Yorkshire expert reveals how to remove the headache from selling your home

When it's time to move, getting our house looking good for the marketplace is just the start.

Sarah Minchin, Head of Conveyancing Heptonstalls Ltd
Sarah Minchin, Head of Conveyancing Heptonstalls Ltd

Selling a home is a complex process, with lots of paperwork to arrange and legal processes to complete.

So how can we make moving on as straight-forward as possible?

According to Sarah Minchin, head of the award-winning conveyancing team at Heptonstalls Solicitors, the conveyancing process (the name given to the process of buying and selling a house) involves a large amount of legal input to transfer the ownership of a property.

“Checking the legal title documentation, conducting searches to determine whether there are environment or other issues and drawing up draft contracts detailing what is included in the transaction are just some of the steps involved,” she says.

“The responsibility of completing these tasks falls to a qualified conveyancer, however there are steps a homeowner can take to ensure any potential delays are minimised.”

First of all, she urges potential sellers to be organised and be prepared to be open with information.

“You will be asked to complete a Property Information Form which asks a range of questions about the property. Over the course of owning a property it is possible that work has been conducted to improve the home and a detailed record of paperwork must be kept of any work undertaken.

“If, for example, the property has had a new boiler fitted, paperwork should be presented to prove the work was done by a qualified professional.”

The same goes for any alterations made to the property that required either planning permission or consent from a third party, such as an extension.

“It is vital that all correspondence and information is presented to your conveyancer,” Sarah adds.

“If work has been done and you have no record, or if you are unsure of anything then you must be open with your conveyancer so time is not wasted unnecessarily.”

She warns that wherever possible sellers will want to avoid paying for an indemnity insurance policy - often requested by the buyers’ conveyancer if, for example, there’s no completion certificate showing that the appropriate building regulations have been followed or there is a lack of evidence that consent was granted.

“If an indemnity policy is required, it will add extra costs and additional time to the process,” she adds.

It is even worthwhile to keep and present letters from the local authority about any work that has been done to nearby public areas or roads and any formal communications relating to work or changes to adjacent properties.

Adds Sarah: “Whatever improvements you have had, keep all consents, certificates and guarantees in a safe place. All of this will help your conveyancer to help you and keep the process to a reasonable time-frame.”

Goole-based Heptonstalls Solicitors conveyancing team were double winners at the inaugural ESTAS conveyancing awards, the biggest award scheme in the UK residential property industry.

The firm reached the final in the regional conveyancing category on the basis of feedback data from its clients and was awarded the Best in County in addition to the Regional Gold Award for Yorkshire.

If you are buying or selling a home and want the support of award-winning Heptonstalls Solicitors, call 0800 917 8267 or visit www.heptonstalls.co.uk