Recent research from PropertyMark has suggested that the market deadline day for listing your property for sale in order to benefit from the current Stamp Duty holiday is 26th September 2020.
This date is calculated by taking the average amount of time from initial listing with an estate agent through to completion.
According to data from ViewMyChain.com, receiving an offer once your property is listed can take up to ten weeks. Arranging a solicitor can take around four weeks, your buyer arranging their mortgage can take another six weeks, and then an average of twelve weeks for the conveyancing process. All of these factors together can therefore add up to 6 months, although note this can vary wildly based on your circumstances and whether you use an online conveyancing firm or traditional high street lawyer.
The date of 26th September is the best guide date being given by PropertyMark in order to allow for some of these maximum timescales, plus a little extra time to give yourself the best chance of meeting the 31st March 2021 deadline.
There are a few things you can prepare for in order to speed up the moving process:
1. Find an estate agent
Do your research in advance and find a someone who you trust to sell your property with fees that suit your budget
2. Choose and instruct a conveyancer
If you’re selling, ideally you should instruct a conveyancer or solicitor as soon as you market your property. If you’re a buyer, you should instruct as soon as your offer is accepted. Provide them with your ID upfront, to allow them to carry out the necessary Anti Money Laundering and verification checks before they start work.
3. Choose an online conveyancing firm
It could save you time in terms of posting documents, waiting for replies, chasing up with phone calls, and you will be able to see your case progression instantly if they have an app. An online conveyancing firm will likely also specialise in this area of law, so won’t have other cases or court dates to fill their diary.
4. Prepare your energy performance certificate (if selling)
Your energy performance certificate (EPC) is required by law when selling a property, so get ahead and prepare this before speaking with an estate agent. It will be valid for 10 years, so if you have moved within that time then your existing EPC may still be valid and you will just need to retrieve it.
5. Arrange your paperwork if you’re selling
Important documents like FENSA certificates for windows, planning permissions, management company details or lease paperwork will all be required later in the process, so save yourself time and find them all now. If you choose an online conveyancing firm, you will be able to simply snap photos of these documents, or scan them, and upload them to the app.
6. Get a mortgage offer early
Save yourself and the rest of your chain any potential delays and speak to your lender or mortgage broker to receive a mortgage agreement in principle before making any offers on a property. Several banks and lenders still have staff all working from home and other Coronavirus related delays, so begin the process now to save any time you can later down the line.
Author: Ed Percival, Director of My Home Move Conveyancing.
*the dates given are guidelines only for illustration, and are sourced from ViewMyChain.com