Managine director of estate agency, kay & co

Q.I am selling a property in London that has been valued at £1m. What impact will the forthcoming increase in Stamp Duty for properties over £1m have on the sale of my
property?

A.There has been no evidence to suggest a rush of sellers looking to sell before the stamp duty increase and similarly I am not aware of any buyers who have said that they must buy before the increase comes into play. Supply of quality prime central London property remains restricted and we are finding that for the very best homes it is still a seller’s market. Only properties that are priced just over the £1m market will be affected – it may now be more difficult to encourage buyers of properties priced at say £1.05m to offer over the £1m mark and these will probably instead get priced at £1.1m to widen the gap between asking price and the threshold – properties over that level should be
unaffected.

Q.I am planning to sell my home but it requires some updating. I am thinking of tidying it up a bit with a new coat of paint and new carpets but not kitchens and bathrooms. Should I do the work before I sell?

A. A half-way job will make minimal difference to the price you end up with, so we generally advise sellers that they should do everything or nothing. In a rapidly rising market it is often worth doing the work as by the time you have finished, the value of your home has risen anyway and the work you have done adds to it further. In a market that is static or rising very slowly, the general rule is that you are better off not doing the work as there is no guarantee that you will end with more than you would otherwise have got. You also run the risk of not doing the works in line with the eventual purchaser’s taste and may then find it difficult to get an offer to reflect the work you have put in given the purchaser will want to spend more money to make changes.

Martin Bikhit is Managing Director of central London estate agency, Kay & Co, which specialises in property in Marylebone, Regent’s Park, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Paddington and Fitzrovia.