The costs of buying  - Haggling

Required Reading


  


The costs of buying - Haggling


There is obviously some room for a bit of discreet haggling here, but don't overdo it. People are funny over financial deals and it is not unknown for a seller to withdraw from a sale because the buyer refuses to pay £1200 for the carpets, even though they might constitute less than 1% of the purchase price!

Should these 'extras' form part of the purchase price, as far as the building society is concerned? This can be important, because the amount that they are willing to lend may depend on their attitude to these.

If the agreed price of the property is near one of the stamp duty thresholds, it will pay you to agree as much as possible as 'fixtures and fittings', to bring you under that threshold. Table 6 shows how much you save.

Table 6 How to save stamp duty

By agreeing to pay part of the purchase price as 'fixtures and fittings', you can save a considerable amount of stamp duty, assuming that the agreed purchase price lies somewhere close to the stamp duty 'thresholds'.

This arrangement is very much swings and roundabouts, however. If the items do not form part of the purchase price, but are agreed as a separate sale, the building society may not lend on them. It could depend on the attitude of your solicitor. This procedure, known as `apportionment', is quite common, and many solicitors take a fairly relaxed attitude, assuming the apportionment is kept within reasonable limits. They may not even inform the building society that apportionment has taken place.


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The costs of buying - Fixtures and fittings


Unless you are buying a brand-new house or flat, it is likely that the place will contain all sorts of shelves, cupboards, kitchen units, lighting fitments, carpets and curtains. Some of these will automatically be included in the purchase price: 'immovable' fixtures such as fitted wardrobes, kitchen units, lighting switches and so on. Others, such as carpets and curtains, may sometimes be included, or the seller may demand an extra sum of money for them.

Finally, there are 'free-standing' items such as cookers and fridges, which it may be convenient for the seller to sell to you. You will usually find that it is cheaper well as a good deal more convenient buy these from the seller than to go out searching for new or second-hand . . .... see: The costs of buying - Fixtures and fittings


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