What documents do I need to sell my house?
You’ve carried out some renovations, found the ideal estate agent with the best value agent fees, and now you’re ready to embark on the process of selling your house.
The next step is to get the paperwork together. It’s time to ask “what certificates do I need to sell my house?”
The good news is that we’ve got all the information about the documents you need to sell the property you’re currently living in.
So, read the following jargon buster guide to selling a home and learn everything you need to know.
The Management Information Pack
Anyone living in a leasehold property or who is required to pay ground rent and service charges must obtain a Leasehold Information Pack or Management Information Pack.
When you need to sell your property fast, these documents are essential.
They contain all the critical information which could convince a potential buyer to purchase your home. Since the pack may not arrive for several weeks, you need to buy it as quickly as possible.
You can obtain the documents via your solicitor, but if you want, it’s also possible to get hold of the pack independently via the managing agent or freeholder.
If you’ve lived in your leasehold property for over two years, it might be worth extending it since it may significantly increase your property’s value.
A leasehold that has less than 80 remaining years, for example, will usually be worth considerably less than one with 85 years remaining, since landlords can charge more for the value increase that the extension adds to the property.
As another consideration, a lot of mortgages don’t cover short leaseholds so check this out too.
Proof Of Identity
To sell a house, you must give your conveyancing solicitor some ID that proves you are the person you’ve said you are.
Usually, this will be proof of address for the property where you currently live (for example one of your utility bills or a bank statement), together with photo ID (such as a driving licence or passport).
It’s possible other documents could be accepted in their place, so you should confirm with your conveyancer or solicitor in advance.
If you have no photographic ID, it’s recommended to make an application for a driving licence which can be received in around a week.
Make sure to apply well in advance to prevent any unnecessary hold-ups in the selling process.
You don’t want prospective buyers to be deterred from the deal because the process is delayed.
You must supply these documents to satisfy the anti-money laundering legal requirement.
Estate agents, licensed conveyancers and solicitors all follow these regulations which state they must hold onto the evidence for 5 years.
After this time, the documents will be destroyed, and therefore there’s no need to worry that your data will forever remain on file.
Shared Freehold/Leasehold Documentation
If your property is a shared freehold home, you’ll need to supply a Share Certificate. If you live in a leasehold property, a lease must be supplied.
EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
The Energy Performance Certificate EPC is an essential document you need to supply when you sell the property you’re living in if you’re in England and Wales, especially if you’re selling a Green Deal property.
The document assesses your home’s energy usage as well as its carbon dioxide (CO2) impact.
It also gives your home an energy rating between A (maximum efficiency) to G (minimum efficiency). If you have no EPC dated in the past ten years, you must get one.
You can obtain it via a qualified assessor, and your estate agent can usually arrange this for you.
If you live in Scotland, you’ll need a Home Report. This must have been drawn up in the past ten weeks. There are only two exceptions to this:
- If your home has continuously been marketed since a valid Home Report was produced.
- If your property is a conversion or new build and has never been inhabited since its conversion or construction.
Property Title Deeds
To sell a property, you’ll almost certainly require your original title deeds which state your home’s chain of ownership and information regarding its freehold or leasehold properties status.
When you buy any house in the UK, you are usually given your property title deeds at the time of purchase.
Therefore, it’s likely that either your legal representatives or your mortgage provider will have them if you don’t have them yourself.
Should you not have them, you should check with HM Land Registry to find out if the deeds have been digitally registered on the land registry’s system with your name.
If your home hasn’t been sold since 1986, it’s likely the Land Registry will have no copy unless it was voluntarily registered. You will, therefore, need to find the deeds yourself.
You may need to make a Land Registry application for a Title Absolute.
You will need to prove you’re the property’s legal owner and you have a right to the property’s freehold as well as a right to the structures on it. You’ll also be required to prove you’ve owned the property for a period of fifteen years with no breaks.
