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If you have your property under offer with the intent of upping sticks and starting afresh this year please be aware of the latest craze, Gazundering. Like many crazes it isn’t new but it’s experiencing a resurgence with the looming stamp duty holiday coming to an end. 

Many buyers and sellers have seen the temporary holiday as an additional incentive to trade up but are finding conveyancing and search delays, caused by excessive demand, are threatening completion dates to overshoot the March 31st deadline meaning the price of their onward purchase could suddenly cost a lot more in tax. 

The Stamp Duty Extension

If you are selling, don’t hold your breath for a stamp duty extension. If it happens, great, but its only kicking the problem down the road for another time. It doesn’t matter how many property professionals frantically sign a petition; the general consensus is the market has done well when it didn’t need the stimulation in the first place. Lockdown saw to that, as people realised they needed more space, a garden or could work from home.  

Be Prepared 

If the bell tolls midnight on the 31st of March and you haven’t completed on your property, don’t be surprised if your buyers try to chip the perceived ‘saving’ from their offer price, and you should prepare your onward purchase of your intent to do the same, if you are. Neither side has to accept it but it’s better for all parties involved to know what’s afoot so they can sound out the chain in advance.

The good thing is most people are in the same boat. If, however your seller doesn’t have any an onward purchase they could play hardball but I suspect the price they will achieve post-holiday will be reduced to what the property would have achieved pre-holiday. For many, the time and effort involved in re-listing and going through the sales process again, won’t be worth the hassle but there’s always one. 

What not to do

Don’t try and chip further under the assumption that the market is going down. Why? 

  1. It is speculative and you should have factored this in when you initially offered. It’s also unlikely to go down rather it will slow. 
  2. No one will take you seriously as a legitimate buyer. 
  3. You will have wasted so much time, energy and money that you won’t get back. 

So, don’t be a slave to fashion, beat the trend, get ahead of it and save yourself any heartache and anguish by being prepared.