Buying a house at auction can be an exciting, if nerve wracking, way to get a property bargain. But for Sam Eyres and Richard Edmunds it turned into an emotional rollercoaster.
Richard Edmunds and Sam Eyres
The couple had set their hearts on renovating a derelict house set in beautiful countryside near Rudry, Caerphilly. It was in an ideal rural location, near family and friends and just 20 minutes from Cardiff.
The property was for sale at an auction with a guide price of £90,000 through Cardiff agency Seel and Co.
The couple joined the bidding, and won the property for a price of £100,000. They were delighted, but minutes later their joy turned to heartache when another bidder complained to the auctioneer. The bidder said he had tried to bid and his offer had been missed.
Richard said, "There was a bit of shouting at the back of the room. I didn’t take much notice of it at first. But then it seemed someone - or so he said - had been trying to bid and the auctioneer hadn’t seen him."
Even though the fall of the auctioneer's hammer usually means a binding contract, there is a rule in standard auction terms and conditions which allows the auctioneer to adjudicate over disputed bids.
So, in Richard and Sam's case, the auctioneer reopened the bidding. The property went to another bidder for £101,000.
The couple have complained to the auctioneers - who say they followed correct procedure. If they wanted to try to get the house they could go to court - but they would have to risk thousands of pounds on a case they may not win.
"It’s quite painful. You look around at the beautiful scenery and this is what could and should have been ours. It’s very difficult. To have it snatched away for us in such a manner is just gut wrenching," said Sam.