Fittings and Contents Form
The fittings and contents form, also known as TA10 forms, allow both buyer and seller to come to an agreement about all fixtures and fittings to be included within the property sale. A
s an example, it will outline whether curtains and white goods will be incorporated within the sale.
Information will be presented for each room so that complete disclosure of every item to be left so the buyer and yourself can be completely clear.
If there is an outdoor space or garden at the property, the form will specify all contents to remain in these areas too.
Although completion of this form isn’t a legal requirement, experts giving property advice recommend it highly, so any issues can be avoided later on.
The Property Information Form
The TA6 form (also known as the property information form) takes a while to fill in, however for anyone who wants to sell houses fast, it’s essential.
A highly detailed form, it covers everything including:
- building proposals and notices
- valid warranties
- potential flooding risk
- current tenants
- council tax band
- disputes with neighbouring properties and ongoing complaints,
- as well as whether you have had Japanese Knotweed professionally treated on your property.
Take care to answer accurately though, since any incomplete or incorrect information may leave you at risk of compensation claims.
The form isn’t mandatory; however, if you omit any details or delay providing information, your sale could be held up or even fall through completely.
The property market is highly volatile, and if prospective buyers find a house price lower than yours, they may be tempted to look elsewhere if the process seems to be dragging on.
FENSA Certificate For Doors And Windows
The FENSA certificate is given to anyone who has had a replacement door or replacement windows fitted since 2002.
If you haven’t been living in the property all that time, you should check the records to determine whether this kind of work has been carried out. The prior owner will probably have left the certificate when they sold the property.
Boiler Replacement Documentation
If a former owner or yourself has replaced the property’s boiler, you’ll need specific documentation. A CORGI or Gas Safe Certificate must be provided as if you are unable to supply those records, the buyer may demand that you have a service carried out.
Electrical Safety Certificate
If any electrical work has been carried out around the home, you must supply relevant certificates. If, for example, electrical replacements or rewiring have been completed, you must provide the necessary paperwork for the buyer. An electric certificate or buildings regulation compliance certificate can be supplied by an electrician.
Extension and Alterations Documentation
If you’ve added an extension to your home or made any alterations before selling you must supply proof that all required legal processes were adhered to., This includes acquiring planning permission and building regulations approval from the local authority before the renovations were carried out.
You’ll be required to supply information about your existing mortgage, together with the details of your account and how much is still owed. You must also provide information about any extra charges or loans registered to the property.
Usually, the charges are listed on the title deeds. Should there still be charges remaining from a previous mortgage lender, you must contact them independently so they can be removed.
If any payments are outstanding, you must sign an undertaking that promises you’ll use your sale funds to pay them off, so the new buyer won’t have any liabilities concerning the mortgage.
Acceptance Of The Offer
Once your sale has been agreed with your buyer, your conveyancer or solicitor will draft a document stating the offer has been accepted.
You must also sign the Transfer of Deeds, so you are ready to exchange contracts for the completion of the sale.
This, too, is overseen by legal representatives.
The exchange of contracts will then take place. The contract includes details about the time and date on which the sale is set to complete, the price of the sale and any potential legal restrictions.
Following the exchange and complete process, the sale is legally binding. If one of the parties chooses to withdraw after this point, there will be a financial penalty to pay.
Confirmation of payment of any necessary stamp duty and capital gains tax may also be required if your home is worth more than a specific amount.
Putting Together The Necessary Documents
As you can see, there are lots of documents necessary to sell your property. Fortunately, if you find the right solicitor or conveyancer, they will be able to help you through the process.
Visit the Law Society website too, to find a fixed fee solicitor who specialises in the conveyancing process.
It’s essential to get expert legal advice when dealing with any aspect of buying or selling a property.
Whether you’re trying to stop repossession, selling a property because of a break up of a marriage or civil partnership, attempting to arrange Powers of Attorney or just organise a simple relocation, even as a buyer yourself, seeking professional help is vital.
Remember, too, that if you have any complaints about any of the professionals involved in your sale, you can visit the Property Ombudsman’s website.