The best way to achieve a quick and stress-free house sale is to prepare and plan. If you’re eager to sell up and move on before the new stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday deadline on 31 June, you’ll need to do everything possible to get your house sale over the completion line in the next three months.
As soon as you decide to sell, start gathering the information that you must legally provide your buyer. If you’re wondering, “What documents do I need to sell my house?” read on.
House Selling Documents Checklist
Your estate agent and solicitor or conveyancer will ask you to provide the following documents when you sell your house. Some of these you will have received when you bought the property. Gathering these documents together early on in the process avoids delays later on.
- Proof of Identity and Address
You will need to provide at least one form of photo ID, such as a current passport or driving licence. To prove your address, a utility bill or bank statement will suffice.
This is necessary to satisfy anti-money laundering laws.
- Property Title Deeds
You will have received these when you purchased your home. The title deeds are required to prove ownership of the property. If you can’t locate them, contact the solicitor or mortgage company who managed the transaction. Your solicitor will need to obtain official deeds from the Land Registry anyway.
If you purchased your home before 1986, the deeds might not be held by the Land Registry and you will need to provide them or apply for a “Title Absolute” to prove ownership. If there are problems with the property title, these need to be addressed before you sell.
If you are selling a leasehold property or shares of a freehold property, you will need specific forms that your legal representative can provide.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Every homeowner is legally required to obtain an EPC before marketing their property. This certificate shows how energy efficient a property is on a scale of A-G. Some buildings are exempt from the legal requirement to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate.
You can search the online EPC register to find out if your home has a valid certificate and if not, find an accredited domestic energy assessor to provide you with one.
- A Fittings and Contents Form
The seller must complete a TA10 form that sets out which fixtures and fittings will be included in the sale or sold for an additional cost. Don’t forget to include any items in the outside space, such as a shed or children’s play equipment.
Ensuring that the seller’s and buyer’s expectations match will avoid delays and complications later on.
- A Property Information Form
The TA6 form is a comprehensive document that all sellers must complete. It contains all the information a buyer needs to know about your property, such as boundaries, changes made to the property, communal areas and guarantees affecting the property.
Be honest when completing the form. There is no point concealing negative information, such as an ongoing dispute with a neighbour or the presence of Japanese Knotweed in the garden. If these details come to light later in the sales process, there could be delays or the buyer may pull out of the purchase. If you deliberately mislead a buyer and they discover this after the sale has gone through, they have the right to sue you under the Misrepresentation Act 1967. If found guilty, you could be required to pay the buyer tens of thousands of pounds or to buy the property back.
- An Electrical Installation Report (EICR)
You will need the relevant paperwork to show that any electrical work completed on the property, such as rewiring or electric replacements, was undertaken by a registered electrical competent person. This could be an EICR, a NAPIT or an NICEIC certificate/report.
If you need to obtain a report, use the search facility on the Registered Competent Person website to find a professional who the Government has authorised to certify that their work is compliant with Building Regulations.
- Certificates for Windows and Doors
If you have had your property’s windows or doors replaced since 2002, you will have been provided with a FENSA or CERTAS certificate. Your solicitor will ask to see this certificate as proof that a certified professional completed the work in compliance with the government’s Building Regulations.
If the previous owner had this work done, they should have passed on the certificate when you bought the property.
- Planning Permission
If you have had any major work carried out, such as adding an extension, you will need to provide the planning permission and any associated paperwork to show that relevant regulations and legislation have been adhered to.
Failure to provide this information promptly could lead to delays, so try to locate this documentation as soon as you decide to sell.
- Replacement Boiler Documentation
If the boiler has been replaced, the buyer will need to see proof that it was installed by a CORGI registered professional and any other relevant information about the installation.
If you cannot find this documentation, the buyer may insist that you pay for a service to be completed to confirm that it is safe to use.
- Mortgage Information
Your solicitor will require documentation to show the outstanding balance on your mortgage and the details of any additional loans or charges secured against the property.
This is to ensure that the buyer does not become liable for your debt.
You may be required to present further documentation depending on the nature of your property. For example:
- Subsidence guarantees/warranties
- Listed building consent for works completed
- Damp guarantees/warranties
- Specialist asbestos surveys
- Conservation area consent for works undertaken
- Amendments or corrections to the title deed
- Party wall agreements
- Japanese knotweed management plans.
Staying organised and planning ahead will reduce the risk of delays and misunderstandings when selling your property. Start gathering these documents as soon as you decide to sell. You may need to request new copies of lost records which can take time.
The best way to achieve a quick house sale without the hassle of an on-market sale is to find a cash buyer. House Buyer Bureau has the funds to buy your property in as little as 7 days. There are no estate agents or legal fees to pay and you won’t have to endure the inconvenience of constant house viewings.