Prop­er­ty rep­re­sents the sin­gle biggest invest­ment you will ever make. For this very rea­son, much time, effort and mon­ey is invest­ed in prop­er­ty whether it is a pri­ma­ry res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty, or a sec­ondary investment.

When peo­ple think about prepar­ing their house for sale, they often think about the phys­i­cal aspects such as DIY and dec­o­rat­ing to attract poten­tial buy­ers, to poten­tial­ly accel­er­ate the time tak­en to receive an offer.

How­ev­er, very few think about legal­ly prepar­ing their house for sale.

Now you may now be think­ing why would I need to do such a thing as that’s why I pay you!’ How­ev­er, when you phys­i­cal­ly pre­pare your prop­er­ty for sale, you are effec­tive­ly sup­port­ing your cho­sen Estate Agents. By tak­ing steps legal­ly, you can sup­port your cho­sen solic­i­tor. The key to under­stand­ing this line of think­ing, is not to think of dif­fer­ent aspects of prop­er­ty trans­ac­tions as sep­a­rate, but to think of every­body work­ing togeth­er to achieve your ulti­mate goal, your sale. One break in the link can cause delays to you.

So what can you do?

The steps need­ed are very sim­ple but could save weeks dur­ing the Con­veyanc­ing process and also poten­tial­ly help buy­ers make deci­sions if you have the infor­ma­tion avail­able dur­ing the view­ing stages.

1) Locate your title deeds. If you have a mort­gage, your title deeds may be stored with your lender. The gener­ic view of title deeds is a bun­dle of old doc­u­ments. These are being phased out and are being replaced with Land Reg­istry Title Doc­u­ments which is often a dou­ble sided piece of A4 paper. You need to check your paper work from when you bought the prop­er­ty. Don’t wor­ry if you are miss­ing any, copies can be obtained from the Land Registry.

2) Gath­er any doc­u­ments you have that relate to the prop­er­ty, no mat­ter how triv­ial you think they are. Buy­ers will expect to see all doc­u­ments and by not pro­vid­ing them, it could result in delays and pos­si­bly you pay­ing for indem­ni­ty insur­ance. Win­dows installed after 1st April 2002 need FEN­SA cer­tifi­cates, boil­ers require Gas Safe cer­tifi­cates, and any reme­di­al works should have asso­ci­at­ed guar­an­tees. Last­ly, build­ing work will result in you need­ing to pro­duce build­ing reg­u­la­tions and plan­ning permissions.

3) Com­plete the Sell­er Infor­ma­tion Forms. These forms are a cru­cial part of the con­tract papers — The Prop­er­ty Infor­ma­tion Form includes infor­ma­tion about the prop­er­ty, the Fit­tings & Con­tent Form details what you intend to take/​leave or pos­si­bly sell to the pur­chasers, and last­ly if your prop­er­ty is Lease­hold, the Lease­hold Infor­ma­tion Form con­tains info about the Lease.

If time isn’t an issue to you, then you may not think the above is applic­a­ble. How­ev­er, miss­ing title doc­u­ments cost £8.00 — £24.00 from the Land Reg­istry, and miss­ing title doc­u­ments and guarantees/​certificates/​planning per­mis­sions will like­ly be cov­ered by Indem­ni­ty Insur­ance which you will pay for.

Ide­al­ly, you should aim get the infor­ma­tion togeth­er before you mar­ket the prop­er­ty so that your solic­i­tor can send com­plete con­tract papers on receipt of the sale mem­o­ran­dum from the Estate Agents. Your Cho­sen Estate Agent can also show the above infor­ma­tion to buy­ers, which will not only help them make informed deci­sions, but also demon­strate that you are seri­ous and organ­ised vendor.

This is the idea behind our Prop­er­ty Infor­ma­tion Packs (PIPs) and the now sus­pend­ed Home Infor­ma­tion Pack (HIPs). Our PIPs con­tain all of the above, as well as the Ener­gy Per­for­mance Cer­tifi­cate (EPC) which you need to legal­ly mar­ket your prop­er­ty, and the Land Reg­istry Title Doc­u­ment. What’s more, we don’t charge for the cre­ation of a PIP, you sim­ply pay for the EPC and the Title Document.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion con­tact Mar­ket­ing Man­ag­er, Rick Barrow.