Due to the current guidance from the Government on overcoming this pandemic, all parties have been urged to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. But what does that mean for those due to move home? We’ve put together guidance to help you overcome this obstacle.
Advice for the Public
What does this mean for my scheduled property?
If contracts have already been exchanged and the property is currently occupied, we advise all members to come to an agreement to either delay the process or resolve this matter in another way.
If however, the move is unavoidable for contractual reasons, you must follow the isolation guidelines on ensuring you’re not spreading the virus and staying away from others. If you or anybody else within your party are experience any symptoms or in self-isolation, you must under no circumstances continue with your move and should follow the Government’s advice.
What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?
It has now been confirmed by UK finance that all mortgage lenders are finding alternative ways to help support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion. Their mortgage offer will be extended for up to three months to enable them to move at a later date.
If during these three months a customer’s circumstances or the terms of the house purchase both change significantly, lenders will urgently work to help manage their customer’s finances.
What if I want to put my home on the market?
You may speak with Estate Agents over the phone for guidance on this matter but you must not allow any visitors into your home. They will be able to provide general advice regarding the local property market and handle certain matters remotely but the whole process will be more challenging than usual. We advise putting together all the information you will need to provide to your potential purchasers, ready for when the guidelines are lifted.
If your property is already on the market, your Estate Agents may offer Virtual Viewings. This is something you may wish to speak with your Estate Agents about if it’s not already an option but you must not allow anyone inside your home.
You’re still able to accept offers on your property but please take into consideration that this process may take longer than usual.
Once contracts have been exchanged you have entered a legal agreement to purchase that home. The transaction may continue if the property is unoccupied, however if the property is currently occupied, we recommend delaying the exchange of contracts until the stay-at-home measures have been lifted.
Advice for the Industry
It is important that all businesses follow the latest guidance from the Government on tackling the Coronavirus.
Where sales are due to complete for occupied properties, all Estate Agents must work with their clients and other agents to establish a new move date.
An agent should provide and prioritise support for anyone experiencing symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, and those they are in chain with, to help agree to a new date.
Under no circumstances should an agent visit a property.
In line with the current advice for certain businesses to close, agents must not open their branches to the public during this period.
All agents must ensure that their employees are able to work from home and in a safe environment, offer support to existing clients and advise potential new clients.
Following the stay-at-home guidance from the Government, agents are allowed to continue to progress sales where this can be done safely.
It is important for all agents to advise their clients to not exchange contracts unless the contract has explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by the virus.
All conveyancers must continue to support the sales of unoccupied properties whilst following the guidance of the Government.
Support clients who are due to complete on an occupied property in the stay-at-home period by changing the date.
Advice clients who are ready to move to not exchange contracts on an occupied property unless explicit provisions for the risks presented by the virus have been made.
Prioritize support for anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, and those they are in chain with. During these circumstances, you must do all you can to help a new date be agreed.
Do not carry out non-urgent surveys or inspections in homes where they are occupied. It may be possible to carry out urgent surveys on unoccupied homes, where occupants are out of their property, or those where the occupant are not showing any symptoms or in self-isolation.
Surveyors must follow the current Government guidelines
Honour any existing commitments if the move can be done safely for the client and your own staff and it is clear the moving date cannot be moved.
Follow the latest Government Guidelines at all times.
Maintain a 2-metre distance and wash hands regularly.