Plant & Machinery Auctioneers: The Dos & Dont’s!
Marriott & Co. is a highly professional, independent RICS Regulated firm of Plant & Machinery Auctioneers.
The firm’s membership of the RICS ensures we must demonstrate its five professional and ethical standards meaning that we always: (1) act with integrity, (2) provide a high standard of service, (3) act in a way which promotes trust in the profession, (4) treat others with respect and (5) take responsibility.
We have been undertaking Auction Sales of plant & machinery throughout our 31-year history. For those of you who are not familiar with the comprehensive service that we provide, the following points offer some guidance as to what we hope may set us apart from some other plant & machinery auctioneers:
|What we do||What we do NOT do!|
|Prepare a formal Red Book valuation of the assets to be auctioned, in order to be able to recommend and agree appropriate reserve prices with the seller. The valuation cost can be included in the selling commission when appropriate so that no upfront charge to the seller is made||Estimate reserve prices on a whim and / or without agreeing them to ensure we do not sell assets for significantly less than their market value|
|Have a comprehensive ‘Seller’s Agreement’ for both the auctioneer and the seller to sign and thereby agree terms and fees at the outset. This is especially important for new clients.||Fail to agree terms of engagement and as a result end up in dispute with our clients regarding what is expected of us and / or what we may charge|
|Attend site to lot up, taking full detailed descriptions of assets, sorting through minor items, and displaying each lot attractively for sale with photographs||Ask the seller to send us the descriptions and photographs and / or give poor, inaccurate descriptions of the lots thereby deterring potential buyers from bidding|
|Carry out a risk assessment to identify and mitigate any hazards so far as is practically possible||Ignore potential health safety issues and hazards at the auction site thereby putting our staff and bidders at risk whilst attending the site|
|Upload the assets to our auction website which uses professional online auction software to allow competitive bidding to take place electronically||Carry out live auctions, which many modern buyers are disinclined to attend|
|Undertake bespoke professional marketing for every sale in order to ensure that maximum possible bid prices are achieved and we can confidently recommend the highest offers to our client||Fail to market the assets properly thereby resulting in a lack of competitive bidding and disappointing realisations|
|Deal with all queries from potential buyers promptly and effectively||Fail to answer reasonable buyer questions when it was possible to do so, thereby resulting in them losing interest|
|Advise buyers of any known faults by including the fault in the asset description||Omit known faults from the lot description in order to mislead buyers into bidding more than they would have done otherwise|
|Ensure that fair bidding takes place in accordance with UK auction law||Bid in the auction ourselves, above or below reserve, as we deem this to be ‘creating a false market’|
|Obtain instructions for safe use wherever possible, obtain buyer waivers / undertakings for potentially unsafe goods and exclude assets whenever appropriate||Put buyers, our clients, and ourselves at risk by breaching health and safety regulations, e.g. selling assets we know to be unsafe without informing the buyer|
|Invite viewings of the assets personally, keep a first aid kit on site and supervise viewers to ensure they are safe, have signed in and out for fire safety and have explicitly agreed to the Health & Safety rules on site||Refuse to allow viewings when it is possible for them to take place, and / or negligently supervise viewings by ignoring health and safety issues / hazards|
|Have no financial interest in the assets and to always be mindful of our overriding duty to act in our client’s best interests||Trade in plant & machinery as a ‘side line’ thereby causing potential conflicts of interest and a temptation to ‘bid people up’ and potentially ‘buy machines in’ when they have not done as well as hoped in the auction|
|Invoice purchasers and receive payment for lots which have met reserve immediately after the auction and take our client’s instructions for lots which have not met reserve (which are usually few and far between) negotiating improved offers wherever possible||Fail to keep our client informed about the progress of the auction and then sell lots which have not met reserve without receiving instructions to do so|
|Obtain health and safety method statements from buyers prior to allowing the removal of heavy machinery etc.||Let buyers turn up to site unprepared for how they are going to remove the lots, thereby causing delay and potential conflict|
|Oversee removals of assets, supervising buyers to ensure they comply with their method statements||Allow buyers to remove machinery unsupervised and / or unsafely without having considered potential hazards and required safety equipment|
|Account to our clients promptly with their monies that have been safely ring fenced in our RICS Regulated client account||Put our clients at potential risk by holding the realised funds/trust funds in any account other than our designated client account|
By Thomas Allman MRICS