Do You Need an EPC to Sell a House?

11th December 2023

If you are currently looking to offload a residential property in Greater Manchester or Lancashire, you might be wondering: do you need an EPC to sell a house?

As the go-to estate agents in North West England, at JonSimon not only are we dedicated to providing you with guidance on buying a property, but we can also accurately value a home you already own in the region and are ready to sell.

Do You Need an EPC to Sell a House or Not?

So, do you need an EPC certificate to sell a house? The answer is yes. In fact, it’s a legal requirement that you order an EPC for a house before marketing it to sell.

However, there remain some exceptions to this rule — and this article will explain circumstances where, by law, you would or wouldn’t require an EPC in order to sell a domestic property.

Considering Selling Your Property? JonSimon Can Help

Acting as a property estate agent, JonSimon can assist you in selling your home; Our close-knit team of estate agents are experts in selling and marketing property in the Northwest.

What Is an EPC?

An EPC (energy performance certificate) is a document summing up a specific property’s energy efficiency. An EPC details:

  • How much energy the property uses
  • Energy costs typically run up by the property
  • How the property’s energy use could be reduced to save money

The EPC will also display an energy efficiency rating, displayed as a letter in the range of A to G (most to least efficient).

What Does the Law Say?

Do you need an EPC to sell a house located in England? The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 address this subject. 

The regulations state that you “shall make available free of charge a valid energy performance certificate to any prospective buyer” in whichever of the following situations occurs earliest:

  • An opportunity arises
  • You make written information about the building available to the prospective buyer if they have requested information about the building
  • The prospective buyer views the building after requesting this viewing

According to the regulations, the above-mentioned requirements do not apply if, on reasonable grounds, you believe that the prospective buyer is:

  • Unlikely to be able to afford to purchase the house
  • Not truly interested in buying a building of a general description that applies to the house
  • Someone you are unlikely to be prepared to sell the property to

In any case, you must make sure that anyone who does buy the building from you has been given a valid EPC for it free of charge. 

An EPC will be valid for 10 years from its date of issue, and so will not legally need to be replaced at any point during that period.

Are There Any Exceptions to Needing an EPC Certificate to Sell Your Property?

In other words, what is an EPC exemption and when would it apply? For instance, do you need an EPC to sell a house if it is a listed building? You actually do not. 

This is because many energy efficiency measures that an EPC would advocate for the property could alter original features and so would be prohibited by the listing anyway.

Other residential buildings you can sell without needing an EPC include:

  • Temporary buildings planned to be used for two years or less
  • Homes intended to be used for under four months of the year
  • Homes where you can realistically anticipate their energy consumption to be less than a quarter of all-year-round use.
  • Stand-alone buildings (i.e. buildings wholly separate to any other building) where the total useful floor space is less than 50 square metres

You would also be exempt from this legal requirement for an EPC if you can demonstrate that the home you are looking to sell ticks all of these boxes:

  • Is suitable for demolition
  • Would, through being demolished, result in a site apt for redevelopment
  • Is already covered by all the relevant planning permissions, listed building consents and conservation area consents required for demolition.
  • Is already covered by outline planning or planning permission — and relevant listed building consents — for site redevelopment

How to Get an EPC Rating for Your Property

From the moment you apply for an EPC, it can take less than a week for you to receive it. However, the exact length of time can depend on which firm you turn to as well as how preoccupied they are. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to obtaining an EPC rating for a Greater Manchester or Lancashire house:

  1. Use the UK Government website to find an accredited EPC assessor.
  2. When you find someone seemingly suitable, check that they are a domestic energy assessor and belong to an accredited scheme.
  3. If you are able to confirm that they are indeed an accredited energy assessor, arrange for them to view your property.
  4. Allow the energy assessor to fully inspect the property, a process likely to last roughly an hour for an average-size home.
  5. Wait to be handed the EPC.

Alternatively, if you will already be selling your home via JonSimon, you can have an estate agent from our team fetch an EPC for the property on your behalf.

Do I Need to Display My EPC Rating on Listings?

While your home is being offered for sale, the energy performance indicator shown on the EPC must be included in any listings advertising the property in commercial media. In this context, ‘commercial media’ includes:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • The Internet
  • Written material that you or the estate agent have produced describing the building

In all of these situations, you would need to display the full EPC certificate if the home you want to sell is in the United Kingdom.

High EPC vs Low EPC: What’s the Potential Impact of Energy Ratings on Selling?

As awareness of the climate crisis has grown and energy bills have increased during the cost-of-living crisis, you could find that many potential buyers of your property are drawn to or repelled by it on account of its energy efficiency rating.

What If I Have an Especially High EPC Rating?

Having a higher energy rating can be an attractive selling point to buyers and even command higher prices on the housing market. For instance, research suggests that homes with an EPC rating of C can attract premiums of:

  • 3% more than D-rated homes
  • 8.8% more than E-rated homes
  • 19.6% more than F and G-rated homes

With only 41% of homes in England having been found to meet an EPC rating of at least C, you are in an enviable position if your home is part of that 41%.

This might give you pause to consider whether improving your home’s energy efficiency could help you not only save money on energy bills, but also increase your property value.

What If I Have an Especially Low EPC Rating?

As only 41% of homes in Britain have EPC ratings of above a C, it’s fair to say that many properties have flaws in their energy efficiency. The good news is that this is quite normal in Britain and often won’t stop a house from selling for that reason alone.

However, research hints that buyers expect discounts on homes with especially low ratings due to costs that would be incurred from making the properties more energy efficient.

JonSimon: Your Estate Agents in the North West

To enquire about selling your Lancashire or Greater Manchester home with our expert assistance, please contact our BurnleyRadcliffe or Ramsbottom office.

Get in touch with us today for your free property valuation!

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