Spotted your dream home up for sale? Or realised during lockdown that your property is no longer big enough for your family? If you’re considering packing up and moving, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that putting your house on the market may come with a new set of challenges and opportunities. Here, we explore some of the key things to know if you’re thinking of selling during the pandemic.
Whether or not you can do house viewings will depend on where you are in the UK. In certain areas, estate agents can carry out house viewings, as long as social distancing is followed. In other parts of the nation where restrictions are tighter, you may not be able to do viewings in person. However, thanks to technology, you may be able to do virtual house tours instead. Speak with your estate agent about what you can and can’t do in your area.
Applying for a mortgage
The economic impact of lockdown and the pandemic in general is certainly substantial. But there’s some good news for buyers – mortgage approvals have risen to the highest level since 2007, according to a recent article by Sky News. This shows that the housing market is recovering, despite completed property sales being at a record low in the second quarter of the year.
Stamp duty holiday
The government announced an initiative to boost the housing market a few months ago – a stamp duty holiday. Essentially, this means that any houses bought between the 8th July 2020 and the 31st March 2020 will benefit from reduced stamp duty tax. Properties sold for £500,000 or less will pay no stamp duty, offering buyers a significant saving when it comes to moving home. After this, the standard rates apply, varying from 5% up to 12%.
While the stamp duty holiday means the overall cost of moving will be significantly reduced for many, there are other moving costs that are likely to remain the same. You’ll need to do your sums before putting your house on the market to make sure it’s the right financial decision for you.
You’ll need to account for the deposit for your new home, which is typically between 5% and 20% of the property’s price tag. You’ll also need to pay your solicitor to do the necessary legal work, your estate agent fees, surveyor costs and mortgage fees. If you’re hiring a van or paying a removal company to help you move, you’ll also need to factor this into your overall budget.
With rules and regulations changing regularly across the UK, it’s important to keep up to date with restrictions during the moving process. Check the government website and get professional advice from your solicitor and estate agent throughout. We’re sure your move will be worth it once you’re settled into your new place!