What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My House?
21 June 2018
If you are selling a property you'll need to provide ID to your Conveyancer or Conveyancing Solicitor and you'll need to provide the buyer with accurate and detailed information about the property. The paperwork required will depend on a few factors, such as whether any alterations have recently been made to the home and whether it is owned on a freehold or leasehold basis.
Energy Performance Certificate
It is a legal requirement to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when you sell, rent or build a home. This will provide your buyer with information on how energy efficient the property is and the typical energy costs they can expect to pay. The certificate will also make recommendations on alterations that could be made to make the property more energy efficient (such as installing new windows or loft insulation).
Most estate agents can arrange for this to be completed, but there will be a charge for the EPC which you will be liable for. Once an EPC has been produced it remains valid for 10 years unless any of the recommendations have been carried out, after which it should be reissued. If the improvements have been made with a Green Deal this will show on the new EPC. So if you bought your property less than 10 years ago and have not made any of the recommended improvements you may find that the EPC you were given at the time is still valid.
ID and Proof of Address
When you instruct your Conveyancer or Conveyancing Solicitor, you will need to provide them with official proof of your identity and address. You will most likely be asked for at least 3 forms of ID, such as a driving licence or passport as well as a recent utility bill and bank statement.
Property Title Deeds
Property title deeds not only prove ownership but contain important documents such as Leases, Share Certificates in management companies, NHBC (National House-Building Council) and other guarantees, planning and building regulation documents, Licences, Deeds of Covenant, indemnity insurance policies etc, which the buyer will need to see. Whether or not your property is registered you will be asked to provide your title deeds.
Your property will either be registered at the Land Registry or it will be unregistered. The majority of properties are registered so the legal title is held by the Land Registry but compulsory registration when a property was sold only began in December 1990 and property inherited or gifted after that date did not require registration. If your property is unregistered you will need the unregistered title deeds to prove ownership.
Fittings and Contents Form
This is a form which outlines exactly what will be left in the property when you vacate it. This is so that there is no discrepancy between the seller and the buyer as to what is or isn't included in the sale.
This form covers fixtures (those items which are attached to the property such as built in cupboards or kitchen units) and fittings (items which are removable, such as curtains and freestanding furniture). Generally it is assumed that fixtures will be left while fittings will be removed unless otherwise stated.
Property Information Form
As the name suggests, this form provides the buyer with detailed information about the property. This will enable the buyer to make an informed decision as to whether to go ahead with the purchase.
This form needs to be completed accurately and truthfully as these answers are legally binding. The buyer may be able to make a claim against you or refuse to complete the purchase if any of the information provided is found to be false, or if important information has been missed out.
The Property Information form will cover matters such as:
- who is responsible for which boundaries
- any complaints or disputes with the neighbours
- notices and proposals which might affect the property (such as planning applications)
- any building work that has been carried out and details of planning permission or buildings regulation approval
- any replacement windows or doors that have been fitted and details of the FENSA certificates
- any electrical work that has been carried out and safety certificates for these
- any gas work that has been carried out and boiler servicing information
- council tax band
- guarantees and warranties relating to the property
- environmental matters such as flooding risk and radon levels
- any formal or informal agreements or arrangements (such as allowing a neighbour to use a parking space)
- additional charges on the property that the buyer may become responsible for (such as rental charges for a garage)
- who occupies the property and whether they will leave on completion of the sale
- target completion dates
- whether the property is connected to mains sewers or if there is a septic tank
- details of the utilities suppliers
Your Conveyancer will provide you with the Fittings and Contents and Property Information forms for you to complete, but these are also available to download from the Law Society website.
Additional Paperwork Required for Leasehold Properties
If you are selling a leasehold property, then in addition to the forms you complete your landlord or managing agent will have to complete a separate Leasehold Property Enquiry form. This provides information about the Ground Rent, Service Charge, buildings insurance and other aspects of the management of the property.
This is part of the management information pack to be given to the buyer and is included so that the buyer has full visibility before exchanging Contracts. Your Conveyancer or Conveyancing Solicitor should be able to liaise with the management company directly for this. As you are selling you will be responsible for paying the management pack fee.