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Selling a residential property? How instructing a solicitor early will help your estate agent comply with new ‘up-front’ listing rules

Selling a residential property? How instructing a solicitor early will help your estate agent comply with new ‘up-front’ listing rules

New consumer protection regulations which demand estate agents supply more detailed ‘material information’ when marketing a property are now in force.

This means that bringing a solicitor on board early in the process – as opposed to waiting until you accept an offer from a buyer – is advisable to ensure that all the relevant facts are included in your property listing.

The aim is to ensure your estate agent has all the correct and relevant detail early on so any potential buyer is as fully informed as possible, thus reducing transaction times and the chance of the sale falling through.

How can a solicitor make sure you get the listing information you need?

Some of the crucial information needed can only be obtained from analysing the title deeds of the property concerned which is usually carried out by a solicitor as part of the conveyancing process.

Guidance from the National Trading Standards for Estate and Letting Agents advises instructing a solicitor – who can help you compile the appropriate information in relation to the title to your property – at the time you wish the estate agent to market it so that the listing covers everything necessary.

  • Wards Solicitors Buying and Selling Property Team is renowned for the quality of its conveyancing process with a long and established reputation for expertise reflected in a consistently high number of personal recommendations and excellent satisfaction levels.

What ‘material information’ needs to be included?

Since June 2022, it has been a requirement for estate agents to include the price, leasehold terms and council tax band of any property they are listing as part of their consumer protection obligation to include all relevant ‘material information’ for buyers.

However, following the National Trading Standards for Estate and Letting Agents’ consultation with organisations including the Law Society and the Conveyancing Association, additional pre-marketing details are now also required.

This includes:

  • The type of property, for example, whether it is listed.
  • If leasehold, any ground rent (and reviews), service charges, length of remaining term.
  • If shared ownership, details of this plus the rent payable.
  • If commonhold, details of obligations and rights.
  • Restrictions on the title to the property
  • The building materials used, including unsafe cladding.
  • The number of rooms.
  • Information about utilities and parking.

In addition, if your property is affected by any specific issues you already know about, like a flood risk or if the title to the property is affected by a restrictive covenant, these must also be included.

How do you decide which conveyancing solicitor to use?

Sadly, all conveyancing solicitors are not the same. The most cited problems include a failure to advise clients properly, failure to follow instructions, delays and poor cost information.

All our conveyancing specialists are trained to look at every detail of the legal process. We will keep you in the loop and keep the conveyancing process moving forward as swiftly as is safely possible.

Choosing a conveyancing specialist should be considered carefully.

We don’t expect to be the cheapest but we do strive to offer our clients quality legal advice at a fair cost – declared upfront from the start with no hidden extras – and, unusually in this day and age, we don’t pay estate agents, mortgage brokers or anyone else for referring conveyancing work to us.

Our conveyancing specialists all know their local housing market extremely well which is not always the case. In fact, many members of our team live in the same area as the office they work in.

Get in touch

Wards Solicitors is endorsed as a South West leading firm in the independent Legal 500 list for 2024 having received overwhelmingly positive testimonials from clients.

Our expert and highly regarded Conveyancing Team work across all 12 of our local offices in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

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