Selling Your Home Guide
Deciding to sell your home in the UK is a complicated task and can take a long time to complete. Because of this, it’s important that you understand the entire process in order to minimise mistakes and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Within this guide to selling your home, you will discover everything you need to know, including:
- The basics of selling your home
- Energy Performance Certificates
- Conveyancing processes
- Working with estate agents
- Exchanging contracts
- The completion of the sale
- The tax obligation of selling a property
- Capital Gains Tax
The basics of selling your home
The average home will take around 2-3 months to sell and if you are part of a property chain, this process may take even longer.
Selling a home can be incredibly complicated, so it is vital that you have the support of a residential conveyancing solicitor to streamline the process and provide reliable guidance throughout. Additionally, it likely that you will be working alongside an estate agent. They will be the ones receiving offers from interested buyers.
When accepting a buyer’s offer, you will be required to draw up a contract to transfer ownership of the property as well as providing the Energy Performance Certificate. Once the contract has been signed by both parties, it becomes legally binding, completing the sale of your home.
Energy Performance Certificates
When selling your property, it is necessary to supply the new owner with an Energy Performance Certificate. Both Landlords and sellers are required by law to obtain an EPC for potential tenants and buyers before they advertise the property to rent or for sale.
An Energy Performance Certificate contains suggestions about lowering energy usage and information about the average energy costs and usage for a property.
An Energy Performance Certificate last for ten years and it offers an efficiency rating on a scale of A-G, (with A indicating the highest grade of energy efficiency).
In Scotland, you are required to present the certificate in the property (for instance displayed inside the meter cupboard).
Transferring ownership of a home from seller to a buyer is called the conveyancing process. After you have formally accepted an offer, you must draw up a legal contract to lay out all the details of the transfer. This will be signed by both the seller and the buyer.
The contract must include details regarding the property, including:
- The boundaries of the property
- How much the seller has purchased the property for
- Any relevant rights or legal restrictions related to the property surroundings
- Any fittings and fixtures that are included in the sale
- Information about gas and drainage services
- Planning restrictions that may affect the property
- The sale completion date
Our team at Stephen Rimmer can provide expert guidance during the process, helping our clients to draft a legal contract. Additionally, our conveyancing solicitors will assist you to negotiate terms with the buyer and answer any questions they may have.
For support with your conveyancing processes today, get in touch with our specialists at Stephen Rimmer.
Working with estate agents
During the process of selling your home, you may need to work with an estate agent. When doing so, you will need a legal contract to ensure that your wishes are being met. Once this contract is signed, it is legally binding and not following it can lead to legal repercussions.
It is also important to note that estate agents are required to promptly deal with offers and to pass on other offers for that property until the point where contracts are exchanged.
Once all parties are satisfied with the contract’s terms, you and the buyer will both need to sign and exchange the document. This is the point where the sale of your home becomes official, and the contract is made legally binding. If either party changes their mind after this point, they will face a financial penalty.
The completion of the sale
Once the sale is legally binding it is considered complete. At this stage, a number of actions will take place, these are…
- The legal documents required to transfer ownership are given to the buyer
- The purchase price is transferred to the seller
- The individual who has sold the property moves out
- The seller gives the keys to the party who has purchased the property
- The sale is legally complete and the property is now owned by the buyer
The tax obligations of selling a property
When selling a property in the UK, you will need to be aware of a few key tax obligations that will affect you.
For instance, when selling a property in England, you may be required to pay Capital Gains Tax.
Capital Gains Tax
When selling an asset that has gone up in value since you brought it, like a property, you are liable to pay Capital Gains Tax. However, if you are selling your main or only property, you will not be required to pay CGT.
Here are some examples of instances in which you may need to pay Capital Gains Tax…
- If you sublet part of your property
- If you use part of your property as a premises for business
- You are a property developer who purchased the home to make a profit
- The property includes over 5,000 square metres of additional buildings
Additional, if you are choosing to dispose of, or sell your property, you may qualify for Private Residence Relief and not be required to pay CGT. This may be the case if any of the following is true:
- You have been living in the property as your main home the entire time that you’ve been the legal owner
- You have not used part of your property to run a business or sublet part of it
- The buildings and grounds that make up the property cover less than 5,000 square metres.
Contact Stephen Rimmer property conveyancing solicitors
If you’re buying or selling a property and need the support of a conveyancing solicitor, contact our experts at Stephen Rimmer.
How can we help you?
Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.