So you’re thinking of selling your property, what can you do to help your solicitor?
Since 1999 most mortgage companies have asked solicitors to keep hold of deeds and documents or to pass them onto their clients. If you have bought or re-mortgaged since 1999 you may have had documents sent to you by your solicitor along with a recommendation that these papers are kept in a safe place. Even if you bought a property with a mortgage prior to 1999, you may have received a letter direct from your mortgage company advising you that they no longer hold onto these papers and they are returning them to you for your safe keeping. If any of this sounds familiar, then check out those papers and pass them to your solicitors soon as possible.
The initial forms you need to complete are a group of forms known as Protocol Forms and they are the required Transaction Forms; TA6, TA10 and TA7 (if the property is leasehold). They ask a number of questions covering, for example, what works have been carried out to the property since it was built (not since you purchased), if there are any issues, any payments made by you over and above the usual gas and electricity payments and any rights exercised by you or others over the property or over adjoining property.
If you are aware of any works being carried out to the property then you should send those papers to your solicitor as soon as possible and, if it appears you may be missing something e.g. a guarantee, it would be good if you could try and obtain a duplicate. Regulations are often changing. In 2005 regulations were introduced requiring certain works carried out by an electrician need to be carried out by a Competent Person (CP). This is not the same as a guarantee. For example, I had my kitchen refitted in 2006 and had additional electric sockets installed and a gas cooker fitted, both of which were undertaken by a CP and I know that, when I sell my house, I will need to produce the certificates I was given by the CP. Also if you, or the previous owners, have had windows or doors installed after April 2002, you should have been given a FENSA, CERTASS or Building Regulation Completion Certificate; again, these are not guarantees. Make sure you provide these papers to your solicitor as your Buyer’s solicitor will ask for them.
If the property you are selling is leasehold or freehold with common parts for which you pay a service charge/maintenance fee, you will need to provide copies of the demands, receipts and records, together with details of who issues both the service charge demands and ground rent demands (sometimes they are different people or companies). This will then enable your solicitor to make contact with these companies sooner rather than later. They will then be able to obtain the information they need from these people to pass onto your Buyer’s solicitor.
Getting all of these documents and details to your solicitor as soon as possible will help speed up the process and identify any missing documents early on. Sending a complete and accurate package of contract papers will only help aid the sale.
If in doubt give your solicitors everything you hold, for they would much rather have too much than too little and you’ll be glad in the long run too!
For more information with regard to the above or to discuss any other aspect of a residential property transaction please do contact us at the office most convenient for you. Details can be found on the contact page of the website.