What documents do I need to sell my house?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, there are a number of documents that you’ll need to prepare. If you haven’t sold for many years, sorting out the paperwork can be quite difficult and potentially confusing.

1) Proof of identity

This is quite straightforward. You’ll need to prove your identity and your address to your solicitor, your estate agent and your mortgage lender (if applicable). In order to do this you’ll need:

  • A copy of a recent bank statement or utility bill – not more than 3 months old
  • A driving licence or passport
British passport
Bank statement

2) Property title deeds

Title deeds are documents showing the chain of ownership for land and property including:

  • Conveyances
  • Contracts of Sale
  • Wills
  • Mortgage
  • Leases

Not everyone has the property title deeds to their home at hand by the time they want to sell – so don’t worry if you haven’t got yours. They could be with the solicitor who acted for you when you bought the property or with the mortgage company if you have a mortgage.

If the property was already registered when you bought it, the seller may not have handed over the original deeds – it’s not a legal requirement – but this can make it difficult.

If you can’t get hold of the documents, you will have to apply to the Land Registry. If your house has not been sold since 1986, the Land Registry is unlikely to have a copy of the title deeds so you’ll have to apply for the ‘title absolute.’ Your solicitor will be able to assist. During the application, you’ll have to prove that:

  • You are the legal owner of the house
  • You have the right to the freehold
  • You have had possession of the house for at least 15 years.

3) Leasehold / shared freehold documents 

You will need to provide either a lease or Share Certificate depending on whether your property is leasehold or a shared freehold home.

If your property is leasehold, you’ll need to provide your estate agent/buyer and your solicitor with the following:

  • Details of the remaining time on the lease.
  • A copy of the lease/leasehold information pack which your solicitor should be able to obtain for you
  • All documents relating to service charges:
    • Copy of the accounts
    • Share certificate
    • Memorandum and articles
    • Buildings insurance
    • Recent correspondence from the freeholder/managing agent
    • Details of any major works planned
    • Fire risk assessments

Your freeholder or management company will probably charge for providing this information.

4) Property information form - TA6

Anyone selling a home is required to fill in this form which provide a detailed account of the property. This is a key document that the buyer relies on in deciding whether to proceed with the purchase of your home. It’s important to complete the form to the best of your knowledge, provide all supporting evidence in relation to your home, include all the information requested and make sure all information is correct:

The form covers 14 different subjects including:

  1. Boundaries – who is responsible for the maintenance or repair of your property’s boundaries and whether any notice has been received under the Party Wall Act 1996 regarding shared boundaries.
  2. Disputes & Complaints – whether there have been any disputes with neighbours regarding the property you are selling or a nearby property – for example, have you or they complained about noise or neighbours blocking your driveway?
  3. Notices and proposals – whether there are any notices or proposals that might affect the property – such as building or planning issues in the local area.
  4. Alterations, planning and building control – whether any building works, additions or extensions have been carried out or are in progress and whether these comply with planning permission and building regulations. Is your home listed? In a Conservation Area? Are there any tree preservation orders on the trees in your garden?
  5. Guarantees and warranties – these may include timber treatment, damp proofing, roofing, underpinning, electrical work or new windows.
  6. Insurance – the situation regarding building insurance and whether there have been any claims.
  7. Environmental matters – this could cover flooding, radon, energy efficiency (energy performance certificates) and the presence of Japanese Knotweed. Is your home in a flood zone, has it ever been flooded?
  8. Rights and informal arrangements – this refers to access rights and shared use but also asks about any obscure local laws in force which a buyer should know about. Are there shared drives? Does a neighbour have a right of way over your garden? Is there a public footpath across your garden? Rights also include the rights to (natural) light, rights of support from adjoining properties, customary rights – that is rights that are enjoyed by local residents as a result of tradition or custom, rights of other people to mine minerals under your land or the right to take timber, fish, hay or any other product from your land. Do any drains, wires or cables cross your property – for example is there a drainage pipe beneath your garden?
  9. Parking – this relates to the parking arrangements such as residents’ parking permits, carports or garages for cars or other vehicles.
  10. Other charges – are there service charges, payments to a management company for example or the use of a private drainage system or cost of maintaining a private road
  11. Occupiers – who lives at the property and is it being sold with vacant possession – that is without anyone else living there. Do you have a lodger that will need to vacate the property?
  12. Services – electricity, central heating, water, gas, drainage/sewerage systems and whether any of these have been tested or upgraded.
  13. Connections to Utilities and Services – what utilities are connected to the property and who supplies them.
  14. Transaction information – whether the seller is trying to complete on a sale and purchase on the same day, will the seller remove rubbish prior to completion and will reasonable care be taken with removals.

Documentation necessary to support the TA6 form 

  1. EPC Certificate
  2. Electrical Certificates
  3. FENSA Certificates for Windows (if applicable)
  4. Gas Certificates
  5. Warranties
  6. Planning permission certificates and building control sign off
  7. New Build Guarantees

For a sample TA6 form, please visit www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/property/transaction-forms

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