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Agency warns over slow conveyancing as stamp duty deadline nears

The finance arm of a leading estate agency has taken the unusual step of warning about delays in the conveyancing process.

“The property purchasing process is once again at risk of being overwhelmed ahead of the stamp duty holiday tapering that begins at the end of June” says Simon Gammon, managing partner at Knight Frank Finance. 

“A flood of deals moving through the system is placing pressure on everybody from lenders to conveyancers and valuers as we approach the final two weeks” he continues.

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“As brokers we expect responses from conveyancers on the same day but that has already slipped to three days or more. All the signs indicate this is only going to get worse.

“A few days might not sound like much, but with time running out a short delay will make all the difference for scores of hopeful purchasers who will likely miss the deadline.”

Any home selling up to £500,000 is eligible for the stamp duty holiday but after June 30 - that’s less than two weeks from now - the nil rate threshold will drop to homes worth up to £250,000. That continues until September 30. 

According to Rightmove, more than 700,000 home sales across Britain are nearing completion, with the portal saying it marked the biggest “conveyancing logjam” in more than a decade.

Earlier this week Tom Bill, Knight Frank’s head of residential research, said: “One lesson from 2016 to consider as we attempt to anticipate what happens when the [stamp duty] holiday ends is that tax deadlines can put off prospective sellers, some of whom will opt to wait until market conditions normalise.

“It is a safe conclusion that there will be fewer transactions in July than June. 

“However, the extent of any decline in Q3 will be mitigated by the fact fewer people will take overseas holidays this summer, as well as other regional factors.”

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    As brokers you have no right WHATSOEVER to a “response”, at all, whether within a day or indeed within any period. You are NOT the Conveyancers’ client. It’s unfortunate that so many brokers think otherwise and that you want to improperly inflate your Clients’ expectations by incorrectly informing them that your pestering calls to Conveyancers carry any weight, or assist.

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