Eight Things to Remember When You're Selling a House

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 as part of their standard processes. This Conveyancing Week, look to understand the work being carried out by many conveyancers behind the scenes, helping sales and purchases to go as smoothly as possible. Plus, whether you are a first-time seller or have sold properties before, understanding what goes on behind the scenes can help ensure a successful and stress-free sale!

National Conveyancing Week

National Conveyancing Week runs from Monday 20th March to Friday 24th March, and focuses on shining a positive light on the work of conveyancers. Much of the work done by those in this profession goes unseen and can be complex, leading to misunderstandings about what is involved. A lot goes into selling a property, but these experts do it each and every day, despite the challenges faced!

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.

2 - Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

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.

3 - Capital Gains Tax

Subject to certain conditions, you do not need to pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell your home. If you sell a property that isn’t your home, or you live abroad, you may need to pay Capital Gains tax. 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 it.

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.

5 - Property Boundaries

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.

6 - Estate Agent's Fees

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.

7 - Repairs and Renovations

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.

8 - Timing

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.


If you would like some further information about the contents of this article, contact us today on 01502 532300 or email us using the 'make an enquiry' form.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.