What Documents Do I Need to Sell My House?
Although selling your property is an exciting prospect, there are so many minute details to organise and remember that frankly, sometimes the experience can become daunting. In addition to the hecticness of your property being on the market, which comes with prospective buyers, surveyors and renovators being present frequently, there are a plethora of other things to think about.
Your future living and financial situation and perhaps one of the most important, the legal paperwork of selling your property, all need to be considered. In order to make sure you have the right documents, House Sales Direct have provided a helpful checklist.
Why Do You Need to Provide Legal Documentation?
There are two main reasons as to why legal documentation is needed during the process of selling your property. Legally, some certificates and documentation are required and must be provided to proceed with any property sale. The main reason for this is that your legal representation (solicitor) and the buyer must see evidence regarding claims about the property’s ownership. As the individual who is selling, you must provide proof.
The second set of documentation is needed as it will give you an advantage when it comes to selling your property. It’s vital that you gain trust from your buyer, which is the reason for paperwork. Instilling confidence in your buyer in regards to the deal will encourage them to proceed. If there is a lack of documentation, it may cause questions to arise about your reliability as a seller.
Proof of Identity:
Perhaps the most basic of all the legal documents you will need to provide when selling your property is proof of identity. You will need to provide two types of identification to prove you are who you say you are. The first is proof of your current address, which can be shown through a recent utility bill or driving license, and the second being photo identification, such as a driving license or passport. If you don’t have these, there are other alternatives that you can provide if you speak to your solicitor or conveyancer beforehand.
“Instilling confidence in your buyer in regards to the deal will encourage them to proceed.“
After you have proven your identity, the next step is to provide your title deeds. This essentially proves that you are the legitimate owner of the property, and that you have the right to sell it. Therefore, a title deed must be provided.
It outlines all ownership of the property, including past and present. If your ownership of the property began after 1986, you may have to ask your solicitor specifically to find these or reapply for your deeds via the Land Registry which unfortunately can take time, so try to be patient!
Energy Performance Certificate:
An energy performance certificate (EPC) is a document that all households must obtain before a property can be sold. The document is a certification based on an A-G scale and shows how energy efficient your property is. One reason as to why some buildings may be exempt is because they are protected by special architecture or have historical merit, and therefore don’t need to provide these documents.
Shared Freehold Documentation:
There is a difference between leasehold and freehold properties which can drastically affect the documents you have to declare when selling your property. Put simply:
- A freehold property is a home that you own outright. This includes the land the property was built on. This means you are responsible for upholding and maintaining the land that the property is built on and the structure of the property itself.
- A leasehold property is where you own the property, but only for the length of time that is agreed with the freeholder. After the property lease is up, then you will have to return the property to the freeholder. Typically, most flats and maisonettes are leasehold, so you don’t have a stake in the land the building is on.
If your property has any part of a freehold, you will have to provide a document to the freehold structure before your property is sold. Likewise, if your property is leasehold, you will have to find a copy of the lease so the relevant information is available to your agent and solicitor.
Your solicitor will need you to provide documentation to show any outstanding balance on your mortgage, alongside any further loans or charges that are secured against the property. The reason you have to present this information is so that the buyer does not end up being liable for your debts.
“It’s vital that you are honest when completing this form, as any dishonesty can cause delays in the selling process“
A TA6 Form:
A TA6 Form, also known as a Property Information Form, is a comprehensive record that all homeowners looking to sell their property must complete. It includes all information regarding your property, from any changes that have been made to the property, any guarantees affecting the property, boundaries to the state of the communal areas.
It’s vital that you are honest when completing this form, as any dishonesty, such as if you have an ongoing dispute with a neighbour or have Japanese Knotweed in the garden can cause delays in the selling process. Additionally, if you mislead a buyer and they discover you have been lying, they have the right to sue you under the Misrepresentation Act of 1967- which if found guilty, you could be ordered to pay the buyer tens of thousands of pounds.
If you have had any major renovations carried out on your property, for example an extension, conservatory or a loft conversion- then it’s important that you provide your solicitor and the buyer with all the relevant documents to prove that the regulations and legislations have been upheld. If you fail to provide these documents, then you may be delayed in the sale process.