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FAQs for buyers

Aside from the actual selling price, you will need to allow paying for stamp duty to the HMRC (UK tax authority), sales agent fees, survey costs and conveyance fees (legal, usually provided by a solicitor).

The stamp duty land tax is calculated according to the purchase price of a UK property.

Tax band Tax rate Stamp duty
Up to £125,000 0% 3%
£125,001 - £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 - £925,000 5% 8%

Our find out how much stamp duty you will pay, try using our handy Stamp duty calculator

Our opening hours allow our sales agents to be present for scheduled viewings and if we have the keys to the property, the vendor needn’t attend every one.

The vendor’s agent will require a “Mortgage in Principle” document and proof of your deposit funds. Cash buyers need to provide proof of funds.

Surveys can be carried out according to the level of detailed information required. Period properties will need a Home Buyer Report or even a Full Structural Survey, these are more expensive but do provide in-depth information about any repairs or maintenance works that might need carrying it. A valuation survey will be required if you are taking a loan to buy the property.

New homes should come with a 10 year warranty, but it’s still wise to commission a snagging survey which looks for minor faults that can be corrected by the developer. We can help with this service should you require it.

Once the sale is agreed, your solicitor will undertake the necessary checks and the survey will be carried out. Depending on the size and age of the property you are buying it can take several weeks to get to a point where you are ready to exchange contracts. Investors can elect to do this remotely via their solicitor and your estate agent should be in regular contact with your solicitor to ensure the sale is progressing as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Investors in particular may require help with the furnishing and preparation of their property if buying for investment rental purposes. As well as our buying service, we also have extensive experience in letting, managing and furnishing London properties operating across London from sixteen branches and from international offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore.

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The London property sales market – August 2020

Demand for homes increases We are seeing a noticeable increase in enquiries from potential buyers, both owner occupiers and investors, as lockdown continues to ease. Lockdown forced most buyers to put their plans to buy a property on hold, creating pent-up demand which is now being released and so demand continues to grow. There is much more activity in the housing market generally with many UK newspapers siting us having a mini-boom. We are now carrying out more valuations and receiving more new instructions, increasing our stock levels and giving buyers a greater choice of properties to consider. And, of course, the Stamp Duty holiday announced recently by Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also had an immediate and positive effect on demand for properties. The Chancellor’s Stamp Duty holiday The move to increase the threshold at which house buyers must pay Stamp Duty from £125,000 to £500,000(until March 31st 2021), has been the catalyst to boost enquiry levels further and we expect this increased demand to continue over the next few months. The significant saving that buyers can now make is clearly proving to be a real incentive to buy now and not wait any longer. For more information on the Stamp Duty holiday read our blog where we have published more information. Homeowners and first-time buyers recognise the opportunities Many buyers had been actively looking to buy a home before the Covid 19 crisis hit and of course, these plans were put on hold. Low interest rates were a key incentive and now the current Stamp Duty holiday means this could be their best opportunity to move onto or up the property ladder. Property investors returning to the market Many investors too are looking at the current situation as a good time to get a good deal. The Stamp Duty holiday is also having a positive effect on this sector of the market, with most investors looking at properties that they will be able to complete on before the end of March 2021 when the scheme comes to an end. There’s an increase in interest from Hong Kong buyers in particular and we expect this to increase over the next couple of months. A few examples of properties we currently have under the £500,000 threshold are Warple Lofts Acton, Southall Waterside, Regency Heights and Hayes Village. All of these represent fantastic value with good long term yields for rental investors. New developments coming on stream New-build apartments are always at the top of investors’ wish lists so new developments with phases completing before March 2021 are in particularly high demand. Southall Waterside is one of these. A huge area of regeneration in the London Borough of Ealing, it covers 88 acres and will offer homes, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The first phase is due to complete at the end of 2020. Lexington Gardens at The Residence in Nine Elms is also generating a lot of interest. Part of the £15 billion Nine Elms regeneration, the apartments are also due to complete towards the end of 2020. Beaufort Park in Colindale is another popular development and we have well priced stock here too. And while we do have one or two buyers looking for properties in Zone 1 priced at up to £3.5m, usually wanted as a base for when they are in London, generally, most investors are looking for smaller units on the fringes of central London where they wish to purchase a buy-to-let property which can achieve good rental yields. Accurate pricing is essential Clearly, the key issue at the moment is price. Properties must be priced accurately in line with current market conditions in order to sell. And any unit that is overpriced will struggle to find a buyer in the current market. Contact us about our latest opportunities We currently have new homes coming to market every day and if you are considering buying a property in London over the next few months, please get in touch with me, or our sales team so we can discuss your requirements.

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