New Year, New House?


This time of year is a popular time for putting your house on the market. It could be the first time you've done this, or you could be an 'old pro'. Whatever the circumstance, you need to be properly prepared for a sale.

Green Home

Get Your Paperwork Right!

We have some tips for new home sellers or sellers who just want to make sure all the bases are covered to make your sale as smooth as possible. Typically, when the sale of a house takes a bumpy ride it may be due to the buyer. This is obviously out of your control, but having your paperwork in order is a good place to start to make sure you're prepared.

In terms of getting your documentation in order, you will need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Whenever a house is bought, sold, or rented - you'll need one of these certificates. It provides information on the property's energy use, typical energy costs, and how to reduce and improve on this performance. If you haven't obtained one in the last 10 years, you'll have to make sure one is provided to potential buyers.

Something that a buyer and their mortgage lender will need are any planning permissions and/or building regulation approvals for work you have had done to the property. If you can't obtain your planning permission, you should speak to their solicitor about the missing documentation. If they contact the council directly for missing documentation, this could invalidate any indemnity insurance policies that the buyer may be prepared to rely on.

Could You Do More?

Is there anymore that you could do to make your job easier?

The answer is yes! When it comes to installation certificates such as 'gas safe' and FENSA, who are responsible for regulating double glazing contractors, having them there will add legitimacy to what you already have. This will make buyers aware that anything you've had installed was done by competent contractors.

If the property you're selling is a new build, built in the last 10 years, you'll need the National House Building Council (NHBC) certificate and all the planning documentation. By passing this over to the buyer, they benefit from the remaining cover on the policy. Your solicitor will usually ask for these at the start of the conveyancing process to pass on, on your behalf. If you've lost track of where this certificate is, you'll have to contact the NHBC for a replacement.

Before properties were registered with the Land Registry, title to the land was tied to you having the 'title deeds'. If this is the case, or the property is leasehold, you should make sure you have a copy of the lease or title deeds. Without these, the buyers cannot be sure that the property or land is actually yours to sell and could slow down and the process. A slower process could lead to the loss of your buyer and/or o higher costs in the end, something you may not have anticipated.

Ultimately, the more documentation you can provide at the outset to the buyer, the more likely the process will proceed in a more straightforward way. Buyers are aiming to avoid being gazumped in the current property market and more than likely, they'll have all of their affairs in order.

The buyers are ready, but are you?

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