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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 sales market – March 2020

Buyers and sellers return to the market in force; coronavirus having virtually no effect on confidence

We continue to see increasing confidence in the London property market, with quite dramatic upturns in both new valuations and the number of new buyers registering with us. We are extremely busy working with buyers and sellers at all levels of the property market. Demand is high for properties ranging from prime central London homes valued at up to £5 million to more affordable apartments in regeneration zones on the outskirts of London in Zones 3 and 4, which are being snapped up by younger buyers keen to take their first step onto the property ladder, often using the government’s Help to Buy Scheme.

Property sales volumes increase dramatically

Interest in buying properties in London is definitely increasing, despite the current threat posed by coronavirus. In fact, over the last three months we have carried out property transactions on behalf of clients to a higher total value than during the whole of the preceding 12 months. This is a clear indicator of the current strength of the market and the level of pent-up demand from buyers and sellers now being released since December’s general election and more recently the increasing clarity on Brexit.

Our research shows coronavirus currently having little impact on confidence

Of course, there are still uncertainties that could impact house prices this year. Coronavirus is the most obvious. But we have just carried out our own research regarding the impact of coronavirus and we discovered that 83% of home buyers and sellers are not planning to put on hold a house purchase or sale this year because of the virus. Buying a property is very much a long-term decision and this perhaps explains why the relatively short-term impact of the virus is not affecting people’s decisions. After several years of uncertainty surrounding the London property market, homebuyers and sellers have already been adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach for some time and now there are such visible ‘green shoots’ of confidence, most have no intention of delaying any longer. Only 9% of people who took part in our survey and were already in the process of buying or selling, have decided to put their plans on hold while only a further 9% who were originally hoping to buy or sell this year are postponing their plans. And 69% of people stated that, even if COVID-19 becomes more widespread in the UK, they still would not allow it to disrupt their plans to buy or sell property.

The resilience of the London property market

Another piece of research that we carried out a few weeks ago explains why. Despite economic turbulence over the last 10 years, London has seen house price growth of 83% in the last decade and an increase of 308% since the start of the millennium. This is in spite of the 2008 financial crash which of course, slowed house price growth for several years. But as ever, due to the cyclical nature of the market, values are now bouncing back and exceeding previous market highs – a clear sign of the sheer resilience of the London property market.

New property instructions required urgently

With such a dramatic upturn in enquiries from buyers, finding enough good properties to satisfy increasing demand is our next challenge. We have waiting lists of potential buyers keen to buy homes throughout London, from period conversions in prime central London to new apartments in brand-new developments in East London, Battersea and Vauxhall, West London including Ealing, Brentford and Harrow, and North London including Beaufort Park. If you are planning to buy or sell a property in London this year, please contact our sales team for a free valuation of your London property or to discuss current properties available for sale across the capital.

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