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  • Writer's pictureThe Cedar Crest Team

Planning to put your house or flat on the market?

Essential documents you’ll need to avoid unnecessary pitfalls and delays


 


 

Navigating the labyrinth of paperwork and documentation when selling your home can often feel overwhelming. The process might seem shrouded in legal jargon and procedural intricacies but don’t worry, you’re not alone in this journey. This article sheds light on the essential documents you’ll need to gather when selling a property.


Understanding what’s required can not only speed up the process but it can also help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls and delays. Whether it’s your Energy Performance Certificate, proof of identity or property deeds, each document plays a crucial role in streamlining the sale of your home. So, let’s demystify this process and delve into the key documents essential for selling your home.


 

VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY, RESIDENCE AND FUNDS


Firstly, you must meet the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations the government sets. This is necessary for your estate agent to promote your property and for your solicitor to handle your transaction. Consider finding a conveyancing solicitor who can perform a single AML check to save time and money.


This way, the AML verification done by your solicitor will be shared with your estate agent, eliminating the need for two separate checks. To comply with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, you must provide proof of identity and address to your estate agent and legal representatives.


Acceptable identification documents include a valid passport or driving licence, while proof of address can be a recent bank statement or utility bill. For those buying and selling simultaneously, you’ll need to provide evidence of your ‘source of wealth’ and ‘source of funds’, which includes bank statements and other documents showing how and where your money has been accumulated and stored.


 

HMLR LAND REGISTRY TITLE DEEDS


You must prove your ownership of the property you intend to sell. This could be through a property register or title deeds that confirm you as the legal owner. Official copies of the register can be obtained from the Land Registry website or through post. Title deeds establish your ownership rights and provide detailed information about the property’s boundaries, history and any associated rights or restrictions. If you’ve misplaced your title deeds, the Land Registry can issue a replacement, though some may be more challenging to acquire than others.


 

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC)


An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a compulsory document for most residential properties in the UK. It offers an energy efficiency rating and suggestions for improvement. Valid for ten years, an EPC must be presented to potential buyers. While there are exceptions to this requirement, like listed buildings and places of worship, it’s advisable to consult a professional to determine if your property qualifies for an exemption.





 

GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE


For properties with gas appliances, a gas safety certificate is essential. This document confirms that a gas safe registered engineer has inspected and deemed all gas installations and appliances in your property safe. This certificate, valid for a year, reassures buyers that the gas installations in your property meet safety standards. The duration to obtain this certificate can vary, so scheduling an inspection in advance is best.


 

ELECTRICAL SAFETY CERTIFICATE


When it comes to selling your home, the safety of your electrical installations should never be an afterthought. An essential document in this process is the Electrical Safety Certificate. Also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), this certificate proves all electrical systems’ safety and regulatory compliance within your property.


This certificate isn’t just handed out; it’s earned. It is issued following a rigorous inspection carried out by a certified electrician. This professional will comprehensively assess your home’s electrical installations, ensuring they meet the necessary safety standards. The Electrical Safety Certificate plays a critical role in the home-buying process. By presenting this to potential buyers, you’re providing them with assurance. They can rest easy knowing that the electrical systems in the property they’re considering are not just safe but also meet the required standards.


 

SECURING PLANNING PERMISSIONS


When you’ve made changes or enhancements to your property, it’s of utmost importance that you’ve acquired the necessary planning permissions. These are formal approvals from the local planning authority for specific construction activities. Prospective buyers will require assurance that all modifications to the property are in accordance with local laws and have the right permissions.


Not being able to provide the needed planning permissions could raise doubts and disrupt the sale process. Hence, engaging with your local planning authority and securing the appropriate documentation for any changes to your property is vital. If you’ve made changes without securing the necessary planning permission, you could face repercussions such as penalties or even having to undo the changes. Contacting your local planning authority to remedy the situation and obtain retrospective planning permission if required is crucial.


 

BUILDING REGULATION CERTIFICATES


In the realm of property alterations and extensions, planning permissions only make up half the story. The other half lies in building regulation certificates. These credentials authenticate that your construction or modification projects align with the stipulated building regulations.


