Act now to beat the deadline
The clock is ticking as we head towards the end of the stamp duty holiday, which expires on 31st March 2021. Currently, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is not showing any signs of extending this tax savings incentive, which has so far fuelled tremendous demand in the property market following lockdown. As the situation stands, buyers who complete their sale before the holiday ends stand to save as much as £15,000 from their stamp duty tax. This is significant motivation to get things moving if you’d like to save money.
Bearing in mind that the average time to complete is 12 weeks following an offer being accepted, it pays for vendors to be extremely organised to ensure that things progress as quickly as possible.
Top of the list before the offers come rolling in, is to check that your home has been priced correctly. As well as receiving formal valuations from estate agents, you should also check sites such as Zoopla for details of how much similar neighbouring properties have sold for. It’s always tempting to price your home high to pocket as much money as possible for your onward move. But if time’s ticking, then it may be in your best interests to stick within a more reasonable asking price category in the hope of a quicker sale.
One of the jobs that you can do whilst you’re waiting for an offer is to instruct a conveyancer to sell your home. Some will only charge you in the event that the sale completes. Local estate agents in Brentwood explain that by getting started with the legal aspects of your home sale asap, you could shave as much as four weeks off your sales progression.
To assist your conveyancer in gathering information about your property to send to the buyer’s solicitors, you’ll need to provide some essential documents. For leasehold properties, you’ll require a copy of the lease and any information related to your property management or RTM companies. Freehold properties should supply documents related to the freehold. If any structural alterations have taken place to your home, such as extensions or the addition of a conservatory, then you’ll need to present building regulation certificates, or FENSA certificates for new windows.
Your estate agent will ask if you have an EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate, as buyers like to know the rating of the property before they commit to offering. Your EPC clearly displays information about a property’s typical energy usage and associated costs of running the household. An A rating is the most efficient a property could be, whilst G is the least. Holding an EPC is mandatory for your home sale; however, the certificate lasts for 10 years so you may have a previous copy which is still valid. Otherwise, you should arrange for an accredited assessor to carry out your EPC inspection, or else face a penalty fee.
Finally, if you will require a mortgage for your next home, then it’s a good idea to look into the affordability aspects of a loan to give you an idea of the type of property you could realistically purchase. You might contact your existing lender or speak with a mortgage broker who will drill down into your finances, run a credit check and come up with the maximum amount you could borrow.
Mortgage lenders and conveyancers are facing an enormous back log of applications following lockdown and due to the surge in interest created by the stamp duty holiday. Act now to make sure your home move goes through before the end of March, 2021.