What has to be done before I sell my property?
- Make sure the property is in a presentable condition and in good decorative order, reasonably tidy and uncluttered, before you agree to any viewings by potential buyers.
- Appoint your Property Lawyer so that the HIP can be prepared and the agents terms of business approved
- The law presently requires that every residential property must have a “Home Information Pack” (“HIP”) commissioned, i.e. requested, on or before the “first date of marketing” by the agent or the seller.
- A HIP contains certain specified information and documents which is considered to be of interest to a potential buyer.
- The “Required” documents are:-
(1) An index of the documents in the HIP.
(2) The “Energy Performance Certificate” [“EPC”] which gives an energy efficiency rating for the property and other relevant information. The EPC must be in colour to comply with the current HIP Regulations. A monochrome (black and white) EPC is not acceptable.
(3) A “Sale Statement”, giving brief particulars of the property.
(4) Evidence of Title, i.e. legal ownership, usually a Land Registry official copy of the register of title and title plan, as well as any documents specifically referred to on the title.
(5) Local Authority Search.This can be a Full or a personal Search
(6) Drainage and Water Search.
(7) If the property is leasehold, a copy of the lease and any Deeds of Variation.
(8) Property Information Forms
Other “Approved” documents can be added, such as:-
- Environmental Report, dealing with actual or potential contaminated land, past and present industrial use, flooding, etc.
- Chancel Repair Search, giving an indication of any potential liability to contribute towards the repair of the Chancel of a parish church.
- Brine / Coal / Clay / Tin & Copper Mining search (depending on the location of the property).
- In London other relevant seaches
- Copies of any guarantees, planning documentation, etc.
- List of Fixtures Fittings and Contents being left at the property.
- If the property is leasehold, full details of the freeholders, the management company or the managing agents, as well as copies of your share or membership certificate, the buildings insurance policy, and the service charge accounts for at least the last three years.
Sometimes the HIP may be commissioned and supplied by the selling agent, but it is far better and safer for your property lawyer to prepare and supply it, as part of the sale transaction for the reasons set out in an earlier post. The average cost of a basic HIP is around £300.00 plus VAT.
There are now websites and others who will wish you to appoint them to sell your property and I am planning commenting on how you choose between these various suppliers and what you must consider before appointing anyone to represent you