Christopher Bean, Residential Property Partner, writes on getting ready to sell your home.
When we think about moving home and putting our property on the market we will often wonder if we need to paint the hallway, declutter the living room or make the garden look prettier. What we rarely do is start to think about the legal process that is known as conveyancing.
It is rare that we speak to you until the estate agents have found you a buyer and then our experience is that you will often wait to find a house to buy before calling us. By changing the way you prepare for the legal aspects you could save time and stress in trying to find the documents you will need.
In order to instruct us we need to deal with your Identity, we have to contact your mortgage lender if you have one and get various forms about the property completed. You may not have all the answers you need to hand, even worse they may have been “safely” stored away as part of the de-cluttering.
We try to make the process as painless as possible but at some point we need your help in the process. So we would suggest that as you start to think about selling you look out the papers from when you purchased and see what is there. There may be guarantees (even if out of date they may be useful), strange things called indemnity insurance policies or old searches. The actual title deeds are usually stored on-line now by the Land Registry so don’t panic if you can’t find those, but anything else will be useful and may save you having to spend money as the matter progresses if you have to replace documents that have gone missing.
You may have changed your name since you bought the property, we will need evidence of that or you may have altered or extended the property, again details from the local authority should be obtained if you don’t have them to hand.
You are probably thinking this sounds like a lot of work, and it is, or can be. So we suggest that you try not to put it off until the last moment and as you get your home ready to sell, get the legal papers in order. Even better speak to us early on and we can help you through the process. Then once the estate agents have found a buyer we can move swiftly and get contracts issued. Sadly delay is often cited as the reason that things fall through, our aim is to try and avoid delay as much as possible.
It’s never too early to speak to us about your conveyancing needs and hopefully we can help take the strain out of things for you.
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