Whether or not statistics prove that Easter time is the most popular period for prospective sellers to implement their long talked-about plans to put their house up for sale, the longer days and the warmer weather certainly encourage people to actively start the marketing process.
If you are planning a house sale either now or in the future, our advice is to be ahead of the game. There is a lot you can do before a buyer has been found, and advanced preparation will go a long way in helping to avoid unnecessary delays in your sale progressing once the conveyancing process gets underway.
Whether you have made any minor or substantial alterations or other improvements to your property, make sure you have copies of all consents, certificates and guarantees etc available and pass these over to your conveyancer for review, so that any missing items can be brought to your attention. For example, with reference to the side extension, did you obtain discharge of any planning conditions and did you apply for the completion certificate from Building Control to evidence compliance with building regulations? You would be surprised by how many people actually forget this last piece of the jigsaw!
If you are selling a leasehold flat, you should check to see whether there are any conditions within the lease that may impact on your sale. The length of lease may also determine various factors, including the price that you are likely to achieve for the flat. You may need to speak to your landlord about extending the lease term and the associated costs. Your lawyers can consider the lease for you and guide you through the process of increasing the lease term ahead of the property being marketed for sale. This will help to make sure that you achieve the full open market value for your property, and that you don’t leave the door open to hard negotiations on price.
If your property is leasehold, your landlord may have instructed a managing agent to take care of the building. You will be required to provide a management pack to your buyer to include, for example, information about buildings insurance, service charge accounts and service charge budgets. It would be worthwhile contacting the managing agent in advance to find out how much they are likely to charge for providing this information, which is an additional expenditure that you should take into account when budgeting for your sale.
The plan that is filed at the Land Registry and which identifies your property, should also correspond with the extent of the land in your ownership as it appears on the physical ground. If there are any discrepancies, your lawyers can help to iron these out in advance which will save any delays once the sale process is up and running.
So, as you can see there is a lot that can be done ahead of a sale, and if you are well prepared then once an offer is made, there will be no delays in getting the ball rolling to ensure that the legal formalities of your sale run smoothly to enable you and your buyer to achieve a timely completion.