A quick sale at the best possible price is the formula for a successful sale. This holds as true for luxury real estate as it does for any kind of property. However, speed doesn’t always translate directly into efficiency, and it is important as a seller of luxury property not to mindlessly blitz through (often very important) legal documents. After all, time saved in hurried preparation often entails time or, worse, money lost in the long run. Mistakes are expensive – and can lead to an aborted sale.
Along with other advice you may receive in selling luxury property – namely pricing, presentation and powerful marketing – Nick Tobin, property solicitor at Vardags, gives the following legal tips for ensuring a swift sale of luxury property.
1. Safety first
Property transactions typically involve reviewing a large number of documents relating to the property. Lawyers know never to underestimate the power of a written document – for this reason we understand the importance of safe-keeping and organisation when it comes documents. As an individual without a legal background, it is important you learn this too.
I recommend that, prior to an agreed sale, you collate copies of all the documents that you have received prior to the acquisition and during your ownership.
Relevant documents might include:
- Notices that you receive from your landlord (if your property is leasehold).
- Original share certificates (if you own a share in a freehold company).
- Your neighbours or any public body.
- Notices that you serve on anyone.
- Planning permissions and building regulation certificates that you obtain in respect of works to the property.
- Ground rent and service charge records (if applicable).
- Buildings insurance documents.
- Risk assessments.
- Guarantees, etc.
2. Find what you’re looking for
As the saying goes – finders keepers, losers weepers. Taken into the context of selling a luxury property, this means finding and obtaining any copies of certain documents you find to be missing well in advance of providing these documents to your buyer’s solicitor on acceptance of the offer.
The importance of this? Your buyer’s solicitor will be using these documents to carry out a full investigation of the property and, off the back of this, will likely raise a full set of enquiries about the property to which you must respond. Missing documents in this respect means that any enquiries your buyer and their solicitor makes will not be fully informed. And, when they realise this to be the case, you’ll have to traverse back to square one and begin the process again.
3. Be fully prepared with the best advice
The conveyancing process can be a complex one – that’s why the professionals get involved. And when it comes to luxury real estate, there is the added pressure of huge investments and liabilities at stake. These transactions can be high-risk, and can also fall through when ill-prepared, so it is crucial to instruct your solicitor well in advance of any offer being made. This small act can be transformative for the entire conveyancing process, as it allows your solicitor to make preliminary investigations into the title and ascertain in good time whether there are any defects or issues you need to address or resolve. When these are found too late, they can vastly slow – or worse, stop – a sale.
Equally important is who you’re instructing. It is hugely important in this respect to obtain the best possible advice from solicitors who are experienced in dealing with luxury property. Vardags’ property department delivers a premium service that places discretion, rigour, and client experience at the forefront. Acting for individuals, trustees, and international corporations, our clients tend to have property portfolios worth tens or hundreds of millions. Vardags can provide expert representation on a range of property matters, particularly complex cases involving multiple jurisdictions and sophisticated structures.