If you own a property as an owner-occupier, chances are you aren’t planning on moving. After all, in the UK, Statista figures from 2021 show that outright owners have spent on average 22.4 years in their current home, and mortgage holders 8.7 years.
But in life, things can happen that require us to quickly sell our homes. Changing family circumstances, health problems, and more can all require us to up sticks and move – a stressful process that can be made all the more difficult if we can’t find the right paperwork we need to sell. What’s more, there are other things, like claiming on home insurance, taking on a tenant, or getting forms of insurance like boiler cover, that require this paperwork too.
In this guide, we’ll go through all the important property paperwork to keep in mind for your home, so you can do the admin while the sun shines.
Selling a home
There are a few documents you can pull together somewhere safe to help you in the event you need to sell your home.
If you don’t currently have one or have made significant changes to your home or its energy performance features, get an energy performance certificate (EPC) to show prospective buyers your home is efficient to run.
Many will ask for gas and electrical safety certificates too, and as part of a sale you’ll need to provide a fittings and contents form to detail what exactly the buyers will receive as part of the sale.
If selling on behalf of a deceased owner, probate lawyers may also require documentation including a will, death certificate, and information about any existing debts held by the deceased.
Purchasing a home
In the event you need to buy a home, you will need to provide paperwork to the mortgage lender and your solicitor.
The former can differ depending on the lender, but typically you’ll need to show proof of income, proof of ID, recent utility bills, and bank statements covering around three months of activity.
Your solicitor, on the other hand, will need to learn more about you under Know Your Client legislation. This usually comprises a form of ID like a passport or driving license, and proof of address. To make an offer, you’ll need to show your mortgage offer, and for completion, a survey report. Most lenders will also require evidence of a buildings insurance policy purchase before they allow completion.
Then there’s everyday paperwork that you can make sure is properly organised and stored. Things like the details of your contents and home insurance, party wall agreements, property appraisals, mortgage documents, tenancy agreements, and the title deed.
Property-related paperwork might seem boring and bad for clutter, but you never know when you’ll need it. Keep yours safely stored and backed up and you’ll definitely thank yourself in the future.
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