If you just quite didn’t manage to exchange contracts or complete on your sale or purchase of a home pre lockdown, or you are not moving into a vacant property or cannot safely move home yourself, you may have found no option but to put your transaction on hold. Therefore, now is a great time to ensure you have all your moving bases covered for when the wheels start to turn once again as measures begin to ease. Alternatively, if you’re going to renew your search, let’s have a look at what boxes to check to get yourself into prime position.
Searching for the Right Property
If you were indeed in the early stages of searching for a new home and had not made an accepted offer, now could be the right time to reassess your priorities and the key elements on your wish list. As more mortgage products at attainable loan to value levels are filtering back into the market with a small number of lenders, it could be a sign the sector is readying itself for a steady return of sorts. The government has previously indicated the world of properties will be one of the first to resume and as Boris hints at a framework for some normality, why not begin or continue your search in earnest?
Online Estate Agents
Online property portals and estate agents websites are still being updated and virtual viewings are very much the norm now. It will never replace getting out there and taking in the atmosphere, closely checking for those ailments such as damp or cracking but what a way to get a head start and go some way to ruling it out or putting it on a shortlist.
How about getting out into the neighbourhood you are focusing on (within reason), it might be a fair walk away or perhaps you could take some time to drive (as restrictions alleviate) and take it all in. There should be more cars parked up (is that a potential parking issue) and more people walking around, chat to some locals to obtain their view on the locale perhaps. Check your mobile phone signal, is the 3/4/5G of a good standard (you may have no internet when you first move), research broadband speeds, crime stats, planning permission submissions, transport links and times in expectation of joining the area.
Keeping an Eye on Property Market Adjustments
Maybe review the total cost of your move and keep an ear to the ground for any property market adjustments the government may announce such as a temporary stamp duty holiday for example (we can live in hope). If not appointed at this stage, how about researching your mortgage advisor and conveyancing solicitor options? They are almost certainly still taking phone calls and responding to emails, now is a great time to obtain quotes and read reviews.
Property Agreements & Seller/Buyer Communication
If you were a little further along with your purchase or sale and had accepted or made an acceptable offer, the pause button was in many cases likely to have been pressed. In this situation as in ‘normal’ times, maintaining a dialogue and staying in communication with key people within your transaction network remains crucial. Now is the time to get a real feel from the purchaser or seller as to their intentions moving forward, if their work or any personal situation has altered, can the process continue, do you need to plan for taking a different course? If, as we hope, there are no reasons to not proceed, is everyone linked to your move ready to go? Get in touch with your estate agent, property solicitor, mortgage advisor and even your surveyor and removal firm to get a feel for how they will be operating in the coming weeks. If communications are preserved, you are more likely to be at the front of the queue.
If you were even further into your journey and had exchanged contracts but could not complete (we can only imagine the frustration), again this is a good time to ensure the vendor or your buyer remain keen, committed and financially able to complete. Can you tentatively agree to a future completion date with those involved in the chain? Could you cajole others to ready themselves by taking the steps you are? Any completion date can be brought forward with agreement of all parties so if practical to do so and you indeed want to, remember this can be done if measures improve quicker then anticipated.
Mortgage Offers During Lockdown
Have mortgage offers been delayed by a sufficient amount of time? Is your mortgage adviser, lender or conveyancer aware of any new information that is relevant to you?
If all involved remain eager to move, could you use the time to pack (non-essential or daily used items) or tidy up in anticipation for a final viewing perhaps? Maybe you could even review floor plans and measurements to see where furniture can be placed and how best to enjoy your new home.
These examples could really help save time and take the pressure off as we move forward into a potential frenzy of activity with very stretched professionals that will be needed to help you exchange or complete seamlessly.
We hope that you find the information presented in this post useful. If you wish to discuss either selling or buying a property and how the current circumstances could affect this then please feel free to contact us, or call us on 01536 238660