If you want to complete your property sale quickly here are some helpful hints from an experienced conveyancing solicitor.
Have all your documents to hand. This includes invoices for alterations, guarantees, planning permissions, building regulations consents, gas central heating service histories, certificates for electrical works and so on. See the full list at the bottom of the article.
Otherwise you will delay your sale.
It is not your Conveyancer's job, or possible for them to magically locate your deeds, guarantees, or installation / alteration documents. These are yours to provide! Contact your installer where necessary. If you are currently thinking of selling now is the time to pull all of this together.
Have your planning, building regulations, FENSA, ELECSA, NICEIC, NHBC, Service History and guarantee documents ready.
You can order duplicate FENSA Certificates (Building Regulations for new windows ) here.
You may hold old deeds or documents from your purchase. Your Conveyancer will order your deeds (office copies) from HM Land Registry. It does help if you provide what you can. The public can also obtain deeds here:
If your property is leasehold then have your Lease, Ground Rent receipts, Service Charge Accounts and Management Company details ready. If you were served any Notices these are vital. Especially those regarding Major Works - which will increase your Service Charge.
Tell your management company you are selling and once you find a buyer order the leasehold management pack(s) (AND pay the fees for these). This will avoid lengthy delays in your conveyancing. Unfortunately, the leasehold management packs could take up to 8 weeks to arrive. Having these to hand is essential to complete quickly.
There may be 2 packs required if 2 different companies deal with ground rent and service charges. Be thorough. Your Conveyancer does not have personal knowledge of the property and needs you to be proactive regarding the packs.
You also risk extra fees or disbursements such as indemnity insurance if your Conveyancer has to chase installers or the council to obtain certificates, guarantees, consents or planning permissions which are lost. These are documents that you would have been provided at the time.
It is amazing how few sellers can provide them but are dismayed at the resulting delays that stops them from completing quickly.
The buyer's solicitors will insist on receipt of these documents to satisfy mortgage terms and conditions. Additionally, law firms have their own due diligence, so they are not sued post-completion.
TRY NOT TO GIVE MISLEADING RESPONSES
A seller has recently been sued for misleading a buyer about the presence of Japanese Knotweed at the property. The case centred on the seller's responses to questions in the sellers property information form. These were found to be misleading.
The seller lost the case and had to pay damages to the buyer. See my article on the subject. If you are not sure always put "not known and not investigated". Do not put "not known" alone. You probably now need to qualify this to avoid misleading buyers. If you have treated Japanese Knotweed on your property, then say so. Do not take the risk.
Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant species which can take over your garden and cause property damage. Be aware that bamboo is also of concern. If these plants spread from yours to a neighbour's property, and cause damage, you are liable and can be pursued.
Buyer Beware applies and the buyer must carry out relevant searches, surveys and inspections. However, if you give misleading information you will still be liable for any losses the buyer suffers and can prove. This is called misrepresentation in legal proceedings.
It is best to have your house in order before you agree an offer, to enable you to complete quickly!
DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED INCLUDES:
Land registry documents
Compliance sign off for septic tank
Woodburning stoves and fires- HETA certificates
Agreements relating to other shared space
Planning Permission and building control sign off documents where work has been undertaken
Existing details of any covenants
Building and content insurance documents
Who owns boundary fences/walls
Any easements, rights of way, access issues?
FENSA certificates for replaced windows
Any other warranties including electrical and boiler checks
If you would like to work with an experienced South Wales conveyancer who will work with you to complete quickly, please contact me to request a quote today.