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The hidden cost of selling retirement properties

People looking to sell the retirement property of a deceased relative are being warned of the possible hidden costs.

Sarah Barnes, head of Residential Property at Napthens solicitors, reports that properties geared towards over 55s are becoming increasingly popular.

These homes have a number of benefits for older residents, often including a house warden, ready-made communities of like-minded people, organised social events and a panic button.

But Sarah warns that it is important to be aware of the costs relating to these types of properties.

She said: “It is very common for such properties to go on the market when the owner dies, and the beneficiaries – often the children – may be unaware of the need for certain fees to be paid upon the sale.

“Retirement properties usually require an exit fee to be paid, usually a percentage of the sale price and sometimes a significant sum of money.

“Service charges paid will also still be accrued during the marketing of the property, and will become payable on completion of the sale, and there may also be assignment fees and other costs listed in the lease.

“This type of property may be managed by a residents’ association, management company or a freeholder, and occasionally sales may be held up due to the length of time taken to obtain a full breakdown of the fees which apply.

“As a result, vendors should obtain the full details of the charges before a sale is agreed in order to speed up the conveyancing process. It’s also a good idea, when marketing the property, to highlight such charges to a future buyer to avoid any issues.