Conveyancing can be a long and stressful process, but the work of conveyancers helps to reduce this significantly by taking on many of the more complex tasks. Selling a house can be daunting, and many legal considerations need to be taken into account to ensure a smooth and successful sale, such as providing an Energy Performance Certificate and completing Property Information Forms. It is also important to consider issues such as property boundaries, Capital Gains Tax, and the conveyancing process itself. Understanding what each of these issues includes can help you understand the work of your conveyancer.
This article will explore eight important issues that have to be considered when selling your home in England and Wales, many of them are legal considerations that your solicitor will take care of for you. During Conveyancing Week, we are encouraging people to look behind the scenes to understand the work being carried out by us in helping sales and purchases to go as smoothly as possible.
1 – Conveyancing
The conveyancing process involves transferring legal ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. It is essential to work with a qualified solicitor or conveyancer who can handle the legal aspects of the sale, including the drafting and review of contracts, the transfer of funds, and the registration of ownership with the Land Registry.
An EPC is required when selling a residential property in England and Wales. The EPC rates the energy efficiency of the property on a scale from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient. The certificate is valid for 10 years and must be provided to the buyer before the sale is completed.
You may need to pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell your home such as if you are selling a property that isn’t your home or you live abroad. A specialist tax advisor can help you understand whether any tax might be payable.
4 – Property Information Forms
When selling a residential property, the seller is required to complete a Property Information Form and a Fittings and Contents Form – so your conveyancer will make sure this is complete by sending you all the relevant paperwork, and help you complete them. For leasehold properties, there is also a third form – the Leasehold Information Form.
The Property Information Form provides the buyer with details about the property, such as any disputes or complaints with neighbours, building work or renovations, and any guarantees or warranties that are still valid. The Fittings and Contents Form lists all the items that are included in the sale, such as appliances or light fixtures. The Leasehold Information Form is more concerned with the management aspects of the Building as a whole such as in relation to service charges, upcoming works of repair and so on.
It is important to ensure that the property boundaries are clearly defined and any disputes with neighbours over the boundaries are resolved before completing the sale. This can be done by checking the title deeds, commissioning a survey, or consulting with a solicitor.
If you are using an estate agent to sell your property, you will need to pay their fees, which are typically a percentage of the sale price. It is important to shop around and compare fees from different agents to ensure you are getting a fair price.
It is important to consider any repairs or renovations that may be required before putting your property on the market. Addressing these issues before the sale can help to increase the property’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.
The timing of your sale can have a significant impact on the price you receive and the speed of the sale. Factors such as the time of year, market conditions, and the state of the economy can all impact the sale price. It is important to consider these factors when deciding when to put your property on the market, and to be prepared for the possibility that the sale may take longer than expected.