Preparing land for sale

Whilst most property transactions generally proceed without major issue, there are sometimes avoidable problems that can occur. Sarah Dunlop, Associate in Blanchards Bailey’s Agriculture & Estates team, shares her top tips on how you can prepare for selling your land:

Wouldn’t it be wonderful for all property transactions to proceed quickly without any hiccups causing delays? Once you decide to sell your property often you want to press ahead as quickly as possible. A little preparation can really help. Here are my top tips to consider before you proceed:

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Know what you’re selling.

The first port of call would be to review your title documents. If the property is registered at the Land Registry, does the title plan accurately reflect what is on the ground? If your land is not registered at the Land Registry, do you have all the necessary title deeds? You might be surprised to know that circumstances have arisen where legitimate parties try to sell property that is not in their name, though they occupy and are beneficially entitled to the property.

Speak to your lender.

If you have a mortgage, it is worth making contact with your Lender to ensure that your charge can be redeemed on the sale and to be clear on whether you have any early repayment charges. If you are only selling part of your property, your lender will require sufficient loan to value security so you should make enquiries as to whether they would be willing to make a part release of your security and on what conditions, if any.

Consider access issues.

How is your property accessed? It is not uncommon in a rural area for there to be undocumented access to property and this will inevitably be raised by any prudent buyer.

If your property is occupied, how is it occupied? It is often desirable to have a formal agreement in place and information concerning occupation should be provided to your lawyer from the outset.

Speak to the experts in their field.

Also, I highly recommend that you engage with a reputable land agency to help market your property. They will be able to guide you to the right time and method of sale that would best suit your circumstances and your land. Any additional considerations should be negotiated into the memorandum of sale. For example; if you are selling at mid-season and wish to retain a crop, this needs to be made clear from the outset and communicated to your buyer.

Know the real cost.

Lastly, it is always worth speaking to your accountant prior to disposal as there could be tax implications on your business and the opportunity could be taken to reduce any tax potential liability by forward planning.

By following these top tips, you can help iron out any bumps in the road of selling your land before they arise. If I or any member of the Agriculture & Estates team can assist, please do get in touch on  01258 459361 or email sarah.dunlop@blanchardsbailey.co.uk

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