Stamp Duty Update

The existing Stamp Duty holiday has been extended in the recent Government announcement.  The temporary nil rate band of £500,000 will be in place until 30 June 2021.  Then from 1 July to 30 September 2021 the nil rate band will be £250,000 and then it will revert to the standard amount of £125,000 on 1 October 2021.  The 3% higher rate for purchases of residential dwellings applies on top of temporary reduced rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 30 September 2021.

It is evident that the residential property sector is experiencing unprecedented demand and this together with other constraints arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic show that property transactions are now taking much longer to progress to completion.  Delays are caused by many factors such as busy mortgage lenders, availability of searches and the Land Registry generally.

The current national average transaction time is now up from 12-14 weeks to 18- 20 weeks

As a result Talbots are unable to guarantee specific timescales or meet a specific deadline in relation to individual transactions.  In particular there is no guarantee that a desired completion date before the expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday can be achieved.  Talbots will work with you to achieve a successful outcome for your transaction but we ask that you plan appropriately given the nature of the market at present. This means that if your transaction does not complete before the expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday dates referred to above, you will have to revert to and pay Stamp Duty under the previous rules.

Experience suggests that there is rarely such a thing as a “simple transaction” and as we get nearer to the expiry of the Stamp Duty holiday dates referred to above, it is inevitable that stress and frustration will become greater for those involved in the buying and selling of property. 

We are advising clients and potential clients to be aware of this issue and to be realistic. May we suggest that you plan for the worst by making sure that you have funds available to pay any additional Stamp Duty should that become necessary. We have chosen to be transparent with our clients and offer this honest advice at the outset.

*To see how this temporary change might affect you, please follow this link:  https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

Conveyancing solicitors

At Talbots Law, home is where our heart is. We know that property matters to people – that’s why we’ll always do our best to make the transaction smooth and speedy. Whether you’re buying or selling, our conveyancing solicitors can help you through the process with ease.

There’s nothing we like better than the feeling of helping our clients climb from one step on the property ladder to the next. You could be a first time buyer, or you could have an extensive property portfolio. Either way, you can count on us to deliver a high quality service and keep you in the loop from start to finish.  

Purchasing property should be exciting. However, it’s also one of the most important financial commitments you can make. That’s why you need an expert conveyancing solicitor at hand, guiding you through from offer to completion. Our approach is straightforward: you tell us what you want to do, and we’ll help you do it – it’s that simple.

Last year, our specialist conveyancing solicitors helped over 10,000 customers to move home, which put us in the top ten law firms in the country.

Why should I choose Talbots' conveyancing solicitors?

With the largest residential property team in the region, you can guarantee that there’s no question we can’t answer, and we’ll always explain all your options carefully so you don’t dive into decisions without clarity. Property comes in all shapes and sizes. So too does our advice. From day one, our conveyancing solicitors will provide advice that’s tailored to meet your needs. Perhaps you’re looking for a family home to raise your children, or perhaps you’re downsizing to a one-bed city flat. Whatever the property, whatever the situation, we’ll be there to handle all the legal complexities and paperwork of the conveyancing process. We also have foreign language solicitors to help you through the process in a way that is comfortable for you.

What is conveyancing?

If you’re a first time buyer looking to get your foot on the property ladder, you’ve probably heard the term ‘conveyancing’ or ‘the conveyancing process’ by now. But what exactly does it mean? Simply put, conveyancing is the legal work that is carried out when property is being bought or sold. It involves 3 main stages as seen below from the buyer’s perspective:

  • The pre-contract stage
    The pre-contract stage involves all the work that is carried out before contracts are exchanged. The seller will send you a contract package: this includes a draft contract, evidence of their legal ownership and the results of their pre-contract property searches. It is then our job as conveyancing solicitors to thoroughly check these documents as well as raising queries or ‘requisitions’ regarding the property searches that have been conducted (learn more about property searches below.)

    Once you have confirmed a mortgage offer and we are satisfied with the final results from the searches, the draft contract will be returned to the seller. Then, it’s time for the contract exchange.
     
  • The post-contract stage
    We will send the draft purchase deed to the seller’s solicitor, and, once approved, both buyer and seller will sign a copy of the purchase deed. This will activate the terms in the contract. We will then need to obtain the mortgage loan from your mortgage lender, and meanwhile, the seller’s solicitor will confirm with their lender the exact amount of money needed to discharge their mortgage. Finally, your money is transferred to the seller’s solicitor and the deeds are sent to us.
     
  • The post completion stage
    You’re practically done! After the seller’s solicitor has sent us a receipt of their mortgage once it’s been discharged, it’s up to us to pay the stamp duty land tax for the property on your behalf. Then, we’ll help you apply to the Land Registry for your legal title on the property to be registered.

There is a fourth and final stage, but it doesn’t require our help. We’ll leave you to get the keys, pack your boxes and start making plans to turn your house into a home.

What are property searches?

Searches are carried out during the conveyancing process in order to gain vital information about the property. The searches carried out normally include:

  • Local Searches
    This involves contacting the council to obtain information on any future plans that may affect the value of the property, such as a new by-pass or superstore just by the property.
  • Environmental Searches 
    This search is essential, and is carried out to make sure the land where your property is built is not contaminated in any way.
  • Water Search
    This vital query is raised to ensure the property has mains water and a drainage system and whether they are in perfect working order.

The conveyancing process may seem fairly straightforward, but without a specialist conveyancing solicitor, it could take double the time. Give us a call on 0800 118 1500 to help you keep conveyancing simple.

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