While the conveyancing process is becoming more digitised there are several essential documents required to process your property transaction. Upon completion, as well as throughout the sale, you will be provided with many legal documents from either your conveyancer or from the vendor.

Here, we take a look at what documents you should expect to come across from start to finish.

What documents should your conveyancer/solicitor provide?

  • Copy of the lease – if you’re purchasing a property that is leasehold, your conveyancer will provide you with a copy of the lease (with the lease plan of your property) and any service charge accounts or forecasts.
  • Fittings and contents form – filled out by the seller, this details what will be left in the property when the sellers leave that are included as part of the purchase price.
    • Fixtures are something that is fixed to the property and is assumed to be part of the purchase price, whereas fittings are items that aren’t permanent fixtures e.g. freestanding furniture, mirrors, shelving units etc.
  • Indemnity insurance – indemnity insurance is a protection policy sometimes purchased during a housing transaction. It can affect both buyers and sellers, for example, if a seller cannot provide a building regulation certificate your conveyancer would advise taking out an indemnity policy that covers the cost implications of a third party making a claim against any defects with the property you are about to buy. It’s important to understand that this doesn’t cover the cost to repair or replace an item.
  • Management pack – if the property is leasehold or you own a share of the freehold you may need to get a management information pack (also known as a leasehold information pack).
  • Property information form – filled out by the vendor this form provides lots of practical information, for example, the location of the water stop cock, electricity and gas meters and confirmation of who is responsible for which boundary fences.
  • Property report – this is the document that a buyer’s conveyancer produces after they have done all the searches and checks against a property. It’s important to take a good look at the information provided to make sure you are happy with the contents. It’ll also show an outline of the land, in red, that you’re purchasing so again, be sure to check it’s the correct area.
  • Title Deeds – one of the few things that have become digitalised is title deeds which are part of the Land Registry records. Therefore, unless the property hasn’t been registered before, you won’t have a hard copy of the title deeds. However, you should still get confirmation from your conveyancer that they have registered you as the owner of the property. Post-completion they will provide you with a copy of the registered title showing you as “registered proprietor”.
  • Warranty – for new build properties (or properties under 10 years old) you should have a copy of your Buildmark (NHBC) or other new home policy/warranty documents.
  • Energy performance certificate – an EPC, as it’s also known, is required by law as part of the sale of a property. It helps the buyer understand how energy efficient the property is and to be able to estimate what it could cost to power and heat the home.

As the vendor, what documents do I need to provide to sell my home?

In our other article: ‘Getting your home ready to sell’ we discussed documents a seller should have ready to provide their conveyancer when it comes to selling their home. These are things that are important for the buyer to have and could help avoid taking out indemnity policies in their absence.

  • Building control certificates
  • Planning Consents
  • Electrical certificates
  • FENSA certificates.
  • Guarantees
  • Records of servicing – e.g. the boiler

Documents for home buyers

While the majority of your documentation will come from either your conveyancer or the vendor, through their solicitor, there are a couple of things, you the buyer, will need to organise.

  • Insurance policies – as part of your mortgage lender’s criteria you will be required to take out buildings insurance against the property you’re buying.
  • Survey – your mortgage lender will instruct a property valuation however, it’s up to you as the buyer whether you instruct a house survey too. Taking out a survey could uncover any unwanted surprises further down the line and help inform your conveyancer of any issues or queries you need to raise with the buyer about the property.

As you can see there is a lot of information and documentation that you’ll receive over the course of the house buying process. It’s worth thinking about having a file in place to store everything, in case you decide to sell the property in the future.

Whether you’re actively looking to appoint a conveyancer or doing your research, get a free instant conveyancing quote today.

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