Downsizing! Help needed with getting over stamp duty threashold

(39 Posts)
NotmylastRolo Tue 12-Mar-13 09:14:00

Am looking for some advice please!
We want to downsize from a 4 bed detached house to a 2 bed bungalow (final move!). We will retire soon. We have a small mortgage (£30k) which we need to clear and no savings. Running such a large house takes all our cash now that our children have flown. Our house is well decorated, modern and spacious, and well maintained with really no negatives. It has attracted lots of interest and we have had several offers in our 2 months on the market.

Our house is valued at £279,950 (by more than one estate agent). We went sole agency with the one we liked best. Trouble is we cannot get an offer above the stamp duty threshold of £250K! If we sold at £250K we could sell it tomorrow probably to a dozen interested persons.

Do we practically give our house away to move? Our problem is that bungalows within a 5 mile radius of us are at a premium price, and stay around the stamp duty threshold of £250K. Dh will not consider a flat (we have pets).

I have had an idea that we could ask our purchaser to pay our estate agent and conveyancing fees to ease the costs of moving to make the calculations closer to affordable. If we paid off half the mortgage and had lower outgoings in a bungalow it would greatly ease our approach to old age!

Has anyone else every asked a purchaser to pay estate agent bill and conveyancing bills (probably asking them to pay out £6k in total)? I am not sure it is even ethical to ask.

When you say your house was valued at £279,950 by more than one estate agent, what you are really saying is that more than one estate agent suggested you market your house with an initial asking price of £279,950. The EA isn't valuing the house, they're suggesting a selling strategy.

Houses are selling for 93% of the asking price, on average. See here - Hometrack

So that would be £261 ish, which is really way too close to the threshold.

If you sell your house for £250k you wouldn't be selling it at "under value", you'd be selling it for the amount that it was worth to the buyer. Similarly an offer of 30k below on a bungalow priced at 250k would not be cheeky. It would be sensible!

Have you looked on RightMove at sold prices for similar houses?

bigbadbarry Tue 12-Mar-13 21:11:46

To be honest, we did exactly this - listed at 280, sold for 249950 but offered 25k below on te house we were buying. They were happy to accept this as we were ready to proceed (and our buyers were chain-free). The delta between houses was the same so it made no difference to us (except I suppose we paid less stamp duty!)

BabyFaker Tue 12-Mar-13 21:17:02

A house is only worth what people are willing to pay for it and in your case that's 250k.

NotmylastRolo Wed 13-Mar-13 10:18:27

Yep! BF and Btbc - am coming around to the same conclusion. Our house is only worth what someone will pay and an offer of £30k under the valuation is not cheeky. It certainly is a different market and you can probably tell that it has been a while since we moved house. I think back then we were distracted from worrying by a young family (and sleep deprivation) but now we are "empty nesters" and so more focused on what is going on. We are also not earning what we used to so are counting the pennies more than before.

I am going to move forwards with more confidence now and just hold the end goal in sight. We really do not want to be rattling around in a 4 double bed house in our 90's and selling the odd kidney or other wrinkled body parts in our old age to pay the gas and electric bills!

I will try the stamp duty negotiations first but start viewing bungalows and if we find one we really like at a price that makes the maths worth it ........ it is all systems go!

NotmylastRolo Fri 15-Mar-13 21:38:30

We sold yesterday. The offer was above the stamp duty threshold (Yay!!). The estate agent said that our offer to pay the 2% stamp duty made all the difference. The offer was just short of our asking price but £5k approx lower still because we are paying the 2% stamp duty but still enough for it to be worthwhile making the move to a bungalow.

Thank you so much to all posters for the excellent advice and moral support.

lalalonglegs Fri 15-Mar-13 21:49:59

Yay - I suggested that, I am a genius grin. Hope it all goes through smoothly.

AliceWChild Fri 15-Mar-13 22:13:54

Yay indeed. You were inspired by my initial stamp duty payment suggestion though, weren't you Lala grin

lalalonglegs Sat 16-Mar-13 09:52:31

Oh dear, did you get there first, Alice? I was too impressed by my own cleverness to notice blush. <<shuffles off embarrassed>>

AliceWChild Sat 16-Mar-13 11:30:49

No you were indeed the winner. grin I suggested paying the whole lot. You fine tuned it beautifully.

NotmylastRolo Sat 16-Mar-13 19:21:17

You are all superstars in my eyes. You all came in and offered much needed support and good solid advice. Much appreciated when feeling very stressed!!

Thanks to all xx

deste Sat 16-Mar-13 21:44:17

Could I ask, now that you have your answer, what would be the stamp duty on a new build costing £257,999. Thanks

lalalonglegs Sun 17-Mar-13 03:42:24

deste £7739.97

deste Tue 19-Mar-13 18:04:08

Thankyou I thought it was worked out on a percentage on the difference between the £250,000 and the cost. At least I was hoping that.

lalalonglegs Tue 19-Mar-13 18:26:19

Nope, flat 3% once you go a penny over 250k, you've got to get the price down to 250k and then it's only 1%. Stamp duty will soon be 7% if you buy over 2 million (which doesn't buy that much in a lot of inner London shock).

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