The Chancellor has announced that stamp duty is to be abolished for all first time buyers on properties bought up to £300,000, effective from today. In addition, first time buyers purchasing properties up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000.
In his Budget, Philip Hammond announced that 80% of first time buyers would pay no stamp duty at all. With 358,000 first time buyers in the last year, this means that at least 24% of all sales in the UK’s housing market are set to be charged 0% tax. Once other exempt sales under £125,000 are taken into account, this figure will be even higher.
Two thirds of properties bought so far this year across the country have been under the new threshold but there are large regional variations. In Wales and the North East, over 90% of sales in the last year have been over £300,000 while just 17% of sales in London were for less than £300,000.
While good news for first-time buyers, this will further squeeze investors in the sub-£500,000 market who are already suffering from increased taxes. What's more, it does not, give any encouragement to owners higher up the chain to downsize.
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Music is extremely powerful; it can stir up dormant memories and emotions and transport us through time and space in an instant. So could you use music to sell your home? It is no secret that marketing relies heavily on music to influence behaviour and, since selling your home is an exercise of advertising, maybe you too could use some melodic help?
Ok. Let the music play! Simple! Or not... There is a surprising amount to consider: Which music best suits your home? Should you play different music in different rooms? How old are your buyers? Are they downsizing? Buying a first home? Seeking a family home? Choosing a home for their retirement? Always dreamed of living by the ocean? Are they just desperate for a large cupboard under the stairs?
The first point to make is that your home can be totally reimagined by its buyers – your plush classical style could be monochrome in a heartbeat. Think about your buyer rather than the character of your home. It may be an extension of you, but to them, it could be a modern interior trapped in a classical shell. Knowing your buyer should inform your choices as you want to impress them.
External factors are also influencers, like the seasons and the weather. Playing something from spring as your visitors wade through snow to get to the front door is likely to leave a jarring impression. That being said it, even if it is pouring, perhaps avoid Alanis Morissette’s It’s Like Rain.
As a good example, Ed Sheeran is likely to be a good call for first time buyers. Chances are, he will spark their romantic ideal of owning their first home and seal the deal. In fact, most people like Ed! He has a wide appeal and most of his tracks aren’t overpowering.
Ultimately, you want the buyer to imagine your house as a home, to see themselves enjoying your space with their own family and friends. Music is very personal, making it tough to appeal to all, so opt for ‘easy listening’, and avoid anything especially niche or too eclectic. Artists such as Bruno Mars, Adele and Nina Simone could also be good suggestions. Or how about putting the radio on? Rather than it seeming like the music is an exclusive extension of your musical taste, the radio gives a little background noise which can alleviate the pressure of a silent house.
If you finally make a decision on which music to play, there are a few other things to consider:
Check the volume. Deafening people in the living room could foster feelings of claustrophobia and betray your palatial living area.
Where will it be playing? Think about whether music in the bathroom is a good idea; your female visitors could well be dreaming of luxuriating in the bath, but your male visitors are likely to be less keen!
It might be a good idea to ask a friendly neighbour to take a tour and telling you how your music makes them feel. The pace they move through the house is also important; stores often use music to slower traffic and improve sales. So something at a slower tempo should give your buyers the chance to take in everything your house has to offer.
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