Government advice on how coronavirus lockdown will affect your home move 30 Mar 2020
Advice to the general public
What does this mean for my property move which is scheduled whilst the stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) apply?
Home buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight coronavirus (COVID- 19).
If you have already exchanged contracts and the property is presently occupied, then our advice is that all parties involved should work together to agree a delay or another way to resolve this matter. If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus.
In line with the government’s advice, anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus should follow medical advice which will mean not moving house for the time being. All parties should amicably prioritise agreeing arrangements to change move-in dates for individuals this applies to, or when this applies to someone in the chain.
What if an extension goes beyond mortgage agreement terms?
UK Finance have today confirmed that in order to support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set completion dates, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months enabling them to move in at a later date.
If a customer’s circumstances change during this period, or the terms of the house purchase change significantly meaning that continuing with the mortgage would cause buyers financial hardship, lenders will work with customers to help them manage their finances.
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 and handle certain matters remotely but they will not be able to start actively marketing your home in the usual manner.
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.
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 your home is already on the market
If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it as being for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property.
There should not be any visitors into your home, and you should therefore not let people visit your property for viewings. Your agent may be able to conduct virtual viewings and you could speak to them about this possibility.
The buying and selling process can continue during this period but you should be aware that the process is likely to take longer than normal.
You are free to continue to accept offers on your property, however, the selling process may take longer.
Advice for people to stay at home and away from others means you should not invite visitors into your home, including prospective buyers or advisors.
Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase that home.
If the property you are purchasing is unoccupied you can continue with the transaction.
If the property you are purchasing is currently occupied, we recommend that all parties should work either delay the exchange of contracts until after the period where stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) are in place or include explicit contractual provisions to take account of the risks presented by the virus.
If you require any advice please give us a call, whilst our offices are closed phone lines are being diverted and we are working from home.
All contact numbers can be found here: https://www.willsandsmerdon.co.uk/branches