10 May 2018

Preparing to Sell Your Property

By Nic Sheldrake, Director, Hayes + Storr

The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming as the long-forgotten hint of summer approaches. Thoughts turn to the new school term, the need for a change of venue or scenery, and a house move is on the cards. If you are thinking of selling your home, ensure you put first things first; tidy up the garden, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and get rid of the accumulating pile of ‘stuff’ in the cupboard under the stairs, the loft, garage or shed.

Decluttering can make a huge difference to a successful sale, and you’ll want the homestead to look it’s very best before you call the estate agent for the all-important valuation. That’s all well and good, but have you ever stopped to think about your legal title? How about the information needed to assist in a smooth, trouble-free legal transaction once a buyer has been found? It’s all very well that you had clean new windows installed a few years ago, but do they have the appropriate Building Regulation Compliance Certificate? The same applies to the energy-efficient boiler; does this have a valid Gas Safe/Oftec Installation or Compliance Certificate?

Many new installations in our homes require certification that the work has been carried out by an accredited tradesman. That requirement extends beyond windows and boilers to electrical works, wood burners, and even brickweave driveways. Building Regulation Compliance Certificates will be required by your buyer and their mortgage company at the request of their solicitor. Without these important documents, there’s a risk that the Local Authority could take enforcement action, forcing you (as the owner) to put those works right at your own cost.

Following the sale’s completion, you will have no recourse to the seller, unless they have misled you during the conveyancing process. Many property transactions are delayed
as a result of certificates not being provided to the acting solicitor, either because they’ve been lost or because they were never given in the first place. These certificates, together with any guarantees for the works, should be kept safe and handed to the solicitor acting in your sale as soon as you decide to place your property on the market.

In the event that you don’t have the appropriate certificates, insurance policies may be available to cover the risk, which Hayes + Storr can arrange ready for your sale. We can also thoroughly check your paperwork before you sell. That way, you’ll know that when an offer on your property is accepted, there should be no delays as a result of your legal paperwork not being as tidy as your home.

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek our specific advice.

If you would like further advice on this matter please contact Nic on 01328 863231. If you require advice on any other legal matter please call 01553 778900, email law@hayes-storr.com or visit any of our local offices.

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