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  • 4 Mar 2024

    What information do I need to tell the buyer of my house?

    If you are selling a property, it is important that you provide the right information to your conveyancer at the very outset of the transaction for onward transmission to the buyers conveyancer. The process must be as transparent as possible and in turn will ensure that the transaction proceeds smoothly. 

    Buyers nowadays, have more legal protection than ever before and require more transparency from the seller. 


    What information MUST I give to potential buyers?

    At the outset of the transaction, you will receive a property information form (TA6) and a fittings and contents form (TA10), these will need to be completed in full, and any guarantees or planning documents relating to the property provided. This will save time later on when the buyers receive their local authority search results and these reveal planning and building regulation documentation i.e. replacement boiler and replacement windows. Likewise, if there have been boundary changes this again must be set out in the property information form (TA6).

    If the property is leasehold, then a Leasehold Information Form (LPE1) will also need completing, this will set out details for the Landlord and Management Company – any service charge invoices, ground rent invoices and letters received from the Landlord and Management Company should ideally be provided. There will also normally be an LPE1 that will be provided by the Management Company – this normally incurs a fee – sometimes in excess of £300.

    It is also a requirement to supply an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). First and foremost, the purpose of an EPC is to show the energy efficiency of a building in a clear, transparent and universal way. This means that potential buyers and tenants can see exactly how energy efficient the building is, in turn getting an idea of the property's energy use and potential costs of living there. Your estate agent could arrange this for you, at a cost, or you could contact an approved domestic energy assessor to produce the EPC. An EPC is also required if you are buying to let.

    Discussing any issues with your lawyer or estate agent early on will mean that you will receive the best advice from them, and your transaction is likely to go much smoother than if you didn’t say anything at all. 

    What information SHOULD I disclose when selling my home? 

    Whilst the belief around ‘buyer beware’ remains relevant, it’s best not to rely on that, as it may negatively affect your transaction. Most buyers will expect to receive information from you about the property and their solicitor’s will expect responses to their enquiries as part of the conveyancing process. 

    The buyers conveyancers will, upon receipt of the contract pack, raise additional enquiries, they may also ask enquiries that may have been raised by the buyers surveyor following a survey of the property. These normally are to ensure that the necessary planning or building regulation consents have been obtained, including a Gas Safety certificate for the installation of a new boiler and FENSA certificate for replacement windows for example. They may also require the conveyancer to confirm that the property has adequate rights of way or access. This is one of the reasons that you are asked to fully complete a TA6 and to provide any necessary documentation relating to the property at the start of the transaction. You must also be honest if you have had disputes with a neighbour. 

    Warnings to both the buyer and seller appear on the standard property information forms, informing the parties that the seller must answer the questions accurately because the buyer is entitled to rely on them when deciding whether or not to enter into the contract.

    Most firms now use the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol and, as most firms are CQS accredited, the protocol forms (TA6, TA10 and TA7) are used.

    What if there is something that might put off my buyers? 

    If you think there is something that may deters the buyers, it’s important that you speak to your legal advisor about your concerns early on in the process. Do not be tempted to lie or tell a half-truth as this may leave you liable for misrepresentation. 

    Worst case scenario, misrepresentation could lead to your buyers rejecting the contract and the sale falling through. If misrepresentation were uncovered following completion of the transaction this can sometimes even include you paying the buyer compensation. 

    Any representation that the seller makes via their conveyancer are legally dependable and can be relied upon. If the seller following completion is found to have misrepresented the facts, then this can cause problems in that the buyer could take legal action against the seller.

    Again, it is important to be truthful in the protocol forms.

    How can a legal advisor help me? 

    Fortunately, most property related issues are not too messy and often there will be a relatively straightforward solution.

    However, if there is something you think may concern potential buyers, talk to your solicitor. They can advise you on the best approach, one which will not expose you to unnecessary risk while hopefully reassuring your buyers.

    Contact our team today

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