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Stamp Duty Holiday - speed up your sale to meet the deadline

If you want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, you may think you have plenty of time to sell your property before the 31 March 2021 deadline. But when you factor in the average time it takes to complete on a property once an offer is accepted, 12 weeks, the March deadline doesn’t seem too far away. Even more so when you consider that figure doesn’t include time for your own property search or any of the common hurdles along the way.

What is the Stamp Duty Holiday?

When you buy a property, you normally have to pay Stamp Duty Land Transaction Tax on all properties over £125,000, or £300,000 for first-time buyers.

On 8 July 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a temporary stamp duty holiday that cut the rate of stamp duty to zero per cent for all properties £500,000 or under until 31 March 2021.

For example, if you are purchasing a property that is £400,000 as a main residence, before the stamp duty holiday you would have paid £10,000, now you pay £0.

There has also been a cut for buyers of additional properties, for example buy-to-let investors. The new rate for additional properties starts at three per cent up to £500,000, which, using the same example of a £400,000 property, would save the buyer £10,000 in stamp duty.

For the full details on all the new rates, visit our Stamp Duty Land Transaction Tax guide.

When do I need to market my property?

Selling a property is a complicated process, with several stages and multiple people involved to get through the whole process to completion.

According to data from ViewMyChain.com, receiving an offer once the property is on the market can take around ten weeks, your buyer arranging a solicitor can take well over a month and arranging their mortgage can take up to six weeks, and that’s just a few of the tasks the buyer has to tick off. The solicitors, surveyors and estate agent will also all have their own tasks to complete before the job is done. When all combined, the average time it takes to sell a property from going on the market to completion is six months.

With this in mind, you should give yourself plenty of time to sell your property so that you have the best possible chance to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

Quote mark

With housing market activity excelling following the Chancellor’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday, we expect the market to remain busy into the new year. Following all social distancing measures and making sure everything is in order will help maximise your chances of completing ahead of 31 March.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
NAEA Propertymark

What can I do to help sell my property in time?

The best thing you can do to ensure your property sale goes through quickly is to ask your estate agent for a copy of the Propertymark Sales Protocol Toolkit and complete the Property Information Questionnaire.

You will also need to assemble copies of some important documents, including:

  • A copy of the lease (if the property is leasehold)
  • Documentation related to the freehold (if the property is freehold)
  • FENSA certificates for replacement windows
  • Your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Relevant building restrictions
  • Building regulation certificate when alterations have taken place
  • A Gas Safety certificate for a new boiler

How do I figure out how much stamp duty I need to pay?

Calculator

SDLT Calculator

HMRC's Stamp Duty calculator has now been updated with the new rates so you can work out how much tax you will need to pay.

Use Calculator

Completing the Sales Protocol Toolkit and having all these documents ready is proven to shave time off your property sale, which in the run up to the 31 March, could save you a substantial amount of money.

 

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