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What Paperwork and Certificates Do I Need to Sell My House?

Selling a house involves a lot of paperwork. This includes certificates and documents you need to show your solicitor or estate agent, and forms and paperwork that your buyer will ask for.

Getting ahead on your paperwork for selling a house can help your sale go through quickly and smoothly.

Exactly what paperwork and certificates you’ll need depends on whether you’ve had any building work done to your home and whether your property is freehold or leasehold.

Your estate agent and conveyancer will ask for various pieces of documentation throughout the selling process. You are likely to have received some of it when you purchased your property.

Some paperwork is mandatory while there are other documents that are not legally required but you might be asked for.

Here’s a rundown on the 10 documents you need to sell your house.

1. Proof of identity

Before you can start selling your home you need to prove to your conveyancing solicitor you are who you say you are. They need to see your identification to satisfy anti-money laundering rules.

They will need to see photo ID such as your passport or driving license and also proof of your address, such as a recent bank statement or council tax bill.

If you own your home jointly with someone else, you’ll both need proof of identity. Your solicitor will take photocopies of the ID you show them.

2. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

You need a valid EPC to market your home for sale. An EPC rates the energy performance of your property from A (the most energy efficient) to G (the least energy efficient). The idea is that the EPC will give potential buyers an idea of how much your home will cost to run. It will provide data on gas and electric rates and prices.

The EPC will need to be completed by a qualified energy assessor who will visit the property. You can either find an energy assessor yourself or arrange one via the estate agent selling your home. An EPC normally costs between £45 and £120 depending on the size of your home and its location.

An EPC is valid for 10 years but you should get an up-to-date EPC if you’ve improved the energy efficiency of your home since you last had it inspected.

Our How Much Does an EPC Certificate Cost? article covers the costs in more detail.

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3. Property title deeds

Your property’s title deeds prove you own it and show who has owned it before you. The deeds include information about whether the property is leasehold or freehold, the boundaries of your property, and information about gardens and parking spaces.

If you don’t have your title deeds, it’s possible the solicitor you used when you bought the property or your mortgage lender has them.

If you can’t find your title deeds, your solicitor can apply to the Land Registry for a scanned copy of the deeds it will have on file.

4. Fittings and contents form (TA10)

Your solicitor will provide you with a fittings and contents form, or TA10 form, from the Law Society.

This lists everything in your property that might or might not be included in the sale – things like curtains, shelves, white goods, carpets, light fittings, outdoor plants and furniture. Completing this form means the buyer will know exactly what will be in their new home when they take possession.

Generally, it is assumed that fixtures (such as a built-in kitchen or bathroom) will be left while items that can be moved will not be included in the sale.

5. Leasehold information form (TA7)

This form applies if you’re selling a leasehold property. The TA7 will include information about the freeholder, managing agent, ground rent and service charges. If you own a share of the freehold of your building, it will include these details too.

In many cases you’ll need to buy a ‘management information pack’ from your freeholder or their managing agent to complete this form. This includes more detailed information such as future planned maintenance works. It should also include a copy of the lease.

You might also have to pay a fee to your freeholder if your buyer’s solicitor raises leasehold property enquiries after reading the terms of the lease.

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6. FENSA certificates

Any windows or doors that have been replaced since 1 April 2002 must be supported by a FENSA certificate. A FENSA (fenestration self-assessment scheme) certificate proves that the installer who fitted your windows or doors complied with building regulations and that the installations were registered with the local council. This is vital as selling a house without building regulations can cause delays.

If you don't have a FENSA certificate to validate the quality and installation of windows and doors you had put in, you may have to pay out again to get them accredited.

7. Boiler and gas documents

A valid boiler installation certificate proves that the gas boiler on your property was installed correctly by a Gas Safe engineer. It’s a good idea to have your boiler serviced each year – some warranties will be shorter if you don’t get this done – and you should give your buyer the boiler’s service records.

You don’t need a Gas Safety certificate to sell your home – although you need a valid one if you rent your property out. However, your buyer may ask for a Gas Safety Certificate so it’s a good idea to get one done.

8. Electrical safety certificate

There’s no legal duty to provide your buyer with an electrical safety certificate when selling your home but it can offer peace of mind that the electrics are safe.

However, if you have done any alterations or additions to the electrical installation, such as installing a new electric circuit or rewiring, since 1 January 2005, you need a Part P of Buildings Regulation certificate. This ensures all electrical work meets certain standards.

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9. Building work certificates

If you’ve had major building work done to your home, such as converting a cellar or building an extension, you’ll need a certificate to show the work has been signed off by your local authority’s building regulations department.

If you don’t have this certificate, either you or the buyer can obtain building regulation indemnity insurance which will pay out in the event that the works have not been carried out correctly.

10. Other paperwork

Other documents that might be relevant to your property, and that the buyer might ask for, include:

Subsidence warranties

Damp guarantees or warranties

Party wall agreements

Listed building consent for interior and exterior works

Conservation area consent for works if your home is in a conservation area

Japanese knotweed management plans

Asbestos surveys

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Finding a Conveyancer

At Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 6 conveyancers to save you up to 70% on your conveyancing costs. All our conveyancing partners have passed our strict verification process for your peace of mind. This means they are all regulated by either the SRA, CLC, LSS, LSNI or CILEx.

Need a Surveyor?

Once you've found a conveyancer, you soon might need the help of a RICS property surveyor. Simply fill in our integrated conveyancing and surveying comparison form to get connected today.

You can compare companies through our integrated conveyancing and surveying form by filling out a few extra steps. We will then connect you with local conveyancers and surveyors to save on the whole process.

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Written by

Last updated

20th May, 2024

Read time

6 minutes

Emma Lunn

Written by

Freelance Personal Finance Journalist

Emma Lunn is an award-winning journalist who specialises in personal finance, consumer issues and property.

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