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Our top tips for ensuring your property sale goes smoothly

When looking to sell a home or property your focus is probably on getting the best asking price by renovating existing rooms or just freshening the place up.

Here, Jackie Prior, Mander Hadley’s Associate Director, who heads up our residential property team, explains the steps that a seller can take to make the legal process of selling a home easier:

Selling a property can be just as frustrating as buying a home and no one wants delays, especially if you are part of a chain of sellers and buyers.

To help yourself there are several steps you can take before a sale to help it progress quickly and smoothly.

Prepare a document pack – There is no legal obligation to create an up front information pack about your home, although there have been attempts to introduce these in the past.

However, it does not hurt to find all the relevant documentation relating to the property and works done to it over the years. This could include planning permissions that have been granted or building regulation certificates for any extensions and alterations to the property, as well as guarantees, FENSA certificates for windows and Gas Safe certificates for central heating systems.

Conveyancers will want to see original documents as these will need to be handed over to your buyer’s solicitor on completion. If you cannot find originals, it may be worth requesting new copies.

If you have any original or copies of any documents or Deeds hand them to your conveyancer for them to check over, especially if copies are not available on the Land Registry site.

Obtain in advance information about any ground rent and/or service charges. A buyer will want to know exactly what they are paying for the property, including any additional costs.

These do not affect all properties, but many new builds, flats and shared ownership homes do contain clauses that require a regular service charge or rent to be paid.

It is also important to provide information on how or if these charges will increase over time. New laws are being enacted to prevent high service charges from being imposed, but some historic contracts may still include undesirable clauses that may be off-putting to a potential buyer.

Consider Renewing your lease – If you own a leasehold property, your lease should have sufficient time left remaining. Any lease that has less than 80 years remaining is typically seen as a ‘short lease’.

This is because any costs associated with extending the lease start to increase dramatically after this point. If you have such a lease, it might be worth investigating the costs to extend the lease or buy the freehold if it is a house.  A short lease could reduce the value of your home.

Choose an effective solicitor – One of the key aspects in the speed and delivery of a sale is often your choice of solicitor. Some mortgage providers may have an approved panel of conveyancing providers, which can limit who you go with, but it is recommended that you seek out independent referrals for firms you are thinking of using to get other clients’ experiences of the conveyancing process. A slow and ineffective conveyancer can hamper a sale and lead it to drag on.

Mander Hadley has a quick and easy to use online Conveyancing Portal. The portal includes a price calculator which provides an instant estimate of our conveyancing fees and the charges payable to third parties.

Clients can instruct us online at the click of a button at any time of the day or night. As always, our dedicated conveyancing team will be available to assist throughout your transaction.”

You can check out the Conveyancing Portal here or for help and advice please contact us and we can arrange for a member of the team to get in touch.

Mander Hadley

Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.