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To secure the best buyer and complete your sale quickly, sellers need to think beyond property marketing. They must gain an edge by improving the property’s legal kerb appeal.

Legal kerb appeal

What is legal kerb appeal? Put simply it is the strengths of the property when considered from a legal perspective.

Buyers are increasingly aware of the legal context of property, even if they don’t think about it in actual “legal” terms they may spot the warning signs during a viewing.

A savvy buyer may spot evidence of a neighbour’s right of way, a flying freehold issue or an unofficial roof terrace. A good estate agent armed with the facts (provided by a conveyancer) during a viewing will be able to allay any fears of pursuing an interest in the property.

Advising a buyer that the property is offered with a legal remedy in place, or with indemnity insurance, will put their mind at ease.

Addressing the property’s legal aspects early on, when (or before) the property goes on the market, offers two major benefits.

The first is that the property’s strengths from a legal perspective are identified, and the property can be marketed on this basis. Common examples include existing planning permission for an extension or loft conversion and rights of access over another property.

Buyers of flats and apartments will be particularly interested in management companies, building maintenance programs and lease terms, it’s important to have this information confirmed legally as soon as possible so that it can be used to help ‘sell’ the property and the building or block.  

The second benefit is that potential legal issues can be identified before a buyer is found, giving solicitors the time to solve them or identify solutions whilst the property is on the market.
And as mentioned, it can also empower agents to immediately and confidently address any concerns made by knowledgeable buyers.

How can you identify a property’s strengths in legal terms? What can you do to make the legal aspect of the offering stronger? These fundamental questions cannot be clearly answered without a property lawyer’s input.

Instructing a conveyancer before a buyer is found is a good strategy regardless of the legal state of the property. Much of the conveyancing work on the seller’s side can be done preemptively, before accepting an offer.

Encouraging the solicitor to proactively identify the property’s legal weaknesses means the issue won’t be uncovered later, causing delays, shaking a buyer’s confidence or providing the buyer with an excuse to renegotiate.

Understandably you may be reluctant to part with money in advance of finding a buyer, and we don’t suggest that you have to. But there are risks posed by delays in getting the required information prepared, especially for leasehold properties (flats & apartments). Being legally prepared early will certainly help navigate potential delays. 

If you would like to know more about our conveyancing services here are some useful links - Conveyancing FAQs , Ocean property lawyers fees

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