28th October 2009


"Property purchasers are unaware that just exchanging contracts on their home-buy between 125,000 and 175,000 is not enough to exempt them from having to pay Stamp Duty of 1% " says Trevor Kent former President of the National Association of Estate Agents and well known property commentator, "legal completion is the moment critique, miss-timing could be expensive, especially for first-timers".
Stamp Duty is a Tax imposed on the buyer of a home and payable at a variable percentage depending on the purchase price. "Until the property crash, anyone buying between 125,000 and 250,000 had to pay  1% of the whole figure to HMRC for the pleasure of moving" continues Trevor Kent, "but in an attempt to kick-start the market, those paying 175,000 or under have been temporally exempted from paying this hated tax, but things are about to change".
Trevor is certain that many people about to buy, or those already having exchanged contracts at prices between 125,000 and 175,000 have no idea that they will face an extra bill of up to 1750 if they do not complete their purchase before 31st December this year when Stamp Duty relief returns to the original rate. .
"With solicitors and lenders likely to be closed from 23rd December to 4th January this means completions will have to be scheduled, at the latest, for the week before" concludes Kent. "the problem will come where upward chains of sales are involved, as more expensive sales will see no cash benefit for them from rushing the completion in their busy run-up to Christmas".  
Sympathetic negotiations on completion dates must be undertaken right now if home buyers are to avoid a hefty additional cost associated with their move - and at Christmas time too, when there are so many other calls on family finances. "There is also concern that Banks and Building Societies will not have sufficient funds available to meet an abnormally high concentration of completion calls in the weeks before Christmas" concludes Trevor Kent, "all the more reason for buyers to line up their conveyancers and mortgage lenders in good time to avoid a Stamp Duty shock".
Editors Note
Trevor Kent is a past president of the NAEA, 
and an Estate Agent in Gerrards Cross, he has
been a Property Market 'Guru' for many years.
(o) 01753 885522
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Trevor Kent Estate Agency Website Email Trevor Kent

Trevor Kent