Home sellers and buyers warned to act within weeks if they want to benefit from stamp duty holiday


Chief executive of NAEA Propertymark Mark Hayward, says that sellers should ‘make sure everything is in order to help maximise your chances of completing ahead of 31st March’.

Show you are serious from the get-go

Read up on and adhering strictly to all social distancing measures. Rearrange any cluttered furniture to prevent viewers from needing to touch too much and ensure social distancing measures are followed in line with official advice. This includes vacating your property whilst viewings are taking place.

Photos and virtual viewings

When buyers are looking at properties online or within an agency, they make their minds up in seconds. That’s why having the very best photography of your home is vital. The right photos, especially with house hunters currently more apprehensive to book in a physical viewing, could mean higher offers and a quicker sale. 

Realistic asking price

The temptation to overprice as you know buyers will be saving on stamp duty is bound to backfire and lose you valuable time on the market. The majority of house viewings happen in the first 20 to 30 days of the listing, with virtual viewings currently taking place even sooner. If you then decide to reduce your initial asking price, the number of views will drop after the initial buzz, and your listing risks being stigmatised.

Choosing an estate agent

When it comes to choosing an agent to sell your home, it helps to make a shortlist of possible agents. Once you have a shortlist of three or four possible agents, give them a call and ask them to provide a valuation for your property. This is a chance for you to check their communication skills, professionalism and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure to gather as much information as possible.


A Property Information Questionnaire needs to be completed before your house is ‘sale ready’. Alongside this, you will also need copies of all relevant paperwork, including:

• A copy of the lease (if the property is leasehold)

• Documentation related to the freehold (if it’s a freehold property)

• FENSA certificates for replacement windows

• Your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

• Relevant building restrictions

• Building regulation certificate when alterations have taken place

• A Gas Safety certificate for a new boiler

Propertymark has a Sales Protocol Toolkit (available from estate agents), which it says will save you money, reduce the length of time you wait to move, minimise the risk of the sale falling through and remove many of the problems that so often occur in a property sale.

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