate agent before participating in a sealed bid auction.

What Are Sealed Bids in the UK

A sealed bid is a type of auction made by potential buyers to buy a property from sellers.

For example, in a sealed bid auction, each potential buyer submits their highest offer for the property in a sealed envelope. The bids are then opened, and the highest offer is chosen as the winner. This type of auction is often used when there is significant interest in a property from competing buyers and is seen as a way for sellers to receive multiple offers before settling on a final price.

Like in a blind auction, the bidders are unaware of how much the other participants have bid. The seller usually chooses the most appealing offer to them, which means that it may not always be the highest bid. Some things that are more appealing to the seller include buyers who have a small or no property chain, want to move quickly or are genuine cash buyers.

One important thing to remember is that your offer is not legally binding when you offer a sealed bid on a property in England and Wales. This means that either party can walk away from the transaction until the contracts are signed and exchanged. So, a property sale will only be legal once all parties have signed and exchanged the contract.

How Does a Sealed Bid Work When Buying a House

Buying a house through sealed bidding is like buying a house using traditional ways. You still need to visit the property before making a sealed bid. The agent will announce when you can start sealed bidding, and buyers should be able to submit it on or before the given time frame.

The buyers must submit their offers in writing, including the amount they wish to bid and any additional information needed. Your bid amount will be kept confidential until all of the bids have been collected. But remember that it's best to hand-deliver the letter to the property agent so they receive it on time. If you're sending it by email, ask for a confirmation from the agent once they receive the email.

Making a sealed bid can be a good strategy if multiple buyers are interested in the same property. It can also help keep your bidding process more private and confidential if that's important to you. However, it's important to remember that there is no guarantee that your bid will be accepted, even if it is the highest one received by the seller.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) advises against bidding on a property in round numbers. This is because you will probably encounter the same amount of bids from other competitors, which can lower your chances of being accepted or winning. You can add an extra amount to your bid so it can make your bid stand out. For instance, instead of offering £300,000, you can make an offer of £300,198.

Once all the bids have been collected, the seller will choose the highest bidder as the winner. But before that, if the seller receives a higher bid from someone after you have bid on the property, they may persuade you to increase your bid. You are not obliged to do this and can choose to accept or deny the request.

Keep in mind that the bid is not legally binding at this point, so the buyers could back out of the sale even if you agree to their terms.

Once the seller contacts the winning buyer and finally agrees on the final price, the conveyancing process may begin.

How to Decide How Much You Need to Offer

Bidders should be aware of the current state of the property market and the asking price set by the seller before making a bid. They should also consider their financial situation and what they are willing to pay for the property.

When making an offer on a property, be sure not to overbid. It may be tempting to make yourself look like a more appealing bidder, but overbidding can be detrimental. If your lender values the property lower than your offer, you could be left without the necessary funds.

The property agent's goal is to get the highest possible price for the property. However, their advice should not be the only determining factor in your decision and should only be used as a guide. It is also essential to look at other property listings in the area to get an idea of how much the property (you want to bid) is worth.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Sealed Bidding

The main advantage of sealed bidding is that it is a fair and transparent process. All bidders have an equal opportunity to submit a bid, which is open and evaluated in a public setting.

There are some disadvantages to sealed bidding, including the fact that it can be a lengthy process and that there is often little room for negotiation. Additionally, sealed bidding may not be the best option for complex projects.

Sealed bidding is a widely used process that can benefit many procurement situations.

What Happens If Your Bid Gets Rejected

If the seller doesn't contact you to say that your bid has been rejected, it's time to keep looking for a house. You can stay in touch with their property agent so they can let you know about any similar properties you might be interested in.

If the seller has already rejected your bid, don't feel disappointed or discouraged. Remember that other properties on the market are a better fit for you. Try not to get too attached to any property and remain open to other options.


When you are ready to purchase a property, sealed bidding is a great way to get the best price possible. This is because sealed bidding allows you to submit your bid anonymously, without the pressure of other buyers driving up the price. By following the tips in this article, you will be able to get the most out of your property purchase.

Once you've secured your property, the next step involves the conveyancing process.

Compare conveyancing quotes through Conveyancing Calculator. Our quotes are provided by SRA-regulated conveyancing solicitors in London who are experts in the property market. You can also contact us for sound conveyancing advice. We will work with you to ensure that the conveyancing process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.


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