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Conveyancing blog: Top tips for speeding up the sale process

The conveyancing process for selling your property is, on the one hand, straightforward. The principle of “buyer beware” means that it is ultimately the buyer’s responsibility to make sure they ask the relevant questions about the property so that they are happy to buy it.

The Law Society provides a blueprint for how the parties, and their solicitors, should act during the transaction, called the “Conveyancing Protocol”, and this is followed by reputable Solicitors. For you, this predominantly means completing a series of detailed questionnaires which your solicitor will provide. Check before you instruct a solicitor that they are aware of, and will act on your behalf, under the protocol’s principles. Of course, none of this happens until you have sold your property and appointed a solicitor.

So is there anything you can do in advance to speed up the process?

The information below is based on some of the most common issues we encounter in the conveyancing process.

Have any structural building works or internal modifications been made to the property at any time?

If so, it may be that the works required planning permission or building regulations approval. It is important to remember that planning and building regulations are different approvals dealt with by different departments at your local Council. It could be that either, both or neither were required.

At this stage, simply gather together the documents you hold in relation to the works. If you cannot locate any paperwork, speak to the builder that carried out the work and ask them to produce the documents or confirm that the approvals were not required.

Don’t contact the Council as this could prevent you from dealing with any missing documents in a different way during the transaction.

Examples include:

  • Conservatories
  • Extensions
  • Porches
  • Roof works
  • Dormer Windows
  • Loft Conversions
  • Removal of internal structural wall

Gas, Electrical and Window Installations

If you have had any:

  • Windows or doors installed since 1st April 2002
  • Gas appliances (boiler, hob, fire) installed since 1st January 2002
  • Electrical installations carried out since 1st January 2005
  • Cavity Wall Insulation installed

It is likely that these installations will need to have been carried out with the benefit of building regulations approval. Suitably qualified installers will register their work with their own government regulatory body, and that organisation should provide you with a Building Regulations Completions Certificate once the details of the installation have been lodged with them by the installer.

  • For gas installations this would be Gas Safe Register (formerly CORGI)
  • For electrical installations this would be NICEIC or NAPIT
  • For windows and doors this would be FENSA
  • For Cavity Wall Insulation this would be CIGA

If you are unable to locate these you should contact your installer in the first instance. Again, don’t contact the Council as this could prevent you from dealing with any missing documents in a different way during the transaction.

Please remember that where work of the examples mentioned has been carried out, the important factor is when the work was carried out. If the works were carried out by a previous owner, your buyer is still going to require the paperwork. It is therefore worth investigating at this stage to hopefully save unnecessary delays and additional expense later on.

Selling your property? Our Conveyancing team is accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme so you can be assured that you will receive a high standard of service and client care. Contact us today for a no obligation quote, call 0800 138 0458.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice on their own particular circumstances.

Richard Wisnia

Richard is a Solicitor within our Conveyancing department and is based at our Leeds office. He specialises in conveyancing for New Build properties and has built strong relationships with a number of large national chains of home builders. Richard's profile