Saturday, 16 June 2012

How do I speed up the process of selling my home?

What can you do to sell your home fast once you have received an offer?

Dealing with the legal formalities involved in selling a house should be straightforward and relatively cheap.  The problem is that not many homeowners prepare for the sale sufficiently and unfortunately there are not too many agents around who are willing to help.

Here are my tips and ones guaranteed to speed up the process:

  • Get together for production all of the guarantees and warranties relating to work undertaken to the property.
  • If you have altered or extended the  property find the planning consents and building regulation documents.  This extends to boiler installation and electrical work. 
  • Remember the buyer will also be interested in seeing consents, approvals, completion certificates, guarantees in connection with work carried our before you became owners.   The solicitors who acted for you when you purchased the property may still be holding these. Check with them.
  • If you are not sure whether alteration and other works required planning consent and or building regulation approval check out this site  :
  • If you know planning consent and or building regulation approval was required but you are unable to find the paperwork contact the council and ask for copies to be sent to you.
  • Complete fully and quickly the property information and fitting and content forms handed to you by your solicitors.    You don’t have to wait to instruct a solicitor to fill these forms in.   You can find a specimen of the property information form here:
  • The buyer will through your solicitors ask you questions about the property  - make sure that when your receive these questions you answer them quickly.
  •  If there is a mortgage and or loans secured on the property make sure you find out how much is outstanding by seeking up-to-date statements and pass these onto you solicitor.

Unless you are looking to tie in your sale with a purchase the sale should take only around 3 weeks to complete depending of course on whether the person buying your property is not selling and or arranging a mortgage!  Unfortunately in conveyancing you can only go as fast as the slowest person in the chain.

Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Don't buy leasehold property without reading this...

Buying a leasehold property is not as straightforward as you might think.    Nor is it cheap.   You need to make sure the selling agent specializes in this type of property, and you are given all relevant information so you can make an informed decision.  

Look out for the hidden costs. 

Most leasehold properties include common and or shared areas and responsibility along with the cost of maintaining these parts is shared between the tenants.   The expense is called a service charge and this can often be high and burdensome.   

Often responsibility for collecting the service charge rests with a commercial agent or Management Company.  Upon completion of your purchase the agent or Management Company will expect you to pay a fee for lodging notice of your new ownership as well as your mortgage.   They may also require you to enter into an agreement with them direct to make sure you take over responsibility for payment of the service charge.   They may require you to pay an additional fee for lodging this agreement.  You may also be required to acquire a shareholding in the management company for which a further fee might be payable.

The landlord may also be planning to undertake major works such as replacing the roof or external painting.   Sometimes there is money set aside for these extra works.  Often there is not.  If there is no reserve then you could find yourself having to make a contribution towards the cost of these works and this could mean having to pay out thousands of pounds.

Your solicitors will also be looking to charge you more for the work.   This is because there is far more work involved when checking the lease and other legal aspects.

Check the length of the lease and how much of the term of the lease is left to run.   If the remaining term is under or close to 80 years then you should consider carefully with the agent or your solicitor how much is will cost to extend the lease.   It becomes more expensive to extend a lease that is under 80 years.  Keep in mind your lender may not be prepared to lend to you if the remaining part of the lease is under a certain limit.

Beware of rent review clauses.  Plenty of leases contain oppressive review clauses that can result in substantial increases in the level of future rent.

In short make sure you seek expert advice from a solicitor who has experience in this area.

Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at