Associate Oonagh Murdock explains......
The likely timeframe for completing a sale of a house once it has been agreed is around 8 to 10 weeks. The process is often delayed unnecessarily by limiting factors which in many cases are avoidable.
Here are some top tips to ensure that your sale is completed as quickly as possible. Taking these steps will save you time and money.
- Instruct your solicitor as early as possible. Work can be started on the matter while your house is still on the market.
- Photographic identification and proof of your permanent address will be required so make sure you have these documents available.
- Locate the title deeds for you house. If you have a mortgage, the title deeds will be held by your lender. Provide your solicitor with the name of the lender and your mortgage account number as early as possible so that deeds can be requested. If you do not have a mortgage, your title deeds may be held by your bank or a former solicitor or you may have them at home.
- Gas fired heating system or any gas appliances will need up to date Gas Safety Certificates.
- Ground rent needs to be paid up to date. The buyer’s Solicitor will ask for the latest receipt to confirm that payments are up to date. You should also be able to provide the last rates bill for the property.
- Alterations to the property or extensions may have required planning permission and/or building control approval. Make sure that these documents are available. Building control approval is also required for changes to the heating system and the installation of wood burning or multi fuel stoves. Retrospective building control approval can be applied for if necessary. It is obviously better to do this as early as possible to avoid delay.
- Shared facilities are common in apartment complexes or in new developments. Additional documents relating to matters like service charges, block insurance policies, management company accounts and minutes of meetings all need to be provided to the buyer. Make sure you have these available. The Managing Agent for the complex may be able to provide duplicates if necessary.
- Pre-Contract Enquiries are standard questions raised by the buyer’s Solicitor in every house purchase. The questions often raise issues that can cause delay. Your Solicitor will be able to assist you in answering these questions. which are very detailed. The sooner you instruct your Solicitor the quicker any issues can be addressed.
- A valid Energy Performance Certificate must be provided to the buyer and you should discuss this with your Estate Agent if you are in any doubt.