Calling Estate Agents…

31 May

It can be tough valuing a home, or justifying that value to a customer. One of the big factors is the state of the home’s windows. Ask yourself, are they:

  • Single glazed?
  • Double glazed?
  • Triple glazed?
  • Are the seals ok?
  • Do they suffer with condensation?
  • What ventilation is in the room?
  • Have they been fitted since April 2002?
  • Do they have a FENSA certificate?

These are simple questions, but questions that can help value a home and potentially stop a sale stalling at a later stage.

shutterstock_116266666 house for sale

Building regulations

Replacement windows and doors have to meet building regulations (since April 2002). These regulations cover a wide spectrum of issues, including safety, ventilation and thermal heat retention qualities. If the windows / doors have been fitted after April 2002, then as an Estate Agent, you may need evidence that these new windows / doors meet regulatory compliance.

 

Making sure of a sale

A buyer’s solicitor will need evidence that replacement windows and doors meet regulations, if they cannot be given such evidence, the sale could:

  • Fall through, as the buyer will pull out
  • Stall, until the home owner has received certification (even if this means the home owner must pay for work to be carried out)
  • Stall, until the buyer agrees a new lower price for the sale, covering their costs for any work that may need to be carried out on windows / doors of the property.

There are two forms of evidence that are accepted by a solicitor, and these are: 

  • Home owner has a FENSA certificate 
  • Home owner has documentation from their local building authority stating compliance

An estate agent can pre-empt this documentation necessity, and inform the home owner that they will need this proof. A FENSA certificate can be simply re-ordered from the FENSA website, which ensures a sale doesn’t stall.

You can re order a certificate here http://fensa.org.uk/asp/certificate.asp

If though, the home owner doesn’t have a FENSA certificate, nor was the work carried out by a FENSA registered installer, then they will need to get in touch with their local authority building control – and it is best to do this sooner rather than later.

Inspection of the properties windows /doors may be required, and if so, this can take a little time to organise and at a cost to the home owner. If the windows then pass the regulations, the appropriate evidence will be created. If on the other hand the windows / doors do not meet the necessary regulations, then the problems must be rectified, or the home owner made aware that their home may be de-valued by any buyer.

Whatever the scenario, it is far better to address the issue sooner rather than later in the cycle of selling a property.

 

Recommendation

To all Estate Agents, we recommend that you inform your clients that they should expect to have to produce evidence that replacement windows and doors (since April 2002), meet building regulations. This evidence can be provided by a FENSA certificate or by appropriate documentation from local authority building control. If this evidence is not available, then the home owner should look into the situation as soon as possible.

We also recommend that home owners are aware of why they should use a FENSA registered installer for replacement windows and door installations. A good blog to recommend / read on this is: https://fensafitters.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/why-use-a-fensa-firm/

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3 Responses to “Calling Estate Agents…”

  1. exterior home windows June 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Real estate agents negotiate between people who want to sell property and those who want to buy property. They may also work as property managers who look after rental properties, finding and managing tenants and liasing between the owners and the tenants. So it is always important to have an understanding (the client and the estate agents) on both financial aspects and what the client exactly needs.

  2. C Ward June 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    After spending a sleepless night worrying about our non FENSA windows fitted last year and thinking that we’d have to get them all redone before we could sell, we spoke to our solicitor this morning and she assured us that there was no problem and she will arrange an insurance policy in leiu of any problems this will cost about £125, rather than going through what would be a long process getting the local authority to OK them (or not!).

    Would have been nice of the Estate agent to have mentioned it earlier on when we put the house on the market rather than finding out from the solicitor 5 weeks into the sale process!

  3. Lauri June 19, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Some great bits of advice here…it is really important to check the state of the home’s windows. Too many homes are sold with windows that don’t meet the building requirements.

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