5:12 PM September 22, 2022
Selling a home is the biggest transaction that any of us who are not billionaire oligarchs will ever make, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the process can seem complex and slow. In fact, the time it takes to move from initial offer to exchange and completion is frequently shown in surveys to be the biggest frustration of the property market.
There is not a lot we can do to remove the need for due diligence, checks, and legal loose ends to be tied up. But you might be surprised how often those actually participating in the sale of a home enter into the process with even basic preparations incomplete.
It shouldn’t be a surprise what documents and evidence of ownership are required before you can proceed with a sale. And if you as the home seller haven’t got these together before putting your house on the market, you shouldn’t really be too astonished if your buyer loses patience and pulls out to buy elsewhere.
Put it this way, if you were buying a car and the seller had lost the V5C registration document, would you (a) hang around for weeks while they tried to persuade DVLA to prove they really owned the car, or (b) walk away and buy another car?
There are lots of things you can do before bringing your home to market to save you time and money before and during the sale process. Fortunately, there are industry-wide initiatives being set up to help collate that up-front information, to minimise delays and hassle once the process gets underway.
For example, if you go online and search for the ‘TA6 form’, you will find a handy guide to the information you’ll need to know before you can sell your home on to another owner.
It contains such questions as:
- Is your property title registered?
- Do you know where your title deeds are located?
- Is your home a listed building, or within a conservation area?
- Which utility services are connected to your property?
- Have you had windows/doors replaced – if so, where is your FENSA certificate?
- Have you made any alterations or additions that required planning permission or building alteration consent?
- Do you have solar panels with a feed in tariff (FIT)?
- Does your central heating boiler have a service history and is it in good working order?
- Do you know how the recent changes in interest rates and criteria may have affected your mortgage borrowing or repayment prospects?
- Do you know where your boundaries are?
Not having this basic information ready can delay a sale for weeks – or longer – which in many cases will mean losing that sale.
As part of the process of bringing your home to market, your estate agent should be willing to help you with this; if they are not, you might want to reconsider your choice of agent.
Jan Hÿtch is residential partner at Arnolds Keys.