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With the stamp duty holiday at an end, our conveyancing solicitors discuss how to navigate the current property market. 
With record sale numbers in recent months to beat the end of the government’s stamps duty holiday, property experts are now warning of a housing shortage and rising UK house prices. 
In this post, our expert property and conveyancing solicitors discuss the current situation, and offer their top tips on how you can still buy your dream house this year. 
Prominent property platform Zoopla has reported a 40% increase in property transactions in the 12 month period from June 2020 to June 2021, compared to the year before. 
This was largely due to the government’s stamp duty holiday, which saw buyers saving up to £15,000 when buying their properties. 
Because of this, properties have been selling quickly, and the market is looking to be facing the effects of this last minute scramble now. Zoopla representatives announced that the market is now facing the “greatest stock shortage since 2015”, with buyer demand still standing strong at 20.5% above average. 

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If you were planning to buy your first property, or are looking to find your forever home this year, this news will not be music to your ears. With housing shortages often comes a difficult market and rising prices. 
Still, there is no need to worry. The property market is crowded at the minute, but there is still a place in it for you. There is no predicted end to the new market conditions, and property experts warn that the situation may get progressively worse over the coming years. 
Because of this, our specialist conveyancing solicitors would not recommend putting off any plans to purchase property in the near future, and would instead suggest that you follow our top tips below to make sure that you get the best deal, and ensure that the process goes smoothly.. 

1. Be prepared- 

This first step can be broken down into two parts. First, make sure you’re well prepared in terms of knowing the area that you want to live in, particular streets you are interested in, and the type of non-negotiable property features that you have your heart set on. 
As well as this, our conveyancing solicitors would always recommend that you are financially prepared before looking to begin the buying process, and that you have a mortgage in principle before making an offer. This makes you look more reliable and like a serious potential buyer to the seller. 

2. Look under your budget- 

Our conveyancing solicitors would always recommend that while you may have a set budget, you look at properties slightly below this price point as well. In a competitive market, being able to put an offer in that is that bit higher than other potential buyers can go a long way in the eyes of sellers. 

3. Act fast- 

With the market being so crowded, you don’t want to face delays in any part of the process. While your mortgage lender will arrange their own property valuation, at a fee, you should also arrange for your own survey or homebuyer’s report to be carried out. Good surveyors can often be booked up in advance, and so it is always good to get this booked in as soon as possible. To see which type of survey is best for you, see here. 

4. Instruct a specialist solicitor- 

As soon as you place an offer on the property, and it is accepted by the seller, the estate agent will ask for the details of your conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor. From this point onward, the process is largely in the hands of the solicitors representing each party. 
Because of this, and the huge role that the conveyancing solicitor will play in the conveyancing process, it is hugely important to work with a solicitor who you have trust and confidence in. While it can seem easier to go with one of the bigger firms, this can often be an impersonal relationship, where your file is passed around between solicitors and you can’t get hold of the person in charge of your conveyancing matter. 
When you choose a trusted, local, solicitor, such as MG Legal, your solicitor will know you and your file by name, and will be at the other end of the phone to answer any questions or queries that you may have straight away. 

5. Deal with any issues sooner rather than later- 

Another advantage of working with a dedicated solicitor who will put 100% into your purchase, is that any potential issues can be recognised and dealt with as soon as possible. From the memorandum of sale, to the contract pack, and the subsequent conveyancing searches, there is a huge amount of paperwork and legal checks that need to be carried out by a specialist solicitor with a keen eye. 
If any issues or problems go unidentified, it could cause significant delays further down the line, and could even cost you the property and lead to your offer falling through. 
This is not an exhaustive list, but is just a few top tips outlining how to navigate through the current housing market, and ensure that your property purchase goes smoothly. 
If you are looking for a reliable, trustworthy solicitor to handle your conveyancing matters, for a reasonable fixed-fee rate, then do not hesitate to get in touch with MG Legal’s property team, here, or by email at . Our friendly team are always willing to help, and you will speak to a specialist conveyancing solicitor directly. 
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