Coronavirus/COVID 19 – Can you move home?
Can you still buy or sell a house?
Yes you can still buy and sell property.
Pickerings Solicitors are able to assist you – call us on 01827 317070 or email email@example.com.
What has changed?
The Government has provided the following advice on buying and selling homes during this lockdown period:
‘There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority.
Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals.
Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.
In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given to respond to coronavirus, there is an exemption for critical home moves, in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.’
Although it is possible to buy and sell property, in some cases it will take longer than usual
Selling your Property
If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property.
Your agent may be able to conduct virtual viewings and you could speak to them about this possibility. Many agents are making great use of technology at this time to ensure that properties for sale continue to be promoted.
If your home is not yet on the market
Getting your home onto the market may be more challenging than usual in this period. There should be no visitors to your home.
You can speak to estate agents over the phone and they will be able to give you general advice about the local property market. They may be and handle certain matters remotely but they will not be able to start actively marketing your home in the usual manner.
Advice for people to stay at home and away from others means you should not invite unnecessary visitors into your home, including: property agents to carry out a market appraisal or take internal photographs prior to marketing your home; and Energy Performance Certificate assessors.
If you are thinking about selling, you can use this time to start gathering together all of the information you will need to provide to potential purchasers.
Can I accept an offer on my property?
Yes. You can accept offers.
What about if I am part way through the sale or purchase?
We will continue to progress your matter where things are already underway. The speed at which it is concluded will depend upon the circumstances of the matter.
Government guidance states that completions on unoccupied properties can go ahead and we have been able to proceed in other matters such as Remortgages, Transfers of Equity, Purchase of Freeholds and transactions where the purchaser is already resident at the property they are purchasing.
If the property you are selling or purchasing is occupied or in a chain, Government guidance is to defer the completion date until such a time as the current restrictions are lifted. In these cases we are working to come to an agreement on exchange and completion dates.
What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?
UK Finance have confirmed that, to support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to 3 months to enable them to move at a later date.
What if the completion must go ahead?
In these instances we are proceeding on the basis of that exchange and completion take place on the same day, to avoid possible breaches of Contract.
If you need advice on any aspect of residential property law, call us on 01827 317070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a very experienced team able to advise.