Eight things to remember when you are selling a house

Selling a house can be daunting, and many legal considerations need to be taken into account to ensure a smooth and successful sale, such as providing an Energy Performance Certificate and completing Property Information Forms. It is also important to consider issues such as property boundaries, Capital Gains Tax, and the conveyancing process itself. Understanding these issues can help you to understand the work of your conveyancer.

This blog will explore eight important issues that have to be considered when selling your home in England and Wales, many of them are legal considerations that your solicitor will take care of as part of their standard processes. Whether you are a first-time seller or have sold properties before, understanding what goes on behind the scenes can help ensure a successful and stress-free sale.

1 – Conveyancing

The conveyancing process involves transferring legal ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. It is essential to work with a qualified solicitor or conveyancer who can handle the legal aspects of the sale, including the drafting and review of contracts, the transfer of funds, and ensuring that the eventual registration of the change of ownership is processed without issue by the Land Registry.

2 – Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC is required when selling a residential property in England and Wales (save for a few types of exempt property). The EPC rates the energy efficiency of the property on a scale from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient. The certificate is valid for 10 years and must be provided to the buyer before the sale is completed.

3 – Capital Gains Tax

Subject to certain conditions, you do not need to pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell your own home. If you sell a property that isn’t your home, or you live abroad, you may need to pay Capital Gains tax. A specialist tax advisor can help you understand whether any tax might be payable.

4 – Property Information Forms

When selling a residential property, the seller is required to complete a Property Information Form and a Fittings and Contents Form.  Your solicitor will be able to answer questions and provide guidance in order to help you to complete these forms.

The Property Information Form provides the buyer with details about the property, such as any disputes or complaints with neighbours, building work or renovations, and any guarantees or warranties that are still valid. The Fittings and Contents Form lists all the items that are included in the sale, such as appliances or light fixtures.

5 – Property Boundaries

It is important to ensure that the property boundaries are clearly defined and any disputes with neighbours over the boundaries are resolved before completing the sale. This can be done by checking the title deeds, commissioning a boundary survey, or consulting with a solicitor.

6 – Estate Agent’s Fees

If you are using an estate agent to sell your property, you will need to pay their fees, which are typically a percentage of the sale price. It is important to shop around and compare fees from different agents to ensure you are getting a fair price.

7 – Repairs and Renovations

It is important to consider any repairs or renovations that may be required before marketing your property for sale. Addressing these issues before the sale can help to increase the property’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

8 – Timing

The timing of your sale can have a significant impact on the price you receive and the speed of the sale. Factors such as the time of year, market conditions, and the state of the economy can all impact the sale price. It is important to consider these factors when deciding when to put your property on the market, and to be prepared for the possibility that the sale may take longer than expected.

To discuss this, or any other preoperty-related matter with Lawrence directly, please call us, email info@hartbrown.co.uk or start a live chat today.

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


Lawrence Stolworthy

Partner, Head of Residential Property

Lawrence is a Partner based in the Guildford office, and he is also Head of the Residential Property team at Hart Brown LLP. Lawrence qualified...

Lawrence Stolworthy- Partner, Head of Residential Property

Partner, Head of Residential Property

Lawrence Stolworthy

Lawrence is a Partner based in the Guildford office, and he is also Head of the Residential Property team at Hart Brown LLP.

Lawrence qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and has extensive experience in a broad range of residential property work, including very high value transactional work and acquisitions for international investor clients. He also has considerable experience in dealing with property work originating from, or ancillary to, private client matters and family/matrimonial matters.

He is committed to providing a proactive, friendly and positive approach and he strives to communicate clearly and effectively with all those involved in the transactions he deals with in order to achieve the best outcome for his clients. He endeavours to find pragmatic and commercially viable solutions to problems wherever possible.