Critical Analysis:

SDL Property Auctions Review (2024)

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When you’re selling your property, it’s of vital importance to know who you’re working with.

This is our independent SDL Property Auctions review. Our private researchers analysed their company records, strengths and weaknesses.

In here, you’ll find everything you need to know about SDL Property Auctions and whether you should trust them to sell your property quickly.

Table of Contents

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Company

Established in

November 1986

Members of RICS

Yes

Members of NAVA

Yes

Members of TPO

Yes

Registered with ICO

Yes

How often are auctions held

National property auction monthly / online auctions daily

Online auctions

Yes

Fees

Not shown

Complaints procedure

Yes

Customer service

4.8 / 5

Google rating

4.9 / 5 (101 reviews)

Trustpilot rating

4.7 / 5 (672 reviews)

Reviews.co.uk rating

N / A

Feefo rating

N / A

SDL Property Auctions is one of the UK’s largest and most successful live-streamed auctioneers. They sell hundreds of residential, commercial and development land lots every month for both private individuals and corporate clients looking for a fast, hassle-free sale.

4.8/5

4.8 / 5

1. SDL Property Auctions: Company Overview

(source: Companies House)

SDL Property Auctions operate nationwide, offering a range of property auction services. This includes traditional auction events which are streamed online for national and international bidders. They also offer timed online auctions – also known as the Modern Method of Auction – which take place every day. 

The company has up-to-the-minute technology to facilitate their auctions and are able to offer a wide range of selling options, covering a wide range of fees, including fee-free options.

Whether all of that’s true, will be revealed in this review.

Auction houses offer a quick and easy way to sell your property. This sits somewhere between selling at full price with an estate agent, which can take six months or more, and selling to a fast cash buyer, which will be quicker than an auction sale, but may get you a lower price.

Auctions can generate a higher selling price for your property if there is competitive interest, however there are no guarantees. You may not sell at all if there is no bid matching your reserve price. This can delay your sale until the next auction or beyond. A cash home buyer may not give you as much as you could get at an auction, but your sale will be swift and guaranteed.

2. SDL Property Auctions: Strengths & Weaknesses

When it comes to experience and expertise, SDL Property Auctions are hard to beat. They have many years behind them, selling thousands of properties successfully every year. They are known and trusted as one of the UK’s premier auction houses and offer properties stretching from Scotland to the south of England. 

Are they NAEA members?

All UK auction houses must be a member of NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark and SDL are no different. They are a Propertymark industry supplier and members of the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers (NAVA). These registrations ensure fair and reasonable governance and best practice.

Are they TPO members?

SDL Property Auctions are members of the Property Ombudsman and adhere to their strict code of practice. Membership of TPO also gives customers a route for complaints and grievances, with independent adjudication on disputes.

Are They Regulated By RICS?

Yes, SDL Property Auctions are regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Under RICS rules, auctioneers selling real estate (incorporating Common Auction Conditions) must ensure that clients are provided with terms of engagement that are fair and clear. These should meet all legal requirements and relevant codes of practice including reference to complaints-handling procedures and, where it exists, an appropriate redress scheme.

They must also do the utmost to avoid conflicts of interest and, where they do arise, to deal with them openly, fairly and promptly.

Are they Registered With The ICO?

SDL Property Auctions’ parent company, Eddisons Commercial Ltd has been registered with the Information Commissioners’ Office since 2001. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulatory body set up to uphold information rights. The ICO also governs all forms of data collection and advertising intelligence. The ICO has a Free Online Checker where you can verify whether a company is registered with them or not.

Are they GDPR Compliant?

The SDL Property Auctions website lists comprehensive privacy and cookie policies that show that the company is GDPR compliant in how they collect, store and use your data. 

Nonetheless, users should be aware that their details may be provided to other companies and services, who may send unsolicited emails or call you directly. Users are urged to err on the side of caution when providing personal information, and always read any cookie / data use agreements carefully before clicking your consent.

Have They Traded For More Than 5 Years?

