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How to Meet the Stamp Duty Deadline

The first £500,000 of any property for sale is exempt from stamp duty up until March 31, 2021, if it is bought as a main home. With property transactions taking four months to complete, you


“... really have to find a buyer before Christmas to complete by March”

says Miles Shipside, Director and Housing Market Analyst at Rightmove.





So How Do You Achieve And Complete a Sale by 31 March 2021 Deadline?


Here's the key factors that will influence your success.


Pricing is Key


Although Rightmove are reporting their biggest jump in enquiries for homes priced between £400,000 and £750,000, many homes are still “price sensitive”. It is therefore really important that sellers research properties which are comparable and have sold. Rightmove advise that your sale price should be no more than 5% above these. In reality however, actually doing this research is incredibly difficult, given that sale data is not publicly available for some time due to the lag in property transactions occurring at Land Registry (this can be a lag of six months after completion of the sale). An alternative way to approach this, is to ask three estate agents to share their insight on what they've recently sold in your immediate area - they will be keen to do this as it shows that they are well informed and are very interested in taking on your sale.


Most viewings and offers are now taking place in the first month of putting your home on the market. So at that point, you should have a very clear idea whether your pricing is set at the right level.


If you don’t get an offer within a month, it's time to reflect on your pricing strategy. As part of this process, it's worth reminding yourself about the price bands that Rightmove, Zoopla and others have. For example for Rightmove, their pricing bands go up in £50k chunks from £500,000. Therefore if your current sale price is at £540,000 and you reduce the price to £513,000 (5%), your property will appear in the same price bracket and may not attract new buyer interest as new buyers who may be interested in your property will be in the lower bracket. Ben Gee, a regional sales director at Marsh & Parsons estate agency explains this very well and says:


“If you are listing at £750,000, a reduction to £735,000 is unlikely to have an impact, but taking it to £700,000 will appeal to a whole new group of purchasers ...”

Providing you are priced right, read on.




Use The Best Estate Agent For You


Look for an estate agent with:


“a contagiously positive attitude as well as good local knowledge. They’ll need to help your prospective buyers to overcome concerns about global recessions,”

says Angela Kerr, Director of HomeOwners Alliance (HOA). The HOA has a useful tool, estateagent4me, which ranks local estate agencies (whose fees range from 0.75-3.5% of the asking price) by how fast they sell homes and for how close to the asking price. This tool also has some data about online agencies (their prices start from £99).


When you are meeting with estate agents, ask them for evidence of their post-lockdown performance.



Get Organised


Gather all your home's paperwork together. This may include:


  • Fensa certificates or Building Control approval for new windows


  • Gas Safe checks for new boilers


  • Planning permission and building regulation sign-off for any alterations you have made


  • Apartments will need a copy of the lease, the building’s management pack and potentially a fire report confirming that the block’s cladding and insulation is safe



"Dress To Impress"


If you were going out on a first date, no doubt you would dress to impress. The same goes for selling your home.


Presenting your home at its best will enable the buyer to be taken on a journey which in turn enables them to build an emotional connection, both on-line and then during the viewing. The emotional connection is very likely to result in a sale.




How Do You Dress to Impress - Do it Yourself (DIY) or Hire a Professional?


Of course with anything you can choose the DIY option or instead invest in a professional.


The DIY route will be time intensive for you and the end result is unlikely to match that of a professional. When you have such a significant asset, you should ask yourself, is it really worth taking the risk of DIY - it could delay your sale and you may miss out on the stamp duty benefit?

A professional stager on the other hand removes these risks, because they bring with them the skillset and knowledge which has been acquired over many years, in addition to any professional qualifications and industry certifications they may have. They know what your target market wants and they deliver that in a targeted, cost effective and timely way.


The Home Staging Association UK & Ireland's most recent report confirms that professional home staging:

  • makes it easier for a buyer to visualise the property as their future home

  • increases the number of viewings

  • results in buyers spending longer at viewings

  • results in a home which will sell up to 3 times faster

  • increases the offers on home up to 10%

Read more here.


Attracting Your Buyer

As professional stagers, we've worked on many client projects as well as on our own developments. We've worked through market highs and lows. We understand what it takes to stage your home to attract as many buyers as possible. We also know how to do this cost effectively.

We're very proud of each and every staging project we've worked on big or small - take a look at our:

We're certified Home Styling and Staging Professionals and proud members of the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland. We're incredibly proud to have been shortlisted for two 2020 Home Staging Association UK & Ireland awards - Best Transformation and Best Virtual Staging. Learn more about the specific client projects which made this possible, here.


We take pride in what we do and we offer a high quality, cost effective solution suited to your specific needs.


Alternatively if you still think the DIY route is the one for you, there's lots of useful tips for you here.


Reach out to us on +44 7984 005 626 for your 30 minute no obligation discussion on how we can maximise the appeal of your home to your target market.


We're here to help





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