Ready to sell your house? Be prepared for paperwork! Having your documents in order is essential to make sure that you’re able to progress the sale of your house without delay.
15th June, 2022
Ready to sell your house? Be prepared for paperwork! Selling a property isn’t like flogging your old possessions on Ebay. Having your documents in order is essential to make sure that you’re able to progress the sale of your house without delay. Vendors that are prepared and move quickly through the conveyancing process are far less likely to have a sale fall through.
But what documents are needed to sell a house? Some are more complex than others, but worry not! We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to all the documents that you’ll need to sell your house fast. We’ve even included template downloads.
Searching for something in particular? Such as what is a TA6 form, or how can I obtain copies of Title Deeds? Use the menu below to jump to the topic that you’re interested in. If you’re looking for the entire list, just read on.
The first and most basic of the documents you need to sell your house are your title deeds. Title deeds are a legal record of the ownership of land/property. They are basically a proof of ownership and include things like access rights and restrictions on the property.
Title deeds are important because they act as the final word in any legal dispute surrounding land or property. They clearly define ownership and financial interest in a piece of land or property.
Title deeds are stored electronically by the Land Registry. You should have received a copy of your deeds when you bought your house, but if you can’t locate them then you can download a copy from the Land Registry for £3.
Things get more complicated if your property isn’t registered. Around 15% of land and property in the UK is unregistered. This is usually the case if you bought your house before 1986 and it hasn’t been registered. If you’re in this situation then don’t panic, there is a solution. Your conveyancing solicitor will apply for something called a Title Absolute. This certificate allows you to sell your house without the original deed. However, it’s a lot of admin. You need to prove that you’ve owned the property for more than 15 years. If you suspect that you’ll be in this situation then you should start the process as soon as possible to avoid delays with your house sale.
Proof of ID and Address
Another basic set of documents that you’ll always need to sell your property is a proof of ID and address. This is so that your solicitor can perform anti money laundering (AML) checks, and verify that you are who you say you are! This information is required by estate agents and solicitors alike. Regulations dictate that they have to keep this information on file for a minimum of five years, so they won’t hang onto your data indefinitely.
The documents that are typically accepted as proof of ID and address are one piece of photo identification (such as a driving licence or passport), and a recent utility or council tax bill. Bank statements are also usually accepted, so if you’re struggling to locate one of these you can always pop into your local branch.
An Energy Performance Certificate (known as an EPC) is a legally required document to sell your house. The purpose of an EPC is to assess the energy efficiency of your home. It includes information about how much energy your home uses, and what its carbon dioxide impact is.
The EPC will score your property on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). It will also give your property a potential score if recommended improvements are to be carried out.
It’s possible that your property will already have an EPC. To check, just search the EPC register. If it’s been carried out in the past 10 years then you won’t need to have another carried out. If your EPC is missing or out of date then you’ll need to have one conducted. Your estate agent can arrange this for you, they typically cost between £50 and £75 and are carried out by a qualified professional.
Leasehold of Share of Freehold Documentation
The first step here is understanding if your property is leasehold or freehold. This information will be stored with the Land Registry, but it’s likely that you will know this anyway. You’ll need these documents when selling your house.
If the property is a leasehold, the buyer will need to see a copy of the lease. It’s also likely that they will request a Leasehold Information Form (TA7), but more on that later. If the property is a share of freehold then you will likely have a ‘share certificate’ or ‘membership’ certificate which details the terms of the freehold. Having a share of freehold can often increase the value of a leasehold property. So having these documents ready when selling your house is important.
Property Information Form (TA6)
The property information form (also known as a TA6) is one of the most critical documents when selling a property in the UK. If you’re wondering what certificates you need to sell your house, this is possibly the most important of the lot!
The property information form provides a set of comprehensive information about your property to the buyer. You’ll usually fill this out right at the start of the conveyancing process. It’s good to get an idea of the sort of information you’ll be asked to provide so that you can begin gathering it in advance. Being as thorough as possible is advised to prevent unnecessary back and forth after your house goes under offer.
The TA6 covers a broad range of information about your property. It includes things like:
Property Boundaries. Including where they lie and any shared boundaries with neighbouring properties.
Disputes. This can include disputes with neighbouring properties regarding boundaries, disputes with the management company if you have a leasehold property, or perhaps disputes with your Local Authority.
