Friday, June 5, 2020

In the process of buying or selling a home? Here’s what you need to know during the COVID-19 crisis

Homebuyers and sellers feeling stuck in the middle and seeking advice at this uncertain time can look to conveyancing experts to find out more about what the current COVID-19 crisis means for property purchases and sales.

With government guidelines setting restrictions on living in the UK at present, those looking to buy and sell homes may be experiencing confusion as to where they stand in terms of the conveyancing process.

The conveyancing experts at JMP Solicitors have compiled a guide of things to know at this time to help give those looking for clarification some peace of mind.

Head of residential conveyancing at JMP Solicitors, Jacqui Harley, said: “Following the prime minister’s announcement on Monday 23 March, a government spokesperson said on 25 March; ‘home buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new house while emergency measures are in place to fight coronavirus. If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.

“Law institutions such as the SLC (Society of Construction Law), Law Society, CILEx and the Conveyancing Association issued new guidance on Monday 30 March, aligned with government advice that prioritises the health of individuals and the public.

“Here at JMP, we aim to provide insight and clarity to all those dealing with the conveyancing process, who are wondering what will happen to properties at this strange and uncertain time. We’ve compiled a list of simple and handy things to know to help settle the minds of homebuyers and sellers, and we are of course on hand at any point to provide advice and to talk through the process with you to help ease any worries at an already stressful time.”

Here’s six things you need to know if you are in the process of buying or selling a home:

1.Expect the process to slow down

The government has set out that home moves into occupied properties should only take place where contracts have already been exchanged and it has proved impossible for the parties involved to agree a deferral.

2.Exchange and completion

For those who haven’t yet exchanged contracts, you are still able to continue with your transaction and should use this time to work with a conveyancer to progress the transaction and read through the documents involved in moving home.

For those who have exchanged contracts, have a two-step process to delay the move until the end of the current stay-at-home period, with the ability to extend that timescale if government restrictions are extended.

Every case should be treated on an individual basis and any clauses or processes should be amended to individual needs. Once all parties have agreed to a deferred completion date, then a written agreement can be drawn up to vary the contract. To avoid contamination, parties won’t need to sign a physical document, but an e-signature will be needed to authorise this deferral. This clause should state that once restrictions end, there will be a period of time agreed before you move to enable everyone to get ready. Ensure the timescale will give enough time to sort removals and arrange everything, as there will be a real demand for these services

Where deferral cannot take place, then completions will go ahead for critical moves.

3.Removal companies

For critical moves, it is unlikely that any removal companies will be operating due to the new government guidelines, so people must safely move themselves and ensure social distancing and Public Health England advice is adhered to.

4.How to stay safe during a move

If your move is critical and you move during restrictions, it is important to stay safe and only do so if the property is empty. The advice from Public Health England says that you must not endanger yourself or others during a move and should complete a deep clean of a property if you are moving into a new home and ensure any governmental advice on decontamination is followed.

5.Preparation is key

It can feel daunting to pursue a move at the current time, but even if you aren’t ready to move right now, conveyancing experts can be working in the background to get everything ready for a future physical move, so it’s always a good time to start planning and paving the way for your future, whilst you have lots of free time on your hands.

6.Communication will not stop

It’s possible to carry on the conveyancing process – we are still working, banks are still working and a lot of client communication and cases can be handled through remote working, either on the phone or through Skype and Zoom to keep the ball rolling and to ensure a professional and seamless service is delivered.

For further advice or to get the ball rolling for future sales and purchases contact jharley@jmp-solicitors.com.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £27.55 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.

Advertisment








Latest posts

Mental health & learning disability staff embrace tech to provide support through pandemic

Local mental health and learning disability staff have been leading the way in embracing the use of technology to keep in touch and continue...

Work to begin on Grimsby’s St James’ Square transformation

Work will begin next week (Monday, 8 June) on the £1.5m transformation of Grimsby’s St James’ Square, with plans that centre on creating a...

Lincoln Festival of Creativity goes digital

Lincoln Festival of Creativity is being held in a virtual space this year, celebrating the emerging creative talents of art and design students at...

Work begins on 1.5km cycle path beside Lincoln Eastern Bypass

Work has started on a new 1,500 metre stretch of cycle path from Bracebridge Heath to Branston. The 1.5km cycle route will connect the A15...

Hare coursers continue illegal activities across Lincolnshire

Hare coursers have continued their illegal activities in fields across Lincolnshire, travelling significant distances to trespass, cause damage and intimidate local people. Newly released figures...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close