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Selling A Listed Building?

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Listed properties are highly sought after and tend to appreciate in value over time; however, with all the rules and regulations, how do you go about selling a listed building?

With strict limitations on improvements that can be made, this can discourage some buyers.  In this article, we’ll cover how to sell a listed building.

Table of Contents

What is a Listed Building?

Listed buildings are usually older properties. As previously mentioned, these properties are protected due to their historical, architectural or local significance.

Therefore, there are certain restrictions when it comes to the alteration of listed properties. It is essential that buyers are aware of such restrictions before committing to an offer.

Owners must keep the cultural integrity of the property intact. This could include the upkeep of the home, such as repairing a thatched roof, lime plaster or replacing sash windows. This kind of maintenance is expensive and will require the help of specialists.

Therefore, it takes a specific type of buyer who is willing to take on the responsibility of a listed property.

What does listed mean when selling a house?

If a building is ‘listed’, it means it is included on the statutory list of “buildings of special architectural or historic interest”. The status is intended to protect buildings from alterations that may negatively impact the character of the building and its historical context.

how to sell a listed property
The cost of selling a listed building is likely to be much higher than for a regular property, because your conveyancing solicitor needs to carry out additional legal work.

Is it difficult to sell a listed building?

Yes, it can be difficult to sell a listed building because of its protected status.  A listing property can put off buyers who want to make changes to it due to higher cost.

Do listed buildings hold their value?

Listed buildings hold their value due to their rarity.  According to Historic England, there are 2.5% Grade I listed buildings and 5.8% Grade II.

Can you delist a listed property?

Yes, it is possible to delist a building.  With a 50% success rate, it is a lengthy consultation and review process.

If you believe that your building qualifies to be delisted, there are specific procedures you should follow.

The first step is to submit your application for delisting to Historic England. To support your case, you will need to provide evidence that proves the building does not meet the criteria for listed buildings. This evidence can include photographs and surveys.

You may also need the services of a conservation specialist to present all the details for review. Historic England will then conduct an investigation and consultation with interested parties, including local authorities, before preparing a report for the Secretary of State to make the final decision.

A common reason for delisting is when the building has been destroyed, and there is no potential for repair or restoration. The repairs and restoration may extend to the fabrics used, so the property must be beyond any help before it can be considered for delisting (and associated planning permission granted for a new one to be put in its place). In any event, the cause of the damage will always be investigated.

It might also be possible to argue that the original listing was not warranted. However, any application for delisting will only be considered in the first 28 days following publication of the list. With this in mind, it is worth preparing your case before the publication date, as it can be a lengthy process.

Finally, there are certain circumstances under which a delisting application is unlikely to be considered. These include where building works are shortly to be undertaken, where the building has had a notice of repairs served on it, and where the building is the subject of an appeal against refusal of consent.

Selling a listed building
If you don't have all the certificates and are worried about Historic England or the local council taking enforcement action, then you can sell your property to us.

What are the obligations of a listed building owner?

The obligations of the owner of a listed building include:

  •  Preserve the special character that led to the building being listed on the National Heritage List and deemed to be of ‘special architectural or historical interest’.
  • The upkeep of both the exterior and interior of the property, as well as the surrounding area. Other parts of the property will need to be preserved such as courtyards, garden walls and even any period statuary situated within the grounds.

How much does it cost to sell a Listed Building?

The cost of selling a property in the UK averages £6,224. This is based on the average UK house price of £277,000, and includes fees for estate agents, EPC, removal companies and conveyancing.

Remember that this is just an average – the cost of selling your house will depend on factors such as size and value.

The cost of selling a listed building is likely to be much higher than for a regular property, because your conveyancing solicitor needs to carry out additional legal work, such as researching the history of the property. On average, conveyancing fees for selling a house are £1,690.

What are you not allowed to do to a listed building?

There are several things you should avoid doing to a listed building, and it is highly unlikely that you will receive consent for them. These include:

  1. Removing architectural features like fireplaces,
  2. panelling,
  3. decorative stonework,
  4. or mullions.
  5. Stone cleaning is not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances.
What documents do you need to sell a listed property
Gather the necessary documents and take care of any gaps in your paperwork.

What documents do you need to sell a listed property?

It is essential to fill out a TA6 questionnaire, as your solicitor will require it. This may come as a surprise if you haven’t sold a house in a long time.

To make this process as stress-free as possible, it’s important to get organised. Gather the necessary documents and take care of any gaps in your paperwork. Failing to do so could delay or even derail the sale of your house.

The following is a list of documents that you should start to compile. It is not exhaustive, but it is a starting point:

  • Listed Building Consents: must be obtained for any physical changes to a Listed Building, including outbuildings older than 1948. 
  • Planning Permission: is also necessary for any developments in the garden and grounds, such as garages, greenhouses, sheds, hot tubs, hard landscaping, garden walls, gates, and fences. If you’re not sure whether you have the required Planning Permission, get advice from a planning consultant.
  • Building Regulations Consent: may be needed if you decide to carry out any changes.  You’ll need to provide proof of Building Regulations Consent.
  • Private Drains: If you have an old septic tank or cesspit, make sure your drains comply with the new General Binding Rules, which took effect on 1st January 2020. You’ll need to provide proof of compliance to your buyers. It can be very difficult to sell a house with an old septic tank.
  • Professional Consultants Certificate: If you’ve had any major work done to your house, ask your supervising Architect or Surveyor for a Professional Consultants Certificate that can be transferred to the new buyer. If that isn’t available, request Latent Defects Insurance from the builder to cover the project’s workmanship and materials.

Are there any restrictions when selling a listed property?

There are no major restrictions on selling a listed property, but you must make sure that no unlawful activities have taken place while you owned the home or any activities pre-arranged or carried out by previous owners.

If any work needs to be done on the home while it is being sold, the buyer’s survey will point this out. The buyer may try to haggle the price or ask that the issue be resolved before going ahead with the sale.

Selling a listed property

Listed buildings often attract a particular kind of homebuyer, one who appreciates the unique charm and character of the home.

If you want to achieve the best price, our recommendation is to find an estate agent with a track record of selling listed homes.  An owner-occupier looking to upsize will be able to offer you the best price.

If you don’t have all the certificates and are worried about Historic England or the local council taking enforcement action, then you can sell your property to us.

Here’s why sellers trust us:

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