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Hang on to your home buyer!

Janice Anderson, a property law expert at Birkett Long LLP, says that sellers have a better chance of keeping hold of their buyers if they take some simple steps before the sale board goes up.

Collate key paperwork
Buyers can lose patience if paperwork delays hold up their purchase.  Janice says: “If sellers were to collate key paperwork prior to hooking a buyer there would be more chance of a smooth sale to completion”. 

This is particularly important if you have had work carried out on your home, as it is a legal requirement to prove that it has been done to the relevant building standards.  Since 2002 replacement windows should carry a FENSA certificate.  Since 2005 new gas installations need a CORGI or, more recently, a GAS SAFE certificate, and if you have removed walls or converted garages or lofts, all will require evidence of compliance with certain regulations. 

Every buyer and their legal team will want to see these documents.  In addition, some works comes with a guarantee for damp proof or wood treatment.  Often these are only transferrable on application to the company direct, so without them the benefit of the guarantee is lost and your buyer will lose out. 

Save time and money
Janice adds: “Don’t forget, if you’ve had your boiler serviced, make sure the report is available.  If all the certificates, guarantees and other documents are produced at the outset this can reduce the number of enquiries needed and the time it takes to reach the point of exchange of contracts.  If you are not able to supply these documents, your legal team will have to hunt them down via local authorities, which takes time and money, and if the relevant documents can’t be located you could be liable to pay for indemnity policies.”

For help with the sale or purchase of your home, or with landlord and tenant matters, contact Janice Anderson on 01268 244153 or email