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What Do I Need To Sell My House?

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What documents do you need to sell your house?

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to selling a house. Finding an estate agent, deciding on the sale price, and organising viewings are all part of the process. Plus, there’s the paperwork.

Here’s a comprehensive list of documents you’ll need to have ready to avoid delays. This will ensure you’re ‘sale ready’ and good to go.

Table of Contents

Proof of your identity

To sell your house, your solicitor will need proof of identification from you, such as a recent utility bill and a photo ID (e.g. passport or driving license). Other documents may be accepted, so it’s best to check with them beforehand.

This is to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. Solicitors, conveyancers and estate agents must keep evidence for five years, after which the documents are destroyed. So, there’s no need to worry about your data staying on file permanently.

Land Registry title documents

The title deeds prove that you are the rightful owner of your property. Your solicitor should have sent them to you when you bought your home. If you can’t find them, check with your mortgage lender to see if they have your original deeds or if they are with your solicitor.

In the 1980s, the UK government made it mandatory for all properties to be registered with the Land Registry. If you don’t have your title deeds, you can obtain a copy from the Land Registry for just £3.

Around 15% of property in the UK is not registered with HM Land Registry. In this case, it will be more complicated to prove ownership. Your first step should be to apply for “first registration”.

You’ll need help from a solicitor to put your case and application together.  If you have an unregistered property to sell, we can buy it for cash and pay all of your legal fees.

What Do I Need To Sell My House
Finding an estate agent, deciding on the sale price, and organising viewings are all part of the process. Plus, there's the paperwork.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

If you bought your home in the past 10 years, you may already have an EPC. You can find out if you do by searching the UK government’s online database of all EPCs. Use the register’s EPC retrieval page and enter the property’s postcode to check for the energy performance certificate.

If the property you’re selling doesn’t have an EPC, you are legally required to get one before it is marketed.

Leasehold documents

If your property is leasehold, you should dig out your lease. Your estate agent should make it clear in the marketing material that the tenure of the property is leasehold and provide information about how many years are left on the lease, current ground rent and service charges, and any planned increases.

Many mortgages won’t cover leases with less than 80 years left. If yours is this short, it could make it difficult to sell the house. If you have lived in the property for at least two years, you could look at extending the lease or beginning the process.  Or you can sell it for cash instead. We’ll buy it.

Your solicitor will also contact the freeholder and/or managing agent to get the leasehold information pack. This can take some time, so don’t delay.  Order the management pack before you put your home up for sale.

Your buyer will also want to understand the key terms of the lease, including:

  • Service charges,
  • Ground rent,
  • Administration fees, and documents relating to service charges such as a copy of accounts,
  • Share certificate and articles,
  • Buildings insurance,
  • Recent correspondence from the freeholder or managing agent.

These should be sent to your solicitor. Additionally, they will want to know if there are any planned major works at the property (e.g. replacing the roof) and if there have been any fire risk or other assessments (e.g. asbestos).

New build warranties

For newly built properties or those under 10 years old, you must have a copy of your Buildmark (NHBC) or other new home policy/warranty documents. 

Gas checks completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer costs
A Gas Safe registered engineer will issue you a gas safety certificate to indicate that your boiler has been checked and is safe.

Gas checks completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer

A Gas Safe registered engineer will issue you a gas safety certificate to indicate that your boiler has been checked and is safe. Although you are not legally required to have a gas safety certificate when selling your home, it is highly recommended to do so if you have a gas boiler.

Having proof that your boiler is safe and well-maintained could be a huge plus for prospective buyers and could be the tipping point in getting them to commit to the purchase.

Landlords must present a gas safety certificate obtained within the last year.

Electrical checks

If you have done any electrical wiring in your home since January 2005, it is required by law that you obtain a ‘Part P Building Regulation Certificate’ to be passed on to the buyer by your solicitor.

This certifies that the new work and any changes meet the necessary standards.

If you can’t find your certificate, you should speak to the electrician who did the work.

On the other hand, if no electrical work has been done, there is no legal obligation for the seller to provide the buyer with an electrical safety certificate (also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report). It is the responsibility of the buyer to check that the electrics are safe.

FENSA or CERTASS certificates for windows

If you’ve replaced the windows in your home since you moved in, you’ll need to provide a FENSA or CERTASS certificate. These certificates show that the windows meet building regulations and are usually valid for 10 years.

You can search for them on the FENSA and CERTASS websites. If an approved workman didn’t do the installation, or you can’t find the certificate, you may need indemnity insurance for the new owner.

Planning permission and Building regulation certificates
Whether you have started a refurbishment project that is unfinished or don't have building regulations, we will buy your house.

Planning permission and Building regulation certificates

If you’ve made changes to your property, you need to provide evidence that you got the right consent. This could include copies of planning permissions, Building Regulations approvals, and completion certificates.

As a seller, you should also give information about any building or alteration work that does not have the relevant permissions and details of any incomplete building or alteration work. If you don’t have planning permission, the council can start enforcement notice against you.

Whether you have started a refurbishment project that is unfinished or don’t have building regulations, we will buy your house.

If you live in a listed building, you need to show details of any listed building consent you have received for interior and exterior works.

Similarly, if you live in a Conservation Area, where consent is needed for certain works, you must provide evidence to demonstrate that any changes comply with local rules.

Guarantees and other warranties

Houses are never perfect, so there’s no need to pretend yours is. If there’s an issue and you’ve taken steps to address it, that demonstrates that you’re a responsible homeowner.

So, if it’s something like damp or Japanese knotweed, keep evidence of any work that has been done, like receipts or warranties.

The same goes for any warranties you might have for electrical goods or other fixtures and fittings which you want to leave behind.

If you don’t want to take them with you, then you can either include them in the sale or offer them to the buyer for an extra fee. Thinking about these things early on will make the sale process smoother.

Other documents and “material facts”

You should be prepared to provide your estate agent with all material facts about your property. According to government guidance, these are facts that can significantly influence a buyer’s decision to purchase.

For instance, a property that is prone to flooding or is non-standard in construction. Estate agents are legally obliged to share this data with prospective buyers.

You should also be ready to furnish your estate agent with details of any non-optional financial commitments such as council tax, leasehold charges, and rent charge costs if your property is a new build. In addition, government guidance for selling a house suggests that you present any Party Wall Agreements for works that affected shared walls with your neighbour, if applicable.

They also recommend any insurance policies taken out when purchasing the home, like indemnity insurance policies, be passed on to the new owner. You should also provide information about any restrictive covenants.

It is important to present your home in a positive light, but do not mislead potential buyers by covering up defects, for example, by painting over damp patches.  All these material facts must be disclosed to the buyers.

These issues are likely to be identified during the buyer’s survey, which could lead to price negotiations and potential delays.

Planning permission and Building regulation certificates
The key thing to remember is to provide as much relevant information and documentation to your solicitor as possible.

What documents do I need to sell my house?

Hopefully, this guide has helped if you were wondering what documents you need to sell your house. The key thing to remember is to provide as much relevant information and documentation to your solicitor as possible.

This will help them give advice on what needs to be shared with the buyer, reducing the risk of avoidable delays, costs, and buyers withdrawing.

Sell to us!

Sell your house to us! We don’t need all documents, and can take a view on things.  Here’s why you should get in touch:

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