Ready, Steady, Sell

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You’ve eaten your weight in chocolate, drunk more than you care to admit and sung yourself hoarse (thanks Mariah), but now its January.  New year, new you, right?  Well, also new rules for marketing your house which you probably weren’t aware of…

Having spent Christmas at home with all those you hold dear; you’ve decided you need to move.  You have thrown away all the junk you’ve been hoarding in the attic forever, you’ve decluttered the lounge, given the kitchen a lick of paint, and even tidied the garden but have you thought about tidying up your property title?

Well, if you haven’t then now’s the time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s so that your big move can be as seamless and pain free as possible.

The Material Information Guidelines were published in November 2023 by The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT).  These set out what information is required to be provided by Agents when bringing a property to market.  The new requirements will benefit homebuyers in that there will be much more information available about the property when initially marketed on the internet, but it’s essential that the information is accurate and up to date.

So, how can we help?

As Residential Property Solicitors, we will assist you and or your agent in complying with the new requirements.  The earlier we are involved, the more assistance we can provide in this process. This is of benefit to you as a seller as it should help to speed up the conveyancing process.

Since 2022, under Part A of the Material Information Guidelines, it has been a requirement that all listings include details on the property/rental price, council tax band and tenure (freehold or leasehold).  The new Material Information Guidelines (Parts B & C) set out what further Material Information (broadly speaking, material facts are things which may have a major impact on whether a buyer decides to purchase your home; for example, if it regularly floods) Estate Agents are legally required to share with potential buyers.

Part B covers the Physical Characteristics of the Property which includes the Property Type, materials used in construction, number and type of rooms, utility supply (including sewerage, broadband and mobile coverage) and parking arrangements at the property.  All of this information should be known to you as the seller and if not known is easily attainable.

Part C is where it gets a bit trickier.  The Material Information required in this section includes information of building safety, restrictions and rights/easements affecting your property, flood risk, planning permissions and whether the property is in a mining area.  This information is not as readily available to your average seller and is an area where we as Solicitors can provide assistance.  Once instructed we can check your title and advise on restrictions and easements and can access information relating to flood risk, planning permissions and mining areas etc.

So how can you get sale ready?

Firstly, when you have decided to sell your property, you must identify any issues or problems with the property (for example damp) and get this checked out and potentially rectified before looking to market the property as otherwise you would be required to inform buyers of these issues.

Secondly, you need to check your title and ensure this is registered in the correct names – if you have got married and changed your name since purchase the register needs to be updated.  You should also ensure there are no former charges/restrictions still showing that should have been removed previously.  This is something we can assist with if instructed early enough in the process.

Third, you will need to collate all paperwork relating to the property which could include HM Land Registry title documents, gas checks completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer, electrical checks (an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or a NAPIT or NICEIC certificate/report from a registered electrical competent person, FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows, planning permission for any major work carried out, building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates for alterations or additions, subsidence guarantees/warranties, damp guarantees/warranties, any indemnity insurance policies previously obtained and party wall agreements (if relevant) to name but a few.

Finally, you should ensure you have suitable ID and proof of address documents available (and source of funds if you will also be purchasing a new property) as these will be required by your agents and solicitors. 

Once you have done all this, tidied up and put away that washing, then it’s time to get the property on the market and find your new dream home…

If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in the near future, please do not hesitate to contact our large and experienced Residential Property team across our three offices: St AlbansHarpenden and Luton. 

Disclaimer: General Information Provided Only
Please note that the contents of this article are intended solely for general information purposes and should not be considered as legal advice. We cannot be held responsible for any loss resulting from actions or inactions taken based on this article.

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