Additional Enquiries by Conveyancers: The Importance of Honesty

Whether you are thinking about selling your property or in the midst of a property transaction, the prospect as a whole can be quite daunting. Particularly when the administrative side of the sale gets underway – the complexity of which never fails to take first-time sellers by surprise.

Selling a home in the UK involves the completion of ‘protocol forms’, which present the seller with a series of direct and formal questions. You’ll be asked how long you’ve lived in the property and to provide supporting documentation to verify the answers you provide in these protocol forms.

After which, you can expect the buyer and their solicitor to submit a variety of additional questions and enquiries. Most of which will relate to the good title – i.e. ensuring that there are no breaches of building regulations or planning permissions they should know about. However, this is also the stage at which any and all additional enquiries the buyer wishes to submit will need to be answered…and answered truthfully.

What Kinds of Additional Enquiries Can You Expect?

Technically speaking, the potential buyer and their solicitor can ask you anything they like about your property and your residency. Common examples of additional enquiries include questions about the condition of your boiler and central heating system, the general state of repair of certain installations at home and perhaps clarification on a few garden-related grey areas.

They may even ask questions of a more personal nature, such as if and to what extent you have amicable relations with your neighbours. Or perhaps, if any nearby homes have a tendency to be noisy or a nuisance in any way.

Irrespective of the nature of the questions you’re asked, it’s important to provide answers as quickly as possible. Not only are unnecessary delays often interpreted negatively, but take too long to answer and the buyer could pull out of the transaction entirely.

Do I Need to Answer Every Question Honestly?

While the temptation can be to ‘sugar coat’ things and paint a picture of domestic bliss, telling anything but the truth is inadvisable. You can refuse to answer questions outright, but to do so it to almost guarantee the withdrawal of the buyer’s bid.

Answering additional enquiries is therefore essential – as is being as honest and transparent is possible. In the event that you lie or exclude information in these formal documents, you could be held liable for damages at a later stage.

There have been countless cases over recent years of homebuyers having successfully taken sellers to court, having purchased properties on the basis of misleading or incomplete information. In which case, the claimants may be awarded substantial damages for fraudulent misrepresentation.

Again, something as simple as lying about your relations and interactions with your neighbours (or even their children) could result in legal action being taken against you.

Independent Legal Support…

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above, we would be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free consultation to discuss the matter further. At Aristone Solicitors, we can provide the independent legal advice and support you need to ensure the straightforward sale of your home.

Call today, or email any time and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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