SDL Auctions is a longstanding and respected auction house that has been in business for many years. Their parent company, Eddisons Commercial Ltd, has been trading since 1986.

We use the ‘over/under 5 years trading time’ as a metric to gauge whether a company is an established entity with a lot of experience under their belt or just a newly founded business that may not have the expertise or reputation you can rely on.

How often Are Auctions Held?

SDL Property Auctions hold traditional auctions from their head office events every month, with a live auctioneer taking bids at the podium. These are broadcast widely and accept bids via telephone, online or by proxy as well as from bidders in the room at the time.

They also have daily timed auctions, using the Modern Method of Auction, where bids are placed online up to a set deadline time.

It should be noted that different rules govern traditional and modern method auctions, including when contracts are exchanged, what payment or deposit is due on the day of the auction, and the deadlines for completion. It is vital to fully understand these terms or you risk losing money by missing a payment or a deadline.

How long does it take to sell?

With a traditional auction, buyers will exchange contracts on the day and must complete the sale within 28 days. This provides the seller with a very swift sale, however it may not leave enough time for potential buyers to arrange a mortgage and so will limit the market to developers, professional buyers and people buying with cash. You may face delays waiting for the next auction, which could add a month or more to your sale time.

With the modern method of auction (timed auctions online) the winning bidder pays a reservation fee and has 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 28 days to complete. This is a slower way to sell but does open up the market to a wider range of buyers. With this method, there is no waiting for the next formal auction and sellers can have their property listed or relisted much sooner.

SDL Property Auctions do not share information on their average time to sell on their website, or on their success rate for selling properties.  

Charitable Initiatives

Supporting a charity is by no means proof that an auction house is necessarily ‘good’.

In fact, dodgy companies might purposefully support and/or pretend to support a charity just to win brownie points and credibility in the eyes of the customer.

All that being said, it’s still important to acknowledge when a company genuinely supports a charitable cause.

We didn’t find any charitable initiatives which SDL Property Auctions support. Nevertheless, some companies prefer to donate privately or anonymously rather than stating it publicly. 

Anything Else Suspicious?

We didn’t find anything that raises suspicion during our thorough research of SDL Property Auctions. Our investigators sifted through all of the data and legal records of SDL Property Auctions and everything was clean.

However, we’ll redact this paragraph at the first glimpse of dodgy practices.

We never stop researching and our unbending commitment to excellence doesn’t waver. This paragraph is only valid up until the ‘Last Updated’ date of this review, which can be found at the top of this page.

Anything Else You Should Know About?

As far as we are aware, SDL Property Auctions haven’t received any additional awards or prizes. 

There’s nothing more we could add.

3. SDL Property Auctions: Customer Experience

To assess the overall user experience (UX) of SDLauctions.co.uk we first analysed their website for ease of use and intuitiveness.

There is a great deal of information available on their website, for both sellers and buyers. This explains everything you need to know, even if this is the first time you have sold a property at auction. 

The site is illustrated by a friendly cartoon character to make it feel more accessible, and it features a live chat function and a comprehensive Q&A section to answer any questions or queries you may have. 

There site also lists an ‘advice hub’ as well as a freephone number, email address and a click button to get a free sales valuation.

They also have a series of videos available on their YouTube channel, walking you through each stage of the process.

First Response Time

We calculated their First Response Time (FTR) by messaging them at approximately 2:30 PM on a non-holiday weekday (on a Friday to be exact) and used a stopwatch to estimate how long it took them to respond.

SDL Property Auctions responded in 1 minute and 25 seconds.

Which is much faster than the industry average. And a fast FRT is something we consider highly important, especially in this sector.

A faster response time suggests that the home-selling company is better equipped to deal with customer queries.

And if they’re better equipped to deal with customer queries, then it means they’re investing their resources where it matters the most.

Client Satisfaction Guarantee

We also asked if they offer some sort of ‘Client Satisfaction Guarantee’, and if yes, what would that guarantee consist of.

They currently don’t offer a Client Satisfaction Guarantee but they’re happy to help resolve any issues and problems, within reason, as soon as possible.