Issued by the local authority or an approved inspector after the project’s completion, they validate that the work meets the required safety measures, accessibility standards and energy efficiency norms. As a property owner, it’s imperative to keep these certificates handy. They serve as tangible proof of compliance, giving potential buyers the assurance they need.


 

GUARANTEES AND WARRANTIES


If you’ve made significant renovations or improvements to your property, offering relevant guarantees and warranties becomes necessary. These documents are not just pieces of paper but symbols of quality and assurance. They testify that skilled professionals executed the work and provide assurances regarding the durability and quality of the improvements.


Guarantees and warranties cover a wide range of home improvement projects. Whether it’s roofing, damp proofing, double glazing or central heating systems, these documents serve as a safety net for buyers. They instil confidence in potential buyers and can significantly enhance your property’s overall value.


 

UNDERSTANDING FENSA CERTIFICATION


As a property owner, it’s crucial to secure a FENSA certification from a recognised installer when upgrading windows or doors in your home. This certificate proves that the newly installed features adhere to building codes, energy efficiency guidelines, performance standards and safety regulations.


 

VITAL LEASEHOLD DOCUMENTS FOR SELLING YOUR FLAT


When it comes to selling a leasehold property, certain documents are key to ensuring a smooth and successful transaction. Understanding and organising these documents can significantly speed up the sale process. One crucial aspect to consider is the duration of the lease. Many mortgage providers do not cover leases with less than 80 years remaining. If your lease falls into this bracket, it may pose a challenge to the sale of your property.


However, if you’ve been residing in the property for at least two years, you might be eligible to extend your lease or kickstart the extension process. It’s also crucial to have your lease document readily available. Your estate agent should include detailed information about the property’s tenure in their marketing material. This should include the remaining lease period, the term, current ground rent, service charges and planned increases.





 

THE IMPORTANCE OF NEW BUILD WARRANTIES


For new builds or under a decade-old property, it’s vital to possess your Buildmark (NHBC) or other new home warranty documents. These critical papers act as a safety net for homeowners, guaranteeing that the warranty covers any potential issues or defects with the property


 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR WARRANTY: BUILDMARK AND BEYOND


Buildmark, a trusted UK warranty by the National House Building Council (NHBC), is widely recognised. It protects against structural defects that might surface within the first ten years of owning a newly built property. This includes defects in key structural elements such as the foundation, roof, walls and windows.


Possessing a Buildmark warranty or an equivalent new home warranty document is highly advantageous, offering homeowners financial protection and support in case unexpected repairs or remedial work is needed due to structural defects. Beyond structural defects, new home warranties often encompass other areas like plumbing, electrical systems, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.


It’s crucial to thoroughly review your warranty document’s specific terms and coverage, as warranties usually come with specific guidelines and procedures for making claims and obtaining necessary repairs. Your Buildmark or other new home warranty documents signal to potential buyers that your property is well protected and any unforeseen issues will be addressed, thereby increasing the attractiveness of your property in the market.


 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR MORTGAGE STATEMENT


If there’s an outstanding mortgage on your property, obtaining a mortgage statement from your mortgage provider is necessary. This document details the outstanding balance, payment schedule and other pertinent mortgage information. Buyers’ conveyancers require this to clear the mortgage and leave the property free of legal charge.


There should be no impending financial obligations on the seller’s title at completion. Thus, it’s critical to notify your mortgage provider about your intent to sell and secure an updated statement reflecting the current status of your mortgage.


 

>> TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS YOUR DREAM HOME TODAY! <<


Every individual is unique, and so are your mortgage needs. Don’t let the complexity of the mortgage process deter you. Our experts are ready to guide you every step of the way. We take the time to understand your unique circumstances and provide personalised advice that suits your needs. We’re here to turn the mortgage maze into a straightforward journey. So what are you waiting for?


Get in touch with one of our mortgage advisers today to learn more about your mortgage options.



Cedar Crest Ltd – telephone UK T: +44 (0) 203 883 1017,

HK T: +852 6645 4462 – email info@cedar-crest.co.uk


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments.

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