Coronavirus: Buying and selling a home at this time

In recent days, Government guidance has been given to all parties involved in home moving during the Coronavirus pandemic and the key message is ’adaptability’ and ‘flexibility’.

What is certain is that there is no need to pull out of transactions, as long as all parties are following Government guidance and are keeping away from others at all times.

Where the property being moved into is vacant, the Government is keen for these to progress, in accordance with guidance given to home removal companies. Where the property is currently occupied, all parties are encouraged to do all they can to amicably agree alternative move dates, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus will no longer be in place. However, it is still totally feasible during this period for us, as conveyancers, to get the buyer and seller to the point of exchange.

The Government has sought to ease the home moving process by agreeing with banks that mortgage offers should be extended where a delay to completion takes place, and is working with conveyancers to develop a standard legal process for moving completion dates.

Getting your home onto the market may be more challenging than usual during this period. 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. You are free to continue to accept offers on your property, however the selling process may take longer.

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.

Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase that home and the above guidance on unoccupied and occupied properties should be followed.

There will be people who have already committed to moving home; where possible the Government are encouraging them to delay their move but a small number of moves may need to go ahead.  The Law Society has issued template clauses that can form the basis of a contractual variation.

In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given, there is an exemption for critical home moves, in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.

Home removers should honour their existing commitments where it is clear that the move can be done safely for the client and their own staff and it is clear that the moving date cannot be moved.

Our team of conveyancers is working throughout the lockdown period and available to assist you.

Need to talk to us?

If you have any queries about buying or selling a property at this time or wish to speak to a member of our team then please telephone 01892 526344 or email enquiries@berryandlamberts.co.uk.

For further information on all our Property services, please click here.

Whilst our offices are closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, we are offering a telephone appointment service which gives you one hour of time with a solicitor for £100 + VAT. Please get in touch if you feel this type of appointment would be beneficial.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.