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Ask a solicitor: what paperwork do I need if I’m selling my home?

PUBLISHED: 12:26 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:55 27 August 2020

Having your paperwork in order can speed up the house-selling process. Picture: Getty Images

Having your paperwork in order can speed up the house-selling process. Picture: Getty Images

Graham Oliver

Natalie Briggs, conveyancing executive at Spire Solicitors LLP, discusses the different paperwork you need when selling your house.

Getting a house sale through to completion is proving to be a problem in Norfolk's property market, says Jamie Minors. Picture: Getty ImagesGetting a house sale through to completion is proving to be a problem in Norfolk's property market, says Jamie Minors. Picture: Getty Images

If you are thinking about selling your home, you may want to make sure you have the right paperwork, records and certificates in place in order to make the process smoother. Being prepared for any potential enquiries will help to avoid any delays along the way.

Should I throw away old papers relating to my property?

It is tempting to throw away old papers when cleaning or thinking of moving home, but anything relating to renovation or upgrading on a property should be kept safe and sound to avoid problems and delays when you come to sell your house.

Having your paperwork in order can speed up the house-selling process. Picture: Getty ImagesHaving your paperwork in order can speed up the house-selling process. Picture: Getty Images

If the tradesperson didn’t give you the right paperwork, it makes sense to track down what you can before you get too far along the sale process.

What about works involving gas and electricity?

Any work involving electricity or gas should be carried out by someone who is suitably qualified and they should certify that the work has been properly carried out in accordance with applicable regulations. New windows should have a FENSA certificate.

What about any alterations I have made?

Internal modifications may need building regulations consent and, when the work is complete, you will need a certificate confirming that those regulations have been satisfied, together with any planning permission, if that was also required.

It is down to the household to make sure these documents are provided, although it can mean having to be firm if a tradesperson treats such paperwork as of secondary importance, especially once the work is complete and they have been paid.

What about any old deeds I have for my home?

Old deeds and conveyancing documents may also be important. Although most properties are now registered at the Land Registry and the owner’s title consists of an electronic entry held by the Land Registry, the old deeds may contain information that does not appear in the Land Registry records. For example, the Land Registry title may state that a property is subject to certain rights or undertakings – known as covenants – but the record may not include the details about what exactly those rights or covenants are, and the only way of finding out is by referring to the old deeds.

If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP Norwich office on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs.


This page is sponsored by Spire Solicitors.


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