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Auction Guide Prices: When Is A Guide Price Not A Guide Price?

Most people who attend auctions probably know - or at least think they know - what a guide price is. However, a recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) brings what might be some widely held assumptions into question. In this report we will look at what this means for the auction property buyer.

First of all, what does the average 'punter' believe a guide price is? Many would perhaps agree it is a handy tool to help identify properties that are around their budget, together with an indication of where bidding might start. Although it may happen, would many seasoned buyers expect to be able to always buy at guide price?

It seems, however, someone did. Earlier this year a complaint was made to the ASA regarding an Auction House UK auction in the north east. The complainant, who understood several properties at a previous auction had had reserves higher than the guide prices and therefore could not be bought at the guide prices, challenged whether the listed guide prices were misleading.

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