‘The industry must prepare home buyers for stamp duty holiday disappointment’

The industry needs to manager buyers’ expectations as the chance of completing transactions before the stamp duty holiday cut-off date for some buyers is slim, O’Neill Patient LLP has warned.

The conveyancer has been quoting the stamp duty charge in its client documentation for buyers since the end of last year in case they have to find extra money they have not budgeted for.

According to the Telegraph the Chancellor is considering extending the stamp duty relief for six weeks, though nothing has been confirmed to date.

Andy Scaife, chief executive at ONP Group, said: “Some clients are understandably disappointed that they are likely to miss the stamp duty deadline. For some time now, we have been doing our best to manage buyers’ expectations by letting them know what the stamp duty charge will be if they cannot complete by 31 March.

“Whilst we will try to do everything we can to complete as many of those transactions in our pipeline, it is better to know now rather than on the day of completion so at least they can try to make some preparations to cover the extra cost, should it arise.”

If the government does extend by the mooted six weeks, O’Neill Patient LLP said we won’t know this until into March and, therefore, this does little to help the impending deadline and merely adds newer buyers into the race to beat the cut-off.