How sellers can benefit from the stamp duty holiday extension

How sellers can benefit from the stamp duty holiday extension

The extension of the stamp duty ‘holiday’ was great news for buyers – but it’s good news for sellers, too.

The extension, which was announced in March 2021, has sparked a flurry of activity in the property market – meaning great opportunities for you to secure a quick offer if you’re thinking of selling. Here, we’ll run through some of the things you can do to ignite buyer interest in your home and we’ll look at the current market and why now is such a good time to sell thanks to the extension of the stamp duty deadline…

Is 2021 a good year to sell your house?

It wouldn’t be an understatement to suggest that the 12 months from March 2020 to March 2021 has been a year of huge upheaval for everyone due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the property market has been incredibly buoyant since the economy initially reopened in May 2020 following the first enforced lockdown.

It remains a very good time to sell your house as we move through 2021, too – in fact, there’s arguably never been a better time to sell:

• Early 2021 has seen the strongest seller’s market for a decade according to Rightmove, with buyer enquires 34% higher than at the same time in 2020

• For every three properties currently on the market, two are sale agreed

• More than 9.1million buyers visited Rightmove in just one day on March 24 – a new record

• The number of sales agreed in the 24 hours of March 23 was the highest daily number for 10 years

Thanks to the stamp duty holiday extension, buyers are desperate to take advantage of the savings on offer – as long as they can complete their purchases before the new June 30, 2021 deadline.

And with the tapered effect of the extension, which means the current stamp duty exemption threshold of £500,000 will reduce by half to £250,000 (£300,000 for first-time buyers) between July 1 and September 30, buyer demand looks set to continue throughout the spring and summer – making it the perfect time to secure a quick sale.

How to sell your house quickly in this market

Despite buyer demand being at its highest for 10 years, the number of properties coming to market early in 2021 is starting to increase – meaning more competition. Rightmove reports:

• New listings grew by 17% in March compared with February and 28% compared with January

• March 24 saw the highest number of properties coming up for sale in one day so far this year

• The highest number of property sales in one day for 10 years was recorded on March 23

So, with more properties coming up for sale, making your home stand out from the crowd is key…

1. Make the most of the market

Spring is always traditionally the strongest time of year for property sales.

And the spring of 2021 is looking like it could be the busiest yet as buyers look to complete purchases ahead of the stamp duty deadlines in June and September.

To take advantage of that buyer demand, the time really is now if you want to secure a quick sale…

2. Give your exterior a spruce-up

The first thing buyers see when viewing your home is the outside, so make sure it’s looking its best to make a great first impression:

• Tidy up your front garden and remove winter debris

• Jet wash paths and driveways and store away bins

• Give your front door a lick of paint or a wash down

• Place some spring plants or pots

3. Declutter your property

Buyers need to be able to visualise living in your home with their own things.

So, if your main rooms are full of clutter and oversized furniture, it can be very difficult for buyers to see past this.

• Move out any unnecessary items of furniture

• Show off space for storage

• Use rooms how they were intended – so if you’re using a bedroom as an office, convert it back to a bedroom ahead of viewings

4. Give your décor a fresh look

Try to neutralise any loud colours – which will help buyers see what they could do with your property to make it their home.

• Fix any obvious defects, like broken tiles, wonky taps or chipped woodwork

• Give your home a deep clean so it’s smelling fresh and looks cared-for

How can I increase my chances of selling my house?

As well as tidying up your property and undertaking work to ensure it is presented at its best, there are also other big decisions you can make that will boost your chances of a quick sale in a busy market.

1. Choose the right estate agent

The agent who provides the highest valuation isn’t always the ‘right’ agent.

Look at their experience of selling homes like yours and how proactive they are with their marketing.

A good agent has a vital role to play in keeping a sale on track once you’ve accepted an offer, too, so choosing the right one can make a real difference to the time it takes to sell your home.

2. Hire the right solicitor

Hold-ups are common during the conveyancing process – but a proactive solicitor can make a real difference to the amount of time it takes to complete your property sale. Look for positive online reviews of a solicitor’s speed and seek recommendations from family and friends, all of which can help you secure the services of a good solicitor.

3. Consider selling at auction

The main priority for many buyers is to complete their purchase ahead of the stamp duty deadline and make those savings – so they’ll be looking for ways to speed up the process. Many buyers may be considering purchasing their next property at auction, thanks to the shortened completion timeframes auction sales work to.

So putting your home under the hammer could be a perfect way for you to secure a quick sale.

When selling your home at a traditional auction, you’ll exchange contracts with your buyer as soon as their bid is accepted, and they then have just 28 days to complete their purchase. With the Modern Method of Auction, which is usually an online sale, the completion timeframe usually extends to 56 days – but this is still much quicker than most sales on the open market.

Further reading…

If you’re set on selling your property this year, you’ll need to be up to speed with all the costs associated with moving home.

Our guide outlines everything you need to know about moving costs.

And if you’re selling for the first time, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about the process here.