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Antony Antoniou – Luxury Property Expert

Sellers need to be prepared in order to complete sales

Sellers need to be prepared in order to complete sales

Sellers need to be prepared in order to complete sales


A buyers’ market, and a more challenging time for buyers and sellers, could be on the cards as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, together with ongoing interest rate uncertainty.
“As if these external factors weren’t enough, the length of time conveyancing is taking is making the situation worse for those who have received a mortgage offer at a rate that may only be valid for a limited period of time.
“It’s taking around four months, and often much longer, to go from agreeing a sale to exchange. Solicitors are asking for countless documents and records, and each time a new document is requested, the process stalls while the vendor searches for the appropriate information.”

vendors need to make their homes more attractive, more saleable, and more likely to appeal to buyers who want the conveyancing process to be as straightforward as possible ‘by preparing a comprehensive property dossier that will help to avoid delays in the sale procedure’.

“Time spent by the vendor gathering as much information about their property as possible will not be wasted. Present it in a virtual or real folder, sensibly divided up into different subject headings. As a minimum requirement we’d suggest you gather all the vital documentation that a solicitor will request, but extra benefits will come from non-essential information relating to the property and its environment such as running costs, contact details for local tradespeople, paint colours and so on.”

Information the buyers’ solicitor will require (where relevant):

  • Land Registry documents
  • EPC
  • Compliance sign-off for septic tank
  • Wood burning stoves and fires – HETAS certificates
  • Electrical certificate
  • Agreements relating to shared drives or other shared space
  • Planning permission and building control sign off documents where building work has been undertaken
  • Existence and details of any covenants
  • Building and content insurance documents
  • Who owns boundary fences/walls
  • Any easements, rights of way, access issues
  • Leasehold documentation
  • Often solicitors ask for FENSA certificate if any windows have been replaced
  • Any other warranties/guarantees relating to the property along with electric/boiler checks documentation

Not required but good to have:

  • Details of external and internal work that’s been undertaken, dates, suppliers / tradespeople
  • Copies of recent utility bills
  • Copies of insurance documentation
  • Contact details for local tradespeople used for repairs / maintenance / supply of logs
  • Broadband provider and speed
  • Paint colours used throughout the property

Selling points:

  • Use the opportunity to highlight what’s marvellous about the property/area such as:
  • Local shops/pubs/cafes/bars/markets that you recommend
  • Local societies
  • Local schools
  • Proximity to nearest stations/tube stations

“Leasehold properties are a whole subject in themselves, and often strike fear in buyers, especially those who are unfamiliar with leasehold. Providing information on who the Managing Agents are, what the Service Charge includes, how often it’s increased, how the sinking fund operates, and any work that’s recently been undertaken or is in the pipeline can be very reassuring.”

“Finally, if you know of any alarm bells that might ring in the ears of a buyer’s solicitor relating to the local environment, it’s better to anticipate and address early than it is to wait for them to raise the query themselves. For example, if your property is close to a watercourse, or if you live close to coastal erosion or if you have a long-shared drive to the property. These are all issues that will almost certainly require investigation, so if you can commission any relevant reports that provide documentation and reassurance, it will save the time and concern further down the line.

“Vendors who are questioning the need for such a dossier should put themselves in the position of the buyer. The reassurance that information of this kind provides is invaluable and will not only speed up the conveyancing process, but will ultimately make your property more saleable – and that may be on the verge of becoming increasingly important.”

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