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  • Writer's pictureMortgage Tree

Want to save £15,000 from the stamp duty holiday? Then get moving by this date…

Think you've got plenty of time until end of March to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday? Not really. Here's why...

The government introduced a stamp duty holiday in July. The tax is now suspended on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland.

This will save buyers as much as £15,000, if they are buying a property of £500,000 or more. But, if you’re looking to benefit, you need to remember the tax holiday is time limited until 31st March next year.

While this sounds like plenty of time, the home buying process isn’t fast at the best of times. And as the number of coronavirus cases, restrictions on movements and local lockdowns continue to rise, can you really afford to ‘wait and see’?

Obviously there are lots of other factors at play when deciding whether now is the best time to move house. But many people have been reviewing their current living circumstances post-lockdown prompting them to move.

This week, the National Association of Estate Agents, Propertymark, have been telling sellers to market by 26th September to maximise their chances of getting the transactions completed before the 31 March 2021 stamp duty deadline.

Why 26th September?

According to data from, 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.

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 buy and sell a property from going on the market to completion can be six months.

But that’s pre-pandemic data.

With this in mind, NAEA Propertymark say you should give yourself plenty of time. By getting your property on the market by 26 September, you will do just that.

How to speed up your sale and purchase

Whenever you manage to get your home on the market, here are the key things you can do to speed up the process:

1. Find a local estate agent with a good track record.

You can compare quotes now from conveyancing solicitors and speak to them about the process and costs so you’re ready to instruct them.

They can complete transactions quicker. Digital Move claims cases can be completed up to 6 weeks quicker. Look for the Digital Move logo when you search for your conveyancing firm.

Also known as an EPC this has to be included with a sale by law. It shows how energy efficient your new home is and if you moved in within the last 10 years, yours is still valid. Here’s how to check.

If it’s a leasehold, find the lease. Locate certificates showing compliance with regulations of any works done from planning permissions to FENSA certificates for window replacements. Don’t forget valid guarantees a home buyer will want to see.

Many lenders and brokers are experiencing COVID related delays and mortgage choices have significantly reduced, especially for first time buyers. Avoid wasting time later down the line and start the process now.


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