Client Complaints Procedure

Any company worth its salt should have a formal complaints procedure on their website, where clients can express any disagreements, issues or just plain dissatisfaction with the overall service.

By having such a complaints procedure in place, the company shows that they are willing to listen and if possible, rectify any problems that may arise.

SDL Property Auctions not only has a published complaints procedure, but also has a named member of staff whom you can contact with any complaints. This is their Compliance Manager, Lucy Dan, who can be reached via email at lucy.dan@sdlauctions.co.uk .

If you are still unsatisfied after following the steps laid out in the complaints procedure, you can raise the issue with the Property Ombudsman. 

Speaking To Past Customers

A legitimate auction house that does what it promises shouldn’t have a problem letting you speak to their past customers.

Of course they need to have the permission of the individual involved and provide some kind of proof that it is a genuine past client of theirs.

We strongly encourage all our readers to ask to speak to a past client.

 

4. SDL Property Auctions: Online Presence

In this section, we’ll discuss what the public thinks of SDL Property Auctions and what online reviews the company has received.

Keep in mind that online reviews can be easily faked.

It works both ways. 

The company in charge might hire fake review writers to write positive reviews.

Or on the other hand, their competitors might hire fake review writers to write negative reviews and tarnish the said company’s reputation.

Also, social media followers can be artificially inflated.

That’s why we deem this section as purely anecdotal.

Nonetheless, we use trained researchers with a sceptical eye to go through SDL Property Auctions social media presence and online reviews.

Customer reviews

  • Google rating 4.9/5 (101 reviews)
  • Trustpilot rating 4.7/5 (672 reviews)

Domain Rating

  • Domain Rating (DR) – 62 / 100
  • Search Traffic – 12,500 unique visitors per month

Social media presence

  • Facebook – 4.6k Likes; 5.1k Followers 
  • Twitter – 2943 Followers 
  • LinkedIn – 3k Followers
  • Instagram – 3,322 followers
  • YouTube channel 

Media Mentions

  • N/A

TV Channel Features

  • N/A

We didn’t find anything suspicious with SDL Property Auctions’ social media or online presence, nor with their customer reviews.

We also didn’t find anything suspicious with their domain rating and backlink profile nor their unique monthly search traffic. 

The Final Verdict

SDL Property Auctions is one of the largest and most successful property auction houses in the UK and is well regarded within the industry.

We thoroughly examined their strengths and weaknesses, user experience (UX), customer service and overall online presence.

SDL Property Auctions are members of the NAVA and TPO, and they are registered with the ICO. They are regulated by RICS and are a Propertymark industry supplier

They offer a range of ways to sell your home fast, including traditional and modern method auctions. Traditional auctions are held every month and broadcast live online, while modern method auctions take place every day.

They have excellent customer service and have both a freephone and a live chat widget.

They have a good complaints procedure, an informative website and extensive guides to help buyers and sellers who are new to property auctions.

We will be continuously updating this review as we do with all of our other content. If SDL Property Auctions decide to alter, amend or modify something, then we’ll make sure to adjust our critique and score accordingly.

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Compare Companies

SDL Property Auctions is just one of the many fast home-buying companies in the UK.

In order to make sure you choose the right one, it’s best if you compare them all.

Look at their strengths & weaknesses, their pros & cons and make an informed decision.

It’s essential to know you’re in safe hands, that’s why we’re here to help.

Use our company comparison table to find a reliable and trustworthy service, and decide whether expediting the sale of your property is the right thing for you. 

Content Updates

This review is being constantly screened by our investigator team and will be corrected in line with the emergence of new evidence. 

If a company contacts us with a genuine and verifiable piece of information which supports their cause, then we’ll immediately redact the review and point to the new information. 

On the other hand, if we discover that a company which we’ve previously praised for a certain industry trait, starts to dabble in dodgy practices, we’ll also redact the review immediately.

We’ll point to our new findings and we’ll adjust the table metrics and scores accordingly. 

For this reason, make sure to take notice of the ‘last updated’ date at the top of this page.

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