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Guide to getting ‘sale ready’ before marketing your house


Guide to getting ‘sale ready’ before marketing your house

Once a sale on a house has been agreed, on average it takes between twelve and sixteen weeks for contracts to exchange. This can be shorter or longer depending on a variety of factors. Factors such as the length of a chain, results of a survey, and the communication between agents, solicitors and all parties involved. Some of these factors will be out of your control, but by getting ‘sale ready’ before marketing your home, you can really help speed up the whole process.

Being ‘sale ready’ is essentially gathering up all necessary documents BEFORE putting your house on the market. Providing your estate agent and solicitor/conveyancer with important information from the outset, to reduce delays further into the process.

Timing has a major impact on a chain – the quicker the sale progresses, the better chance of a successful sale. FACT: 80% of sales successfully complete with John German compared to the industry average of just 65% (based on 2019).

What documents do you need to sell your house?

This guide focuses on the documents required for sales on freehold properties. In some cases you might need more, simply check with your estate agent or solicitor.

Energy Performance Certificate

It is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when marketing your home. Although some properties, such as listed buildings are exempt. To obtain an EPC, an Energy Assessor will inspect and rate your property’s energy efficiency and issue a certificate with its rating.

You can usually arrange an EPC through your estate agent or commission one yourself. If you have bought a property recently it will have an existing EPC. The EPC is valid for 10 years and provided you have not done anything to affect your property’s energy rating, the existing EPC can be reused. It is possible to look up and download a property’s EPC via the Government’s EPC Register.

Prior to an assessment there are some very simple, low cost ways to improve your property’s EPC rating. Download our guide  6 Ways to improve your property’s EPC Rating.

Other documents required include:

  • HM Land Registry title documents
  • Gas safety checks completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer (or Corgi-registered prior to 2009)
  • Electrical checks – an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or a NAPIT or NICEIC certificate/report from a registered electrical competent person
  • FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows
  • Planning permission for any major work carried out
  • Building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates for alterations or additions
  • Subsidence guarantees/warranties
  • Damp guarantees/warranties
  • Party wall agreements (if relevant)
  • For a listed building, listed building consent for interior and exterior works
  • Homes in a conservation area, conservation area consent for works
  • Japanese knot-weed management plans (if relevant)
  • Specialist asbestos surveys (if relevant)
  • Any title insurance policies you may have taken out to solve title defects

Property Information Form

When you come to sell a property, your legal representative will ask you to complete a Property Information Form, also known as a TA6 form. Take a look at a draft version on the Law Society’s website and start to gather any information you have access to now.

We share plenty more guides on our blog – scroll down for more posts with selling top tips and secrets!

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Date Posted

June 30, 2020

Article Category


Katy Storer

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