How to help your clients complete before the Stamp Duty holiday deadline

It’s not too late for some clients to benefit from the tax break, says Nicola Goldie, Head of National Accounts at Virgin Money, and you can help them through the process.

Your purchase clients have their eyes on one date – 31st March 2021.

This is when the temporary Stamp Duty holiday is set to end; if they complete by then, they could save up to £15,000 in tax.

That’s a big motivator and has led to a huge demand during 2020.

From lenders to valuers to conveyancers, high volumes of business have proved challenging, especially alongside lockdown restrictions and remote working.

Having your support and expertise will give your clients the best chance to complete their purchase before 31st March 2021.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Understand lender service levels

Make sure you’re up to date on lender timescales, so you can factor it into your advice. Service levels are highly variable across the industry and depend on each client’s circumstances.

At Virgin Money we have a new service commitment to give customers some confidence over when they’ll receive their Offer and how long they have to complete on their purchase. Send us a fully-packaged purchase application by Friday 15 January and we’ll issue an offer by Friday 29 January, or we’ll give your customer £200.*

2. Show your client a cost calculation

Explain to your client why you are considering speed of processing alongside interest rate.

A personalised cost calculation that factors in potential tax-break savings as well as mortgage costs is a good way to illustrate the options, but remind them there are no guarantees they’ll complete in time.

3. Double check eligibility

The likelihood of your client being accepted for a mortgage is a vital part of your advice, because of the time potentially wasted by applying for a deal they’re declined for.

If you’re unsure of the lender’s criteria, get in touch to discuss your client’s eligibility.

At Virgin Money, our Regional Service Teams are here five days a week to discuss cases pre-submission, or you can use our webchat service, as well as calling your BDM.

4. Gather documentation upfront

It’s always good practice to ask your client to gather their documents ahead of your first meeting but even more so if they are in a rush to complete.

Missing documentation is one of the biggest causes of delays so you can pre-empt holdups by requesting the evidence that lenders always need - proof of ID, proof of income and proof of deposit, for example.

5. Double check the details

Before submission it’s sensible to do a final check of the details.

Does the application form match the documents? Have you spelt the client’s name right?

It only takes around 20 minutes and can prevent the lender coming back to clarify details – which is exactly what you want to avoid.

Nobody can guarantee your client will beat the tax-break deadline, but you can clear their path to a mortgage offer, putting them in the best position to complete by 31st March 2021.

Find out more

You can find our current rates in our Mortgage Update, our current speed to offer on our Service Levels page, and for any questions you can get in touch with your Business Development Manager or dedicated Regional Service Team.

Date published: 14/12/2020