Phil Spencer has warned that buyers risk missing out on the stamp duty holiday because of delays in the conveyancing process. The property expert is advising buyers and sellers to be on the front foot when it comes to ordering searches and getting paperwork in order.
Writing for the website Estate Agent Today, he said: “In recent weeks, there has been increasing concern from within the industry that we are moving towards a cliff-edge and buyers will miss out on the stamp duty holiday.”
The presenter of Channel 4’s Location Location Location added: “It’s no secret that conveyancers are struggling to deal with the sheer number of transactions going through at the moment. This is leading to a backlog and significant delays. Three key bodies published a joint statement asking agents to be patient and understand that transactions are going to take longer than usual.”
The boom in the property market since the announcement of the stamp duty holiday, defied all expectations. Latest figures from property portal Zoopla reveal the busiest autumn ever with 140,000 more buyers waiting to complete transactions than a year ago.
However, Spencer urges estate agents not to pester conveyancing solicitors, which could slow down the process further. Instead, he reminds buyers that they can begin ordering searches as soon as a sale has been agreed.
Buyers and sellers are also advised to have all the information needed for the sale ready from the outset to speed up the transaction.
Spencer calls on estate agents to explain the conveyancing process, in the context of pressure on the system from increased transactions and the impact of coronavirus.
“The more consumers know about the process, the more they can get to grips with what is going on at the moment, how it affects them and what they can do to keep things moving.”
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