How to keep your property transaction moving in 2021

House for sale and letting signs, blank for your design

If you are buying or selling a property in 2021, it's natural to wonder how the Covid-19 pandemic might alter the process - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you’re in the process of moving home or are looking to put your property on the market, you may be wondering how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect your property transaction.

Following the announcement of the stamp duty “holiday” back in July, the UK has seen a great boost to the property market.

With the deadline of March 31, 2021, it is expected conveyancing services will continue to be in high demand well into the new year. If you are a first-time buyer, you will still be exempt from paying any SDLT up to £300,000 after the deadline, which gives you more time.

Black and white photograph of a smiling and professional solicitor looking at the camera

Ian Taylor is an associate solicitor in the property department at Spire Solicitors' office in Wymondham - Credit: Spire Solicitors

To help keep your property transaction moving, it’s worth considering the following:

Organise paperwork
The paperwork at the outset of any house sale or purchase is significant but getting it right can help prevent hold-ups further down the line.

If you are selling your property, your conveyancer will provide you with a Property Information Form and Fixtures & Fittings List to complete. There is a lot of detail requested here but you will be asked to provide, where relevant:

  • Planning permission for any work carried out in, say, the last 10 years
  • Building Regulations completion certificates for alteration
  • Guarantee (warranty) certificates for roofing work or equipment
  • Up to date boiler service check
  • FENSA certificates for new windows

If you do not have these documents, copies are usually obtainable from the relevant authorities for a small fee. If you get your paperwork in order right at the start, this will help in the long run.

Title Deeds
Whilst most properties are now registered electronically at Land Registry, it is advisable to keep any old deeds, if you have them, as they may contain information that does not appear in the Land Registry records, for example any rights, covenants or plans. In some cases, the title may not be registered and, if this is the case, it is vital you know where your deeds are.

Woman sitting at kitchen table with laptop open looking at paperwork

Getting your paperwork right can make your property transaction progress more smoothly - Credit: Getty Images

If you are buying a property, you will need to arrange your mortgage, deposit or other finance in good time. Your conveyancer will request some money on account for search fees with the remaining amounts due at the point of exchange and completion.

Whilst your conveyancer will be trying to keep your property transaction moving as quickly as possible, it is likely there could be delays along the way, especially if anyone involved in the process needs to self-isolate. Things may naturally take a little longer than usual, but all will be trying to do their best.

Here at Spire Solicitors LLP, we are managing our new instructions in order to maintain the high level of service to our clients. If you would like any more information or need a quote, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP Wymondham office on 01953 606351.

This column  is sponsored by Spire Solicitors.