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A bit of preparation can help avoid delays when selling

Published: 1/01/2019 Last Updated: 4/01/2019 12:13:23 By: Heather Auld Tags: #prepareforsale

With a fast-moving market, this is the perfect time to sell your property. Stories are being traded between estate agents and solicitors alike of offers being accepted at 15% or more in excess of Home Report value - and all this against the Brexit backdrop.

In such a dynamic market, being prepared could make the difference between losing or securing a sale and so here is my guide to the organisational must-dos if you are considering selling your property.

Papers, papers, papers

It is said that lawyers love nothing more than paperwork and I have to say that this remains the case in conveyancing (despite Lindsays going “paper light” over the last couple of months!). Your property is, ultimately, a second hand item which, to a certain extent, is sold as seen but there are a couple of matters which must be in good order when you come to sell the property.

Building work consents

One of the most common reasons for a delay in a sale transaction is missing consents for structural alterations. As a general rule, you should be able to exhibit a building warrant, completion certificate and, ideally, approved plans, for all structural alterations which have been carried out to the property within the last 20 years.

However, if the paperwork does not exist, let your solicitor know as soon as possible. There are a number of ways to remedy the situation so all is not lost and the more time your solicitor has to deal with matters, the less likely your settlement day will be delayed leaving all parties unhappy.

Specialist works guarantees

Similarly, if you have had any specialist works carried out to your property such as: treatment for dry rot; damp; or cavity wall insulation for example, you should ingather the guarantees you received when the work was completed.  Then pass these to your solicitor as early in the sale process as possible.

Locate your title deeds

Finally, do you know where your title deeds are?

If you have a mortgage over the property, the likelihood is that these will be with your mortgage lender. However they could be with a firm of solicitors, in a filing cabinet at home, under your bed…

If the title deeds are with the mortgage lender, your solicitor will need a note of your lender’s details and account number to order these for you. Again, the sooner these are requested the better. It is not uncommon for some lenders to take several weeks to issue the deeds.

Fortunately, Glasgow was one of the first areas to register property in the Land Register and so, often, a solicitor can download a copy of the main title deed while the principal deeds are awaited.

These are my top tips on how to avoid delays in your property sale. Of course, some delays are outwith your control; but with a seller and a solicitor who are both on top of matters from the outset, it is remarkable what can be achieved.