Selling a house: the paperwork requirements


The process of selling a house can be more or less lengthy; it can be exhausted in a few months as well as protracted for much longer periods. In an attempt to reduce this time, it can be very useful to get ready with the necessary documentation and various paperwork. Among other things, these are documents that must be submitted and you might as well spend as soon as possible to have them available.

The deed of purchase and sale

Of course, you cannot sell what does not belong to you, unless you are the star of some old movie. The original deed of purchase, also called the deed of provenance, precisely proves the fact that you own the house being sold. It is the notarial deed of purchase that had been drawn up and recorded by the notary public at the time you had acquired the property.

If you have lost it, you can ask the notary to give you a copy or contact the notary's office where the document was registered.

The cadastral plan

This is a plan of the property to scale, usually 1:200, representing the structure of the property on paper. It also contains all the information recorded at the land registry office, such as number of rooms, heights, and exact measurements of spaces. The law specifies that the cadastral plan must be updated at the time of sale, so if the actual situation of the house is no longer consistent with what is depicted on the plan, you will have to take action for the necessary adjustments by calling in an architect or surveyor to update the changes.

The cadastral plan is available online at the Internal Revenue Service's website, from the land agency or by requesting it either from the real estate agent handling the purchase or sale or from your own technician.

The certificate of fitness

It is issued by the relevant municipal offices and certifies the hygiene, energy and safety conditions of the house and its installations. If you have lost the certificate of fitness, you can either request a copy from the municipality or hire your trusted technician.

The Energy Performance Certificate

This document, also known by its acronym EPA, is prepared by a specialized technician who registers it with the Regional Energy Cadastre following an inspection at the property.

The Energy Performance Certificate indicates the energy class of the house with a value between the alphabetical letters G and A+ representing the property's ability to save energy; it also indicates the IPE (Energy Performance Index) and suggestions for improvement.

The document is valid for 10 years, is mandatory and being without it exposes you to the risk of a fine ranging from 3,000 euros to 18,000.

Certificate of compliance of facilities

This certificate is a statement issued by a specialized technician through which the compliance of all systems of a property with the various regulations and laws is attested. It involves all types of systems: electrical, gas and plumbing systems, heating system and fire-fighting system up to automated doors and gates in addition to documentation related to air-conditioning systems.

If it is missing at the time of the deed, the buyer agrees to regularize all installations of the house subsequent to the purchase of the house.

Mortgage Inspection

Mortgage inspection secures the buyer from unpleasant surprises. With it, it is verified that the property for sale is not burdened with injunctions, foreclosures and mortgages. It is therefore also in the interest of the owner who wishes to sell the house to certify that the condition is suitable for sale.

The mortgage inspection is issued by the Internal Revenue Service, it can also be requested either from the appointed real estate agency or even from your own technician, generally these professionals are equipped with systems to find such documentation.

This is the documentation you need to produce in order to appear with the buyer and the real estate agency at the notary to proceed with the deed and the new deed.

What about after the sale ?

Unlike what many imagine, the tasks for the outgoing owner are not over.

In addition to the handing over of the keys, which generally takes place on the day the notarial deed is signed except in certain cases where by law the seller may request to take the time necessary for clearing out or to make sure that the agreed upon sum is actually credited in the case of the irrevocable warrant, there are other fulfillments that the seller of a property often tends to overlook.

In the case of property that is part of a condominium, the notice to the administrator must be made. This communication should indicate the particulars of the new buyer, so that he can be charged for condominium expenses from the date of the deed. Until this procedure is completed, the seller will remain responsible for the condominium expenses. The communication is made by forwarding a certified copy of the deed to the administrator.

Customarily, the deed can be requested from the notary's office 20-30 days after the deed is signed.

After the transfer of ownership of the house has taken place, all utilities related to the sold property should be shut off or otherwise the parties can agree on a takeover of the utilities. In this case the utility companies will not have to be asked to terminate but to turn over the contracts to the new owner.

To conclude, after the deed and the related handover of the keys, the seller will have to proceed with the change of ownership of the property taxes and fees; therefore, it will be necessary to notify the municipality that the property has been sold. It is important that this communication is made in a diligent manner so that the correct allocation of TARI is made. Keep in mind that the taxes payable are related to the months of ownership of the property.

Another aspect to pay attention to is the presence or absence of private home insurance; it is important that you remember to contact your insurance company and notify the buyer. It will then be the buyer himself who must cancel it within 10 days to avoid tacitly taking over the contract with the obligation to pay its premiums. 

These are the main tasks, but each case must be analyzed for its specifics. Our real estate agency has all the skills and experience to support and follow you through the various stages leading to the sale of your home. If you need clarification or professional advice, do not hesitate to contact us by filling out the form below.

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