This is not an exhaustive or a complete list.  It is likely to change over time, with edits, additions and deletions, and is simply a collection of my thoughts based on many years of experience.   You should follow your instincts, not rely at all on any of this and you must always seek your own professional advice from people who really understand the type of property that you are selling.

The Asking Price

This is where it starts.   You want as much as you get for your house.   Of course you do, everyone does.   There is a realistic limit though, so be sensible and don’t be greedy.   It can be hard to know what that realistic limit is though.   This is especially true for Listed Buildings.   This part of the housing market is often unique and lacks much, if any, direct comparable evidence that you can use as a basis of where the start the discussion.  Remember, the sales agent just wants the commission and they will say whatever you want to hear.   Whatever figure you decide to use, make sure that is realistic and don’t get your heart set on it until the property actually sells.   Ultimately, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay you.   For example, if a sales agent tells you that you could get £100,000 but the top offer is actually £80,000 don’t view that as a £20,000 loss.  It was probably only ever worth £80,000 and was never a £100,000 property to start with.   (these numbers are entirely fictitious, and for illustration only).  Make sure that the asking price takes account of the condition.   Don’t ask top money for a house that is a ‘project’ and someone needs to spend a fortune on within the first couple of years.   You won’t be ‘knocked down’ in the offer price – the offer will be where you should have started the process initially.   If you are not realistic, you simply won’t get the interest.   It is as simple as that.


The Condition

Don’t bother spending even 10p on trying to do last minute repairs that you haven’t bothered to do for the last ten years.   There is no point.  You won’t fool anyone and are more likely to do it badly, or wrongly, or both.   Just leave the house exactly as it is.   A house that is tired and ‘lived in’ is honest and transparent and it really won’t put off the right buyer.   I would much rather do a survey of a house in poor condition than one that has been, to use the words of a sales agent ‘lovingly restored’.   Save your money.  Leave it.   Your buyer will thank you for it later.


Get the paperwork done first and make sure that it is all accessible in one place.

Your legal advisor will ask you to fill in a long and detailed questionnaire called a TA6.  This can come as surprise to those who may not have sold a house for decades.   You will be asked many questions and you will need to supply a considerable amount of documents.   The sooner you get prepared for this, the less stressful it will be later.   It is becoming increasingly important that you make sure that the legal documents are all up-to-date as this could delay the sale and possibly even cause the sale to collapse entirely.   This list is not exhaustive, but do make sure that you start to collate the following documents and that you start the process to fill in any gaps if the documents do not exist at all.   You can’t avoid doing this and it is likely to cost you money and time later if you are not ready..:

  • Listed Building Consents.   This will definitely be a major factor for your buyers.  Check the date that your house was Listed by finding it on the Historic England website.   You can do this on the following link and searching with your postcode.  Check the date of Listing here.    You know where you live.  Locate your house on the map and click on the little blue triangle and it will open up the List details for your property.   This will include the date of Listing.  Any physical alteration done to the Listed Building, including outbuildings older than 1948, will need to be proved to have Listed Building Consent.   It is not for you to make the decision of what does or does not need Listed Building Consent.   That decision can only be made by the Local Planning Authority.   The whole house is Listed – inside, outside, every wall/elevation and the entire grounds owned by the property.   Do not be misled by assuming that only the words in the description are what is Listed.   Any alteration done to the property after the date of Listing will require Listed Building Consent.   This is not just during your period of ownership – it applies equally to what may have been done before you bought it.   Have a good look around and make sure that you can provide documentation for all the alterations.   If in doubt, ask for advice from your local Conservation Officer.   This person will usually work within the Planning Department at your local Council.   It might be necessary for you to apply for Listed Building Consent if you are unable to prove that the alteration has Consent.    This can take time, so do it as soon as you can and don’t just hope that it will go away or won’t be noticed.
  • Planning Permission.  Planning Permission is required for developments in the garden and grounds.   This could include, for example, garage, greenhouse, shed, hot-tub, hard-landscaping including large areas of patio and garden walls, gates, fences and other similar developments.   Seek advice if you do not have Planning Permission for these things.   You will be asked.
  • Building Regulations Consent.  Building Regulations Consent is required for more alterations than you might expect.  Get advice on this.   The rules are likely to change in the summer of 2022 which will mean that you will need to provide proof of Building Regulations Consent back-dated for 10 years.   This could very easily disrupt your sale, so get it sorted out now.
  • Private Drains.   If you have an old septic tank or cesspit then it is possible that your drains will no longer comply with the new rules.   Get this checked as soon as possible.   On 1st January 2020 the General Binding Rules come into force.   They had first been announced in 2015, so there has been plenty of time to get ready.   It is your responsibility to provide proof to your buyers that your private drainage installation complies with the GBR’s.   In cases where this is non-compliant, it might cost around £20,000 to install a new modern drainage treatment tank.  Get this checked and sorted out as soon as possible.
  • Professional Consultants Certificates and Latent Defects Warranties.     Have you had any substantial work done to the house?   You should ask your supervising Architect or Surveyor to provide you with a Professional Consultants Certificate and that this is transferable to the new buyer.   In the absence of this, you should ask the builder for a Latent Defects Warranty to cover the workmanship and materials of the project.    In both these cases, you are providing your buyer with reassurance that the


Disclaimer:   Anything posted in this Blog is for general information only and it is not in any way intended to provide any advice, legal or otherwise, on any general or specific matter that you can rely on.  You should always seek your own legal advice.