Your situation. The TA6 will ask for an overview of your situation to let the buyer know about your onward plans and moving timeline.
Notices and proposals. The property information form will include information regarding planned future developments in the area, and any correspondence wth the local authority or neighbours.
Insurance. Information about the cost to insure the property and whether there are any special conditions with the property that require bespoke insurance.
Parking. The parking situation of the property. It can include things like whether there is on or off-street parking, or any allocated spaces.
Environmental Factors. Information about any Japanese knotweed that could affect the property, potential flooding, and other environmental risks or matters. This section also references the energy performance of the property.
Charges. This is particularly important for a leasehold property. It will include information like ground rent and service charges or the maintenance of the property.
Planning. Certificates for any extension or building work that has been carried out on the property that has required planning permission.
Guarantees and warranties. Any cover for work or objects on or in the property. Such as damp proofing, electrical works, underpinning, solar panels, etc.
It’s clear that the TA6 is a very detailed document that you need when selling your house. It’s crucial to be as as thorough and accurate as possible. Any incorrect or missing information could expose you to a compensation claim. Check it out in advance and download a sample TA6 form.
Fitting and Contents Form (TA10)
This is also known as the Fixtures and Fittings form. This is not an essential certificate to sell your house. However, it’s strongly recommended to avoid confusion and/or disputes with a buyer. The purpose of the TA10 is to outline all of the fixtures and fittings that are included in or excluded from the sale. This document will include things such as:
Interior furnishings. Things like carpets, curtain rails, radiators, bathroom and towel rails.
White Goods. These are things like fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines, etc.
Outdoor items or garden furniture.
Whilst the TA10 isn’t an essential document to sell your house, once you’ve completed it it’s legally binding and forms part of the contract of sale. A breach of the TA10 may result in a fine. For more detail, download an example TA10 form.
Leasehold Information Form (TA7)
If you’re selling a leasehold property then you’ll need a to fill out a leasehold information form. This is a document needed to sell your house or flat that includes questions specific to leasehold properties. The TA7 contains questions about:
The property. Information about the property type (i.e. house or flat) and whether or not ownership is shared. If you’re not 100% sure about this then ask your solicitor to check your title deeds. This section will also refer to the ground rent which is usually payable to the freeholder on most leasehold properties.
Building management. This requests information about the managing agent who deals with the day to day running of the building. This is usually the person or company to whom you’ll pay a service charge. On occasion the building can be managed by a group of tenants. This will be a limited company and will be registered with Companies House.
Contact details. Straightforward enough. This is just contact information for the landlord and managing agent.
Maintenance and Service Charges. Details of the service charges that go towards maintenance and required works for the building and grounds.
Alterations. This applies to the individual property described in the lease, as opposed to the entire building. It requests details of any alterations that have been carried out, along with any planning consents and building regulations approvals etc.
If you want to get a more detailed idea of the information you’ll require we’ve included a sample TA7 form for you to download.
FENSA is short for ‘Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme’. It was created to ensure the installation of doors and windows comply with building regulations. This is not an essential certificate that you need to sell your house, but again, it’s highly recommended. It gives buyers confidence that the doors and windows in the property are fitted to a high standard. If you’re unable to locate your FENSA certificate then you can download a new one on the FENSA website.
Electrical and Gas Safety Certificates
The Electrical safety certificate (also known as an EICR) outlines the functioning and the safety of your electrical system. Since 2005 it is a legal requirement for any electrical work to comply with building regulations. The production of this certificate when selling your home is a great way to show that your property is of a high standard.
The gas safety certificate gives the buyer a lot of information. It shows them that the boiler has been installed by a Gas Safe engineer and gives a record of service history for your boiler. Gas certificates are a mandatory document to let a property. So this is a good certificate to provide if you’re selling to a buy-to-let investor.
Can you sell your house without documents?
We’ve given you an overview of what documents you need to sell your house. Some are essential. But you can certainly minimise the hassle and cost of gathering together all the necessary certificates for a house sale. SmoothSale is a nationwide cash house buyer, with decades of experience in buying houses for cash.
We know that getting all these documents together can be costly and time consuming, especially when you want to sell your house fast. That’s why we cover all of your legal fees for the sale of your property when you sell to us.
We can accommodate special circumstances, and we’re understanding when documents are missing. We buy any house in any condition, so why not get in touch today on 0800 368 8952 and find out how we can help.