When you sell your house online, chances are it'll be bought by someone you don’t know. However, if you'd rather it went to a friend or family member, you have two options: you can gift the property to them, or you can sell it. Gifting your home means signing it over to your relative or friend for free. Selling, on the other hand, will give you money to pay off the mortgage, put towards a new home or save for retirement. If you're planning to sell rather than gift, there are a few things to think about.
You'll need to get a valuation, but you can sell the property for whatever price you like. If you want to give a large discount that's fine, but the difference between the market value and the actual sale price could be counted as a gift. For example: if your property is worth £240,000 and you sell it to someone for £200,000, the £40,000 is considered a gift. This is important because if you pass away within seven years of the sale, the person you've sold the property to might need to pay inheritance tax on that amount.
Even if the buyer is a close family member, they'll still need to pay stamp duty. This is calculated based on the purchase price, not the market value. You can reduce the price of the property to lower their costs. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the stamp duty rates are:
- 0% on properties up to £125,000.
- 2% on properties up to £250,000.
- 5% on properties up to £925,000.
- 10% on properties up to £1.5 million.
Stamp duty in Scotland is now known as land and buildings transaction tax – you can find out the current rates at StampDutyCalculator.org.uk.
Capital gains tax
Another tax that might apply is capital gains tax (CGT). This is paid on second homes and rental properties, and is the seller's responsibility. The amount that's taxed is the price difference of the property between when you bought it and when you sold it. You don’t pay CGT if the gain is within your tax free allowance of £11,100, and the tax doesn't usually apply if you gift the property to your spouse or civil partner.