Can I move to beat Stamp Duty?

(46 Posts)
AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 09:30:04

I wanted to run this by you guys....am I mad to think of trying to move before the Stamp Duty holiday ends?

I know I'm a bit late to the party but it's been complicated!

Situation - currently live in my own flat in North London. Need to live near elderly mum in Essex - would be a 2 bed flat hopefully. I had been holding out, mostly because of the hassle of moving, but now really want to move back to Essex anyway - Essex born and bred!

One thing I think is skewing my view of the market - most places are so overpriced! Everyone I know who has sold up round here has to drop their expectations, which were too high. So what I can buy is influenced by what I think I can get for my current place - the estate agent told me "you'd be giving it away at a silly price" but I think they're just trying to squeeze more out of it.

on the buying front I'm seeing "offers in excess of" which I hate - it's basically a competition.

I'm not sure whether to start with finding somewhere I want or putting my flat on first - are people still unfriendly if you don't have an offer or are they more accepting of people busting a gut to meet the deadline for not paying stamp duty?

I can get my place photo ready within a week so I suppose that's the place to start.

Just really interested to hear thoughts and especially from anyone trying to move in this particular time - are solicitors and estate agents slower because of restrictions etc? If I can get my place on by the end of this month, is it realistic to meet the deadline?

I've been lurking for a while but wanted to join for moral support! Hope all the movers are finding things going well.

OP’s posts: |
DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 09:37:31

You need to get your flat sold: making it look perfect /nothing for a 1st time buyer to spend is key (eg paint, new carpets, replace anything tired)

Then you can buy

You are cutting it fine, and you might find places you want to buy have gone.... but if you can sell in next 1 month you might be able to do it

It might be a week to photos, few days before it’s up. You will need to go in with a competitive price to attract a buyer & I fir one had to lower expectations dramatically

I’ve just accepted an offer and expect to get the sale done in about 12 weeks

DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 09:38:55

I’ve been able to view in London without being under offer, but not all agents are doing that

AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 09:50:06

thanks

do you think it's really necessary to tidy it up in decorative terms? Nothing's been done for years - I bet it would be bought by someone planning to redo the whole thing.

it's laminate flooring which is probably 20 years old so yes, it's scuffed in places. It will be immaculately clean and I can take a bunch of stuff to mum's for storage. It's all a bit neutral, Kelly Hoppen type anyway.

There are lots of new builds with Help to Buy round here so I can't compete with them - it will be priced to buy but I want to hold fast on that price. It's so hard to know what I can afford if other people are expecting to drop theirs dramatically.

OP’s posts: |
DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 11:43:08

I would do what you can, I wish my estate agents had suggested I did more (they just want you to list)

New laminate & paint would be cheap and make a difference

My price dropped: 440, 425, finally sold at 400 sad

Because of the deposit needed increasing, my feedback was FTB did not have money for renovations so wanted a ‘done’ place even if less space etc

If my current sale does nor complete, I’m putting in new cheap flooring throughout (£1500 for laminate and bedroom carpets), then putting in a really cheap but new kitchen

You could do flooring quick realistically, but kitchen takes longer and lesss likelihood of payoff

I think people see a slightly scruffy flat and assume you’ve never done any needed repairs, with a related push down of price

2me2u2u2me Thu 15-Oct-20 11:51:21

Hi OP, I've just sold my house in 2 weeks, so very quickly.

When I got the Estate Agents round to value it I told them all the jobs I was planning to do to get it viewing ready, the all said absolutely do not do anything apart from painting a couple of the rooms lighter. I was going to put new flooring down, change a room from a dressing room back to a bedroom, I had a long list, they said buyers see past all that and they know what they want, also if you spend money doing it up it can put them off as they don't want to tear apart a newly fitted floor for instance.

So I would just give any tired looking walls a lick of white paint, big tidy and declutter.

With regards the Stamp duty, you do have time if you start now, it doesn't end until end of March so working usually on a 12 ish week turnaround that's only end Jan.

What I would recommend also is to try and use a solicitor that your estate agent works with, that's been a godsend for me as along with me pushing my solicitor my EA does too as they get a bonus, they were a bit more expensive but it's been worth it and things have gone quicker than I thought they would during the current situation.

2me2u2u2me Thu 15-Oct-20 11:56:10

PS even though the stamp duty holiday ends on the 31st March, you can still benefit from it up until that date as long as you have completed before that date, so plenty of time. I'd still get moving as soon as you can though

Advertisement

AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 11:57:18

I’m sorry you didn’t get the price you wanted

This is partly why I’d go on a realistic price. I mean, generally I think realistic pricing is good, but so many people don't, I think it’s skewing my view of what I can afford.

We seem to have the opposite worries - I thought the EA would tell me to do stuff. I am redoing the sealant round the bath today.

It’s not instagram worthy but I would say, as a buyer, it doesn’t need anything doing.

I hope they don’t think that about repairs, I’d always do what needs doing but people have different definitions.

OP’s posts: |
DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 11:58:06

@2me2u2u2me: do you have a garden?

I see past all the things you mention, but was frustrated my buyers did not sad

AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 11:58:31

X post 2 me

Thanks.

Yes, having to complete by then seems okay to me but I don’t know how much covid restrictions have slowed things down.

OP’s posts: |
AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 11:59:52

X posting everywhere

2me - interesting and heartened to hear your EA said that.

OP’s posts: |
DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 12:03:09

I think you are wise: I may have ended up better off starting at 425 (that said, my eventual buyers viewed at 425 but didn’t have that money, I had LOADS of viewings at 400 but not lots of offers so accept the price) - it’s driven by current situation, pre-Covid 440/470 would have been fair (as confirmed by prices of similar properties) but no garden meant v limited interest

Risk is prices will bounce back to normal next year (I doubt that though)

I don’t think you are wasting your time freshening up: it gives a better impression and doesn’t need to be expensive. Freshening up wall paint is definitely worth it I’d say

AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 12:13:37

Despairing, I wonder if you’re at awkward border with that price?

I have no garden, only a balcony, but there a park five minutes walk away.

It’s excellent for commuting but I’m guessing that’s not much of a selling point right now!

OP’s posts: |
2me2u2u2me Thu 15-Oct-20 12:16:38

@DespairingHomeowner yes I have quite a big enclosed garden, I think that was one of the main selling points.

Some viewers see past stuff, others don't unfortunately.

OP , also see a few estate agents before you choose, you need one that is going to sell your property well. I had one come round to give me a quote and he saw my mountain bike and did nothing but talk about that for ages and how he liked mountain biking, I didn't choose him as although he was friendly it wasn't professional and I wanted him to concentrate on selling my house, not gossip with the potential buyers.

DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 13:55:03

@2me2u2u2me: I tried!! They bought specs of what they had sold to discuss price, did a walk through to comment on property, told me they had waiting buyers, they were joint lowest asking price ...

What they did NOT seem to do is follow up with viewers/ show place at its best. I think they were focused in houses as easier to sell and no commission

Other agents are chasing the business now, but I’m trying to progress a private sale

OldSpeclkledHen Thu 15-Oct-20 14:04:16

Following as in exactly same boat!

My flat been on market near 3weeks... one viewing 🙄

Great for roads north and south, kitchen 3years old, balcony...

I'm in no great rush as feel I've missed the stamp duty holiday now but hey!

DespairingHomeowner Thu 15-Oct-20 14:25:46

OldSpeclkledHen

Following as in exactly same boat!

My flat been on market near 3weeks... one viewing 🙄

Great for roads north and south, kitchen 3years old, balcony...

I'm in no great rush as feel I've missed the stamp duty holiday now but hey!

@OldSpeclkledHen: you’ve got a balcony, there is still hope grin

AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 14:48:59

I guess having a balcony may be a plus round here...

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Thu 15-Oct-20 17:08:38

If you need to sell fast your really need to be realistic about the price and accept you might get less than you wanted or is ideal.

You haven’t got 3 weeks to leave it at too high a price, drop it and find it’s still to high and have lost 6 weeks before it’s at the true price people will pay at the moment.

Price realistically and that should sell it more than cheap home improvements.

You should also start to find properties you might like to buy are feeling anxious about missing the stamp duty window so they might accept a bit below too.

AcornAutumn Thu 15-Oct-20 17:44:34

Thanks Wombat

That’s absolutely why I think price realistically to start if there’s no time to waste.

Good point re the places I’d like.

I’m really interested to know of people are finding council searches etc are slower - I can do them myself for my purchase but the buyer for this probably won’t want to.

OP’s posts: |
2me2u2u2me Fri 16-Oct-20 09:09:48

DespairingHomeowner

**@2me2u2u2me**: I tried!! They bought specs of what they had sold to discuss price, did a walk through to comment on property, told me they had waiting buyers, they were joint lowest asking price ...

What they did NOT seem to do is follow up with viewers/ show place at its best. I think they were focused in houses as easier to sell and no commission

Other agents are chasing the business now, but I’m trying to progress a private sale

@DespairingHomeowner that's a bit shoddy of the EA. When mine had done the show arounds I met him at the end and he gave me feedback on every viewer, they then phoned them all a couple of days later to get their thoughts on the viewing and if they wanted to put in an offer.

I found my EA from recommendations on facebook, I'd definitely go with someone that has good reviews if you decide to go back to one. Good luck

MollyButton Fri 16-Oct-20 09:36:37

We got a buyer in under a month on our place - but went for a realistic price and an estate agent who was confident they could sell at that price. We accepted a bit less than we wanted.
But I did get the property I'm buying at a discount off an already discounted rate.
Some places are very busy at present - its a funny year.

AcornAutumn Fri 16-Oct-20 09:47:45

Thanks Molly

Are you finding solicitors etc are slower?

I’m blitzing the flat at the weekend, but there’s much more to do than I realised!

OP’s posts: |
DespairingHomeowner Fri 16-Oct-20 10:08:03

Thanks @2me2u2u2me: I agree, god knows why they wasted their time and mine sad Hopefully done with agents for now

@AcornAutumn: solicitors are v busy, my buyers are going with someone else as theirs has a backlog

Once you are on the market yourself you could start looking for solicitor quotes

MollyButton Fri 16-Oct-20 10:19:54

My solicitor is very busy, but we've got the sale pretty much done and she is now pushing on for my purchase. I've just got a surveyor who can do it in less than a month - they are extremely busy.
And we didn't do much other than surface decluttering, I still need to go through attics etc.

Everyone says its been an odd year. Nothing happening in the Spring, busy all summer and continuing busy in the autumn.
Basically everyone is shuffling around trying to be in place before whatever happens next. Like a frantic game of musical chairs.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in