The paperwork you need to sell your home


When selling your home you need to be well organised – because there’s a lot of essential paperwork to sort out long before the sale is completed.

The legal process of selling a property in the UK means that if you haven’t got everything together, there could be delays. So, you must get things in order.

We’ve already looked at the process of conveyancing and this is when a lot of the documents will be required. Our advice is to do this as soon as you decide to put your property on the market. This will not only save time, but if you cannot locate something and need copies, you can make arrangements to order them. It will help speed up the sale in the long run,


Paperwork you need to sell your home


Identity check

The first thing you’ll need to do so that mortgage lenders, legal representatives and estate agents can help you is prove your identity. This is so that money laundering checks can be made. The documents you require include a driving licence or passport. You also need proof of your current address, such as a bank statement or utility bill that’s less than three months old.

Land Registry documents

Title deeds prove you rightfully own the property. When you bought your home your solicitor may have sent them to you. But check with them as your mortgage lender may hold the original deeds. And if you can’t find them, you can check with Land Registry and order a copy.


Leasehold documents

Most properties in the UK are freehold. But if the property you are selling is leasehold, then you’ll need the lease documents. If you’re unsure about the difference between leasehold and freehold, then check out our blog about them. Remember, that if your lease has less than 80 years to run, you will need to look at extending it. Mortgage lenders aren’t keen on offering mortgages for shorter periods so prospective buyers may not secure a mortgage. The documents will let your buyer know if there are any services charges, admin feeds or ground rent to pay.


Energy Performance Certificates

The EPC is legally required before you can sell a property. This outlines how efficient your home is. Check out more with our blog on EPCs. If you don’t have a certificate, you must get one before your property is marketed. And if you can’t find yours, check out the EPC page of the government’s website.

Gas safety certificates

While your EPC proves the efficiency of your home, gas safety certificates issued by a Gas Safe registered engineer proves your boiler is safe. This isn’t a legal requirement but it could be used against you in any negotiations. Buyers could ask for a reduction as they will assume your boiler hasn’t been maintained and they may need to replace it when they move in.


Electrical checks

You only need to legally prove that electrical work meets standards if you have altered the wiring or have extended it since January 2005. If you haven’t then the onus of checking the safety of electrics is on the buyer not the seller. But if you have had electrical work carried out since January 2005, then you must obtain a ‘Part B Building Regulation Certificate’. Your solicitor will then pass this to the buyer. If you can’t find your certificate, talk to the electrical who carried out the work.

Window certificates

If you have replaced the windows of your property since moving in then you must provide a CERTASS or FENSA certificate. These certificates are valid for 10 years and prove your windows meet building regulations. If you cannot find them or the windows were replaced by a workman who isn’t approved by CERTASS or FENSA, you may need to pay indemnity insurance for the new owner.

Planning permission and building regs

If you have changed your property since buying it, then you will need to show that you obtained the correct approvals. This includes planning permission from relevant authorities, Building Regulation approvals and completion certificates. Sellers need to give details of any alteration of building work that hasn’t any of the necessary permissions and consents. You also need to give all unfinished alterations and building work.

Anyone who lives in a listed building needs to also give details of listed building consent given for exterior or interior works. This is also the case for anyone selling in a Conservation Area.

New build warranties

For properties less than 10 years old, you should have a copy of your Buildmark policy and warranty documents from the NHBC. You can find out more directly from them.

As you can see, there are a lot of elements to get in order before your sale goes through. Some certificates are legal while others are recommended because they prove your property has been well maintained. Failure to prove warranties and certificates could mean you have to lower your price to sell.

So if you have had work carried out on damp, had Japanese knotweed removed or rendered your house in the past few years, make sure you find the receipts and guarantees. It’s the same for any fixtures and fittings you’re leaving behind – such as built-in kitchen appliances.  

Getting everything in order means you not only increase the chances of reaching your sale price, but it also reduces the chance of delays.

Need help?

If you need help understanding what you need before selling your home, contact our experienced team today.

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