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Checklist “I’m selling my investment property”.

Selling your property today requires a series of steps to be taken “before you start”, the vast majority of which are LEGALLY ESSENTIAL.

This is a legal requirement

1. Ask the local authority for planning information (RU)

  • This request must be accompanied by plans or sketches showing the different rooms and their use.
  • The document will give you the planning situation as the local authority knows it... and not necessarily the situation you know in reality.
Legal obligation

2. Inform prospective buyers of the official situation as provided by the local authority

Be careful: if the buyer is not fully informed of the legal situation regarding town planning, you will be held liable!
Remember also that estate agents and/or notaries are obliged to be transparent about this situation.
(An attic converted into a bedroom without planning permission, a commercial ground floor converted into living accommodation, the division of a large flat into 2 units, the closure of rear terraces, the replacement of windows using different designs and materials to those originally used… these are just a few classic examples of offences).
The situation does not require tidying up, but informing the future buyer correctly so that he or she can deal with it personally.

Mandatory by law.

3. PEB - Performance Energétique du Bâtiment

An approved PEB certifier will come to your home to draw up an expert report to determine the energy value of each housing unit.
You are legally obliged to mention the result of this certificate in all advertising, notices and announcements.

Legal obligation

4. Soil pollution

Depending on the region concerned, the situation is different, but in any case requires action by the selling owner.

  • Brussels-Capital Region : Any sale by Bruxelles-Environnement. Each plot of land is placed in a category from 0 to 4 and you may be required to carry out additional investigations and/or clean up the land so that the sale can go ahead.
  • Flemish Region: All sales must be accompanied by a certificate called a "Bodemattest". It will state the state of the soil, any pollution and any obligation to clean up the pollution.
  • Walloon Region: Only land sales are covered by the obligation to provide a document to be obtained from the BDES (Banque de Donnée de l'Etat du Sol).
Legal requirement

5. Electrical certificate

No later than the date of the deed of sale, you must provide the purchaser with an electrical installation inspection report for each dwelling unit (this applies to all residential properties).
The law does not require you to ensure that the installation is compliant when you sell, but it does require you to inform the purchaser of the state of your installation, and if it is not compliant, the purchaser must carry out the necessary work to bring it into line within 18 months of the date of the deed of sale.
The certificate is valid for 25 years.

6. Plans

Potential buyers very often ask for a copy of the plans of the building: it is strongly recommended that you prepare archive plans or recent sketches of the entire building, which are also necessary for the request for planning information.
This can be requested in advance from the archives department of the local authority concerned.

Legal obligation

7. DIU - Dossier d'Intervention Ultérieur (File for subsequent work)

The selling owner must submit a file containing all the information relating to the life of the property since 2001: maintenance carried out, works, dismantling and/or replacement of installations, invoices from the owners, electrical plans, etc.

Legal obligations

8. Oil tank

The seller has a number of obligations with regard to an oil tank, depending mainly on the capacity of the tank:

  • Tank < 3,000 litres: no legal obligation - you should nevertheless ensure that your tank has been maintained in a good state of repair.
  • Tank > 3,000 L: you will be required to provide a certificate from an approved body confirming the tank's compliance.
Legal obligation

9. Existence of legal proceedings in progress

Potential buyers must be informed of any legal proceedings or disputes concerning the property for sale.

Legal obligation

10. Information to tenant(s)

  • Since 1 January 2018 and only in the Brussels-Capital Region: you are required to inform your tenants by registered letter that the rented property is up for sale.
  • In all cases, you must ensure that the visiting arrangements comply with the legal provisions (3 x 2 hours / week or 2 x 3 hours / week)

Obviously, you should try to coordinate the availability of the various tenants as best you can, so as not to have to travel too much!

Strongly recommended

11. Tenant information

The sale of an investment property requires clear and comprehensive information on the rental situation for prospective buyers.
A table showing the occupancy of the various tenants and the actual rents should be provided, and copies of the current leases, inventories of fixtures and fittings, rental guarantees, withholding tax, etc. should be attached.
A word of advice: try to draw up your deed of sale at the beginning or end of the month to avoid complex “prorata temporis” calculations between the parties when the deed of sale is signed.

12. Analysis and marketing by a specialist

The work of a professional intermediary specialising in investment properties consists of :

  • Analysing the various elements listed above to ensure that the legal situation is in line with the actual or historical situation, and drawing up a complete and transparent sales file to protect the seller
  • Market the property, taking account of these factors and the property's development potential for a future buyer (financial forecasts, works, potential return)
  • Analysing offers from prospective buyers and drawing up a preliminary sales agreement, taking account of the factors described above.