How will Covid-19 affect my House Sale / Purchase Transaction?

Here at Hall Smith Whittingham we know that moving can be a very stressful experience at the best of times, and now there is the current added complication of Coronavirus – what follows therefore, is hopefully a helpful summary of the situation we now find ourselves in.

On Friday the 27th March 2020 the Government issued guidance for the Housing Market following the Lockdown imposed on the 23rd March 2020.

The main advice urges buyers and sellers to be “flexible” but what does that mean for you?

Well where a property is occupied, then the advice is that all parties should do all that they can to amicably agree an alternative move date for a future time when it is likely that the “Stay at Home” advice has been lifted.

The issue is, that none of us really know when that is likely to be having heard differing timescales of at best 3 weeks and at worst 6 months.

However, if a property that you are selling or buying is empty, or the property is occupied but you will not be moving in straight away, then so long as all parties are in agreement, completion can still take place provided that you can still get Removals which take into account the current situation with Social Distancing.

The advice to Removal firms from the British Association of Removals is to “only complete any moves that are underway and immediately cancel or postpone any move that has not yet started.” This is in order to protect the Removal staff and their families – however at the present time some Removal firms are using their discretion but it is not yet clear whether Removal firms are deemed essential work.

Therefore, if we can complete your sale and /or purchase within the Government guidelines then we are here ready to do that for you – whilst currently, in line with Government guidance our office is closed to our clients and members of the public, your Solicitor is still able to work remotely from home and your sale and / or purchase will be dealt with and treated as a priority during this time.

If, your matter is one of those that does unfortunately have to be delayed, as the property is occupied, then your Solicitor will still be working hard on your transaction to bring the file up to the point of Exchange, so that once the Lockdown is eased, you will be in a position to quickly agree a completion date with the other side.

If a new timescale does have to be agreed then the Banks have agreed to extend buyers mortgage offers in line with the new guidance to take account of such delays.

Please note that Re-Mortgages and Transfers of Equity can still proceed as normal provided that documents can be signed remotely and that all parties have had ID verified prior to lockdown.

If you do have any concerns about your sale and / or purchase then please do contact the office on 01270 212000 or email your Solicitor directly and they will be happy to help with your enquiry.

Click here for contact details.