Prepare for sale with a property dossier

Pulling together all the paperwork on your home can be just as important as sprucing up its appearance when you’re preparing to sell.

“It really helps,” says Harcourts Africa CEO Martin Schultheiss, “when homeowners have assembled a portfolio of relevant documents such as the title deed and the electrical compliance certificate before they list the property for sale.

“Also useful are the approved plans of the home or any alterations that have been made, and any current guarantees for work done such as roof or pool repairs. If possible, owners should also include the manuals for built-in items such as gas fireplaces and for automated security, sound or irrigation systems.

“Having these documents to hand makes it much easier to answer queries from potential buyers about the history of the property and how well it has been maintained, and also speeds up the transfer process once a sale agreement has been signed.”

If you don’t already have one, notes Schultheiss, a copy of the title deed can be obtained from the bank that holds the mortgage on your property or, for a small fee, from the Deeds Office.

“It is important not only because it proves ownership of the property but because it shows whether there are any special considerations that might come into play for a prospective buyer, such as a servitude over the property or perhaps a boundary relaxation originally obtained to build a garage or an extension.”

The electrical certificate of compliance (ECC) is a legal requirement for anyone selling a property and the transfer of ownership cannot be completed without one. “And it is definitely easier to get an ECC before you put your property on the market in case there is work to be done to repair the electrical system or make it safe in terms of the law.”

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