Energy Performance Certificates

If you’re planning on selling your home, you must provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), free of charge to potential buyers but at a cost to you.

An EPC gives information on the energy efficiency of a property using A to G ratings, with A being the most energy efficient and G the least efficient. The certificate is produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor.

You and anyone acting on your behalf, for example, an estate agent, must try to ensure that a certificate is available within 7 days of the property first being put on the market. A certificate is valid for ten years and can be used multiple times during this period.

Using An Estate agent Or Selling The Property Yourself

If you wish to sell your property you can find a buyer yourself or use an estate agent. Before making a decision you should consider how much each method would cost and how much time you have available. If you use an estate agent, it will be more expensive but the estate agent will take responsibility for advertising, showing potential buyers round, and negotiating a price for the house. If you wish to find a buyer yourself, it will be cheaper but you will need the time to make all these arrangements and deal with any problems.

Our advice would be to chose a local reputable agent to assist you. House moving is very stressful and estate agents are able to remove some of this stress for you when securing a buyer for your home. They will investigate the buyers situation both financially and in regard to any potential sale of their own home.

What Price To Ask

If you wish to find a buyer yourself, you must first decide what price you want to ask for the property. Many estate agents do free valuations so it is always possible to arrange for two or more local estate agents to provide this information. If you want a formal valuation, you could arrange for an estate agent to provide this but you would have to pay a fee. In addition, you can find out about the cost of houses locally by looking at local papers, estate agents’ windows and similar houses in the area.

Before deciding on a price, you may wish to consider:-

  • doing any repairs or decorating if this would make it easier to sell the house
  • arranging for a survey if you think there are any major problems that might
    affect the value of the house, for example, a roof in a bad state of repair.

You should also decide in advance if you are prepared to include any extras in the sale, for example, curtains and carpets. These are known as fittings. A price for these can be included in the asking price or a separate price can be asked in addition.

There are some items that you must sell as part of the house unless you make it clear to the buyer that such items are not included in the sale. These are known as fixtures and include such items as fireplaces and a central heating system. However, in some cases it is not always clear whether something is a fixture or fitting so it would be useful for you to draw up a list of any items you intend to remove or are prepared to sell to avoid problems later. We will ask you to fully complete a fixtures and fittings list indicating which items are included or are for sale separately, or simply do not exist at the property.

It is normal practice for a potential buyer to offer a lower price for the house than the seller is asking. You might therefore want to allow for this by setting your price a little higher than the amount you would like to get.

However as stated above, we do recommend using a local agent to help you rather than try and sell your home yourself. Sometimes our emotions block sensible actions! Estate Agents can handle all negotiations on price and additional items which is easier than trying to negotiate these yourself.

Once the buyer confirms their lawyers details, we will issue contracts to them and matters will progress from there. We will handle enquiries that we are able to and refer any that you need to assist with direct to you.

Once your buyers lawyer is satisfied on all legal aspects and the buyers funds are in place matters can progress to exchange. This process usually takes around 4-6 weeks in a freehold transaction and a bit longer in leasehold transactions. We have to liaise with the management company or landlord for information on leasehold transactions, and this will slow down the process and will incur additional costs to you which we will advise you of once known.

Exchange Of Contracts

When contracts are exchanged, and before completion, the buyer may wish to visit the house, for example, to measure up for carpets or to get an estimate for building work. However, you should not allow any work to be done by the buyer before completion.

You should inform the fuel companies and phone company that you are leaving and ask for final readings to be made of the meters on completion day (most companies now expect you to read these on the actual day and telephone them with the meter reading). You should also inform the person at the council responsible for council tax.

If the buyer is paying a deposit, this will be paid to us at exchange of contracts. We will hold this deposit until completion.

Completion

You must arrange to leave the house empty by completion day and to hand over all the keys.

We will receive the rest of the purchase price from the buyer and will pass this, together with the deposit, to you on completion, unless of course you are also purchasing a home which will complete at the same time as your sale.

Remortgaging Your Home

You may decide to remain in your property and simply remortgage it to raise additional funds or to secure a more preferential rate of interest on your mortgage. If this is the case, you should speak to your lender or financial advisor who can discuss the options available in this regard. We will need to assist you as your new lender may not be able to offer you legal advice in which case, please contact us to discuss matters further.

Transferring your interest in your Home

If you are considering transferring any part of your property to a third party please contact us for information on costings and the options available to you. It is not as straight forward as you may be thinking to transfer a property, particularly where you have a mortgage over your home. You should first seek consent from your lender before considering matters.