Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 18th December 2020

New Home

How to achieve an early home sale in 2021

Hopes of the stamp duty holiday continuing beyond 31 March 2021 have been quashed and the government has confirmed “no plans” for such an extension. So to benefit from saving up to £15,000 in stamp duty costs buyers have no time to lose.

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We all know the quick wins that can speed up the selling process - instruct a solicitor early, arrange a mortgage and freshen up paintwork before viewings – but the pandemic has influenced the housing market in unexpected ways. Here’s what to bear in mind if you’re selling your home now:


  • If you’re not in a chain you’re already ahead. Speed is the name of the game with buyers looking to get a deal over the line before April 2021.


  • With the tier system expected to be with us for the foreseeable future, some buyers are concerned about the logistics of moving between high risk and very high risk areas. Rest assured that in every tier in England, people can still move home and undertake viewings with practical restrictions, such as no more than two households in a property at one time (including the agent), two metres social distancing, and maximum cleaning and ventilation in the property.


  • The desire for more space has led to a significant rise in demand for four and five-bedroom homes. Working from home is here to stay for many, perhaps not full-time but certainly a few days a week, and many buyers are looking to trade up for a home with an extra reception room, an extra bedroom, or an extra building outside that they can turn into a functioning office.


  • According to Rightmove data, between June and October this year there was a threefold increase in listings that mentioned terms like ‘office’, ‘workspace’ and ‘working from home’ in the property description. If you have a spare bedroom, style it as a home office.


  • Our perspective and priorities have been challenged this year as a result of Covid-19. Multi-generational living, ideally with a separate annexe for elderly relatives, has become aspirational for many families and the number of buyers looking for a property for sale with an annexe has doubled.


  • Even without the extended family consideration, outbuildings offer the possibility of a dedicated home office. A summer house or simple garden shed are now viewed through the prism of their home working potential.


  • Go the extra mile to keep your buyer. If it’s possible to move into a rented home for a while, then do it. Chains are the number one reason a sale falls down or is delayed, so break the chain and keep the sale together.


  • The big question is, what will happen to house prices in 2021? No-one has a crystal ball to predict for certain, but there is huge momentum in the housing market today which bodes well for next year. Despite the end of the stamp duty holiday and a trade deal with the EU remaining elusive, the most positive news of all is that science has ridden to the rescue with an effective vaccine against Covid-19. Once the uncertainty surrounding Christmas is behind us, starting the year on an optimistic footing will be the mind-set for many and at Michael Graham we are confident that house prices will at the very least remain stable throughout 2021.


Why not take the first step towards your home sale by booking a free market appraisal with Michael Graham now? Our offices are open until December 23 and our dedicated team would love to help you get safely moving in 2021.

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