Six Ways to Set Yourself up for a Successful House Sale

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This month we ran a poll on Twitter and Linkedin to find out why moving house can be so stressful. Around 50% of respondents said it was because the process takes too long. However, there are some important things you can do to help the process go as smoothly as possible. Below, our residential property team share their top tips on how to how to set yourself up for a successful sale.

  1. Appoint a solicitor as early as possible:

The sooner you appoint your solicitor the better. Consider instructing your solicitor at the same time as you instruct the estate agent as they can work with you to prepare the contract pack and issue it as soon as the sale is agreed (see point 2).

  1. Gather all necessary documents:

You can get ahead by collecting all relevant documents related to your property, such as the title deeds, planning permissions, and building regulation certificates. If you have carried out any repairs, renovations, or made any structural changes to the property, gather all relevant records and receipts. This includes documentation related to any warranties or guarantees for work done. This will help speed up giving your buyer’s solicitor as much information as possible upfront, therefore minimising the enquiries they will raise.

  1. Organise property maintenance records:

Before you have secured a sale, it is a good idea to have all utilities serviced, making sure you keep any service reports and certificates. This includes appliances such as your gas appliance and electrics as well as septic tanks, oil tanks and boreholes. Most buyers will want to see relatively up-to-date records, and it can slow the process down if, for example, you have to organise a boiler service part way through the sale process.

  1. Clear up financial obligations:

Pay outstanding bills related to the property and, if you are selling a leasehold property, this will include outstanding service charges, ground rent, or property maintenance fees. Always make sure you obtain receipts as proof of payment, as your buyer’s solicitor will need to see these.

  1. Property Information Form:

At the start of the conveyancing process your conveyancer will send you a Property Information Form, which provides important information about your property to your buyer, for example, about boundary maintenance, planning permissions or any building works you have undertaken. Take your time to complete this form with accuracy and detail.

  1. Understand your obligations

Familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of the sale contract and any other legal documents involved. It is easy to gloss over these and race ahead to the signature page, but take your time to read these carefully so that you understand the detail.