To sell or not to sell. Is now the right time?

In an attempt to help boost the housing market, the Chancellor of the Exchequer suspended Stamp Duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This “stamp duty holiday” is due to end on March 31st this year.

MP’s have challenged the Chancellor however, he has so far refused to extend the suspended Stamp Duty period despite growing pressures from petitioners calling for a 6-month extension. What does the stamp duty holiday mean in real terms? We have prepared a simple table which brings the impact of stamp duty to life as follows:

Property PriceBetween July 8th 2020 – March 31st 2021April 1st onwards(For first-timeBuyers)April 1st onwards(For people who owned a property before)

 Stamp duty illustrated on the basis that you will be living at the property.

The pace of the housing market is strong in SheffieldRightmove (the UK’s leading online property Sales & Rental portal) has reported some interesting statistics:

  • Visits to the Rightmove website are up by 33%
  • The number of buyers contacting agents is up by 12%; and
  • The number of sales agreed is up by 9% for January so far compared to the prior year
  • Despite temporary market closures in 2020, people’s housing needs meant the number of sales agreed was up by 10% for the whole year versus 2019

More estate agents are now offering online viewings to help people find their next home safely, with home-hunters encouraged to shortlist properties before choosing which ones to go and see in person.

“To protect Buyers & Sellers (including our staff), we have observed guidance issued by the government relating to property viewings and have seen a significant uptake in FaceTimeSkype & WhatsApp viewings. As an added measure, we have commissioned a firm who is able to provide professional video footage enhancing the virtual viewing experience customers expect today” says Nicholas Lambrou, Director at Nicholas Humphreys Estate Agent (Sheffield – Broomhill & Crookes).

Latest Rightmove analysis shows that it is now taking 126 days from the time an offer is accepted until legal completion, just over four months. New home-buyers in the market should not be factoring in any stamp duty savings, unless they are first-time buyers, who will still be mainly exempt after the March deadline has passed.

According to Rightmove“the surge in buyer demand after the first lockdown in 2020 was initially driven by movers’ changed housing needs, and thus started a couple of months before the July introduction of the stamp duty holidays. The combination of the two resulted in an amazing recovery in 2020 activity despite the pandemic, with the number of sales agreed up by 10% compared to the whole of 2019”

Whilst it is not clear whether the stamp duty holiday will be extended or not, it is probable that financial savings could be made if the stamp duty holiday was extended or amended.

Here are just a few things you can do to buy or sell your home fast:

  • Buyers who are unable to decide on two properties should consider the one with the shortest chain (or no chain) so as to avoid complications.
  • Ensure presentation of your home is at its best before marketing commences. Read our article on 7 Awesome Things You Can Learn to Sell Your Home Quickly here
  • Communicate your target completion date with your solicitor. Generally, solicitors with a positive & proactive approach are more likely to help you achieve the speed of the sale.
  • Being prepared is crucial. Have your mortgage Decision in Principle ready. It also helps to have all your documents handy too EG. ID, proof of deposit, bank statements etc.
  • Vendors who have invested in a pack containing crucial property information will already have the conveyancing process underway much quicker. It is a known fact that houses with shorter conveyancing times are less likely to have the sale fall through. This information would include:

Property questionnaire

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Sale Statement

Land Registry Documents

  • Communication is key. Keep in regular contact with your Estate Agent and solicitor

FACT: Did you know it takes 55 days on average for a house to sell in Yorkshire?

Are you thinking about selling your home? Contact Nicholas Humphreys (Sheffield – Broomhill & Crookes) on 0114 470 4715 and ask us for a free market appraisal and discuss the best marketing campaign for you.

Our office is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm.