Saturday, 06 March 2021

Buy now or miss out on stamp duty relief

BUYERS should act now to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday that ends in March.

Homes valued at up to £500,000 will not currently face a stamp duty tax, providing a maximum saving of up to £15,000.

THP Solicitors’ residential property team says the stamp duty holiday has led to a huge increase in property transactions.

It says the volume of sales has caused a backlog in valuations, mortgage approvals and some conveyancing searches.

Emily Jones, a conveyancing executive in the residential property team, said: “Wednesday, March 31 is just weeks away so if you want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday you need to act now or risk missing the deadline”.

The firm, which has an office in Bell Street, Henley, has come up with some do’s and don’ts to ensure buyers complete by the deadline. These are as follows:

• Instruct your conveyancers as soon as you put your property on the market, rather than waiting for an offer, as it enables them to run through mandatory preliminary steps such as anti-money laundering checks, and gather key information about your property that buyers will wish to review, such as Land Registry searches.

• Make sure you have documentation, such as wage slips, financial accounts or bank statements, organised to help get your mortgage agreed in principle, and have funds readily available for deposits.

• If you are weighing up between two properties, consider chain lengths when placing an offer as the more links the longer it could take for every buyer in the chain to catch up/work at your expected pace.

• If buying a new-build property, or if you have a new-build in your property chain, ensure that it will be ready to legally complete on or before March 31 as otherwise that purchase will not be eligible for the stamp duty relief.

• Don’t delay in instructing surveyors or other property experts that may be be required.

• Keep in regular contact with your estate agent and conveyancer and get back to them quickly if they request information.

• Do not proceed in a chain or on a purchase in the hope that the stamp duty holiday will be extended.

For more information on buying or selling a property, call THP Solicitors’ residential property team on 0118 920 9496 or email head of department Rachel Gaylor on