With the government moving England into the first, relatively limited phase of easing the lockdown, as we had been expecting from previous statements, the property sector as a whole was going to be one of the first to get moving again. There were circa 400,000 transactions on hold across the country and this will provide relief to many.Here we look at in what capacity certain aspects will look like such as viewings, surveys, conveyancing work and of course physically moving, it could be a vastly changed landscape. This we hope will paint a broad picture of what this means for you depending on the stage you may have been at whether that be searching, in the process of buying or selling (extending mortgage offers) or whether you had exchanged and are now anticipating completion.
With regards to commencing or restarting your search, viewings can now be completed but with rules in place. We understand from our estate agency contacts that branches are gradually reopening; some have already done so while others will open the doors through the remainder of this week and into next. With many agents offering virtual viewings and some vendors perhaps nervous to welcome prospective purchasers on mass, the agent may ask you to review the virtual tour and only book an inspection if you are keen to view, they absolutely understand many serious buyers will, of course, want to do so in person.
Please be aware of the following; maximum of 2 visitors at any one time, owners will likely not be present, doors (to everything) to be left open where possible to avoid touching handles, you may be asked to wear gloves and mask upon entry and agents are not assisting with driving clients to viewings.
Getting A Mortgage
Obtaining a mortgage is still proving a little tricky with the vast majority of lenders not offering anywhere close to the same range of products prior to the lockdown. There are just a small number of banks offering 90% loan to value mortgages, as ever lender are taking a cautious wait and see approach but we hope a wider variety become available again quite soon giving buyers choice of historically low-interest rates. You may be asked to provide extra information relating to your employment and remaining on furlough pay could effect the amount you can borrow.
If you would like to speak with a mortgage adviser and assess your options, please do call us.
Conveyancing Solicitors, although perhaps unlocking a backlog of paused transactions and completions, will still be ready to welcome new client instructions. Your Conveyancing Solution’s panel have not missed a beat and are either working remotely or on a reduced rotation at their offices while maintaining the social distancing rules. A transaction may take a little longer when making requests to third parties such as local authorities or the land registry but our team will be working hard and communication continuously.
Please get in touch today for a great quote and check out our website for the list of great features our property solicitors can provide.
Surveyors have once again been given the green light to visit properties to complete valuations and surveys for banks and their clients. In a very similar vain to estate agent protocol it is advisable for the vendor to wait outside where possible, open doors to room, cupboards, gardens and ideally where protective masks and gloves.
Selling Your Home
Putting your home on the market is quite a tricky procedure at present as this is likely to involve an estate agent, photographer, perhaps someone else compiling and energy performance certificate and then hopefully potential purchasers. As already mentioned, maintaining a good distance, opening doors and being outside where possible will apply.
Ensure you obtain all the information as you usually would from your chosen agent, are happy with your choice and give them a run down of your key features as again, you are likely to need to be out of the property. Remember to clean down surfaces after each visit.
When it comes to completion and moving home with a lot of furniture, many of us will rely on a removal company to help. If you are aiming to complete in the short term, get on the phone as quickly as you can, many firms will be inundated with those that had to postpone their move. Whilst you can retain a good distance from the workforce, they will find it difficult so again, open doors and clean surfaces where possible. Pack as much as you can prior to their arrival, be clear on instructions and leave your home and items accessible.
Once again, the team here can assist with putting you in touch with removal companies in your area.
Finally, it could be worth considering of aspect such as having your new home cleaned prior to arrival. Also, be prepared for the process to take a little longer than it otherwise would and maintain communication with everyone involved at every stage.
A final note from us – if you may have come into contact with someone showing symptoms or you have symptoms of the virus, please speak to a medical professional and self-isolate. Please remember, maintaining a distance of two meters and conducting discussions outside will help prevent the spread of the virus. And if you are looking for advice on anything related to conveyancing and or are looking to sell or buy a home, be sure to get in contact with us today on 01536 238660 or visit our contact page for more information.
Disclaimer: The article above is an opinion piece based on what you could do, comments should not always be relied upon.