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Residential property

Coronavirus & PREPARING TO SELL YOUR HOME DURING THE OUTBREAK

Whilst it may not be possible to actively start marketing your home with the stay-at-home measures in place, there are some practical steps that you can take now which will help speed up the marketing and conveyancing processes once the measures are lifted.

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Whilst it may not be possible to actively start marketing your home with the stay-at-home measures in place, there are some practical steps that you can take now which will help speed up the marketing and conveyancing processes once the measures are lifted. These include:

  • reading reviews of local estate agents and selecting who you want to contact;
  • contacting the estate agents to get an idea of their commission rates and to negotiate the best deal possible;
  • where possible, arranging a virtual viewing of your property by the agent to obtain a provisional guide as to the market value;
  • carrying out some de-cluttering (if you have a garage or somewhere suitable to store the items you are disposing of until you can take them to a charity shop or recycling facility) which can help with the marketing of the property and cut down on the amount of belongings you need to move;
  • start completing the property information form, fittings and contents form and, where relevant, the leasehold information form as these have to be supplied to the buyer’s solicitor as soon as possible once an offer is accepted (please contact us if you would like copies of these forms);
  • start gathering the additional information about the property which you will need to provide to your solicitor which includes:
    • details of your utilities suppliers and the location of meters;
    • if you have had new windows or glazed doors installed since 1 April 2002, you need to produce a FENSA certificate or building regulations approval;
    • if you have had any building work carried out to the property or have changed its use, you need to provide copies of any relevant planning permissions and building regulations approvals and completion certificates;
    • if your property was built or redeveloped in the last 10 years, you should have an NHBC warranty or other similar new home warranty;
    • guarantees for any works done to your property (e.g. for new windows, boilers, electrical work, timber treatment, damp proofing, etc.);
    • any electrical testing certificates, gas safety certificates or boiler servicing reports;
    • if the property has been rewired or had any electrical installation work carried out since 1 January 2005, you will need to produce an electrical safety certificate, building regulations compliance certificate or building control completion certificate;
    • if you have had a new boiler or central heating system installed since 1 April 2005, you will need to provide a building regulations compliance certificate;
    • if the property is not on mains drainage, you will need to provide details of the drainage arrangements including dates of the last time any septic tank or cesspool was emptied; and
    • copies of any notices and correspondence sent or received about the property (e.g. from the Council or neighbours);
  • if your property is leasehold (e.g. if it is a flat) or share of freehold, you will also need to provide the following information:
    • a copy of the lease if you have it (although this can be obtained from the Land Registry if you do not have a copy);
    • copies of all relevant information regarding the service charge including the current year’s budget, the last 3 years’ accounts, the most recent demand for service charge and copies of any correspondence from the landlord or managing agent;
    • a copy of the most recent demand for ground rent (if any) and, if possible, a receipt for payment;
    • if you have a share in a management or freehold company, a copy of the share certificate;
    • a copy of the landlord’s insurance policy and schedule if they have sent this to you;
    • if any alterations have been made to the property or it has had a change of use, copies of any consents given by the landlord and/or managing agents.

There may be items listed above which you feel are relevant to your property but you cannot find the information. In the case of the leasehold information (service charge accounts, ground rent receipts, etc.), a further enquiries form will be provided by your landlord and managing agent and they should be able to provide this information. If you are missing any of the certificates for works carried out to the property and it is not possible to obtain these, an alternative is to provide the buyer with an indemnity insurance policy. These are usually available for a relatively small cost.

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Jane Lindop

Senior Associate

jane.lindop@collyerbristow.com