Activity surrounding the local property market (we have arranged close to 100 new viewings every day this week!) continues to be buoyant despite all of the problems created by the Coronavirus. However, there is a bottleneck between agreeing to buy or sell a house and completion of contracts. Mortgage applications are taking longer to process, solicitors, are swamped at present and finding their workload increasing by the day. Local searches are taking longer, and Birmingham Council is now quoting seven weeks before their searches are returned.
If you want to take advantage of the current stamp duty exemption, we offer the following advice.
Before you view any properties, speak to a Financial Adviser and obtain an Agreement in Principle.
When you have found a new home, and your offer has been accepted, apply for your mortgage immediately and check that your preferred lender's turnaround times will work with your timescales.
Instruct a solicitor/conveyancer within a matter of days and advise them that you want to take advantage of the stamp duty exemption.
Return all the paperwork that you receive from your solicitor/conveyancer in a timely fashion.
Please keep in contact with the Estate Agent who has sold the property; they are there to help you!
Finally, do everything you can to find a home to buy in 2020.