Making the decision to sell your house is a big one but once you’ve made it there are a few things you can do to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. After choosing your estate agent the second thing you should do is get a solicitor instructed. How to choose one was covered in last issue’s article in some depth but the important thing to remember is not to leave this step until you agree a sale. Getting started with the paperwork now could save you valuable time and give your buyer less opportunity to change their mind. You will need to sign their terms and conditions, provide ID and complete “property information” and “contents and fittings” forms. At this stage they will also highlight to you some documentation that will be useful to get in place.
Much of your preparation should focus on speeding up the process from sale to exchange and with this in mind you will want to make sure that you have located your deeds and relevant documentation. Electrical certificates will serve to allay any possible fears on the buyer’s side and if you have gas central heating make sure you have copies of the annual boiler servicing certificates.
If you have had any works done to your house that required planning permission get all of that documentation together in one place, you will also need building regulation details and any completion certificates. Others works that have been carried out such as damp proof work will need their guarantees and if you have had double glazing fitted in the last 10 years you will also need your FENSA certificate.
Lastly depending on the age of your property it may be worth considering getting a home buyers report done. Commissioning the survey has always historically been the preserve of the prospective buyer but having a newly done survey on hand on viewings and in your estate agent’s office can often shortcut the decision process and stop you from losing many thousands in a re-negotiation.