Problems for a first time seller

17th Dec 2018

There are countless articles aimed at first time buyers, as they obviously don’t have house buying experience. They are perceived to lack the knowledge and understanding of the massive step they are about to undertake and so given advice and support from all quarters.


However, what happens when someone has lived in their beloved family home for over forty years and you want to downsize to somewhere smaller and more manageable?

It obviously sounds really simple – it’s exactly like when you made the original purchase! Well that’s often not the case.

To start with – where are the title deeds, are they in a drawer, under the bed or with the bank?

Next, thought needs to be given regarding what works have been undertaken on the house since moving in. If a new extension or conservatory has been built – what information needs to be provided? Similarly with any replacement windows and a new boiler – any prospective purchaser is going to want detailed information on the standard of workmanship and any guarantees that may be in place, for works carried out since the house was last sold.

If a property has been occupied by owners for a lengthy period of time then consideration needs to be given to a number of factors prior to the property going on the market. If this doesn’t happen, then there is a risk of being bombarded with queries and questions when the sale has been agreed, a solicitor instructed and the buyers are desperate to move in.

  • Any changes to the structure of the property would have been subject to local planning and building regulations. Have a look for correspondence received at the time.
  • The legal title to the property often causes issues. Look for the title deeds and ensure to give them to your solicitor in case they are unregistered.
  • Any changes to windows, doors or boilers that have been made in recent years will also have required building control. Look for those certificates in your paperwork and provide them to your solicitors.

There is a lot to consider when moving, and preparing the legal title to a property. It is just as important as tidying up the house for those prospective buyers.

The sale of the life time family home can be both worrying and stressful – it’s a massive change in circumstances that may not be easily dealt with.

Our experienced and talented conveyancing team have broad breadth of knowledge in dealing with a wide variety of property types and will be able support and guide you through the sale of a house and the purchase of a new one if required.

You can contact us at or on 01603 675644 if you wish to discuss planning the sale